British authorities have warned the public not to eat beef lasagne sold by the Findus brand and made in France after tests found it contained up to 100 per cent horsemeat.
Findus tested 18 of its beef lasagne products manufactured by supplier Comigel in France and found 11 meals containing 60 per cent to 100 per cent horse meat, Britain's Food Standards Agency said.
The agency said further tests have been ordered on the lasagne for the veterinary drug phenylbutazone, as animals treated with it are not allowed to enter the food chain in Britain.
“Findus withdrew the beef lasagne products after its French supplier, Comigel, raised concerns about the type of meat used in the lasagne,” the agency said in a statement.
The agency said tests on the lasagne were ordered “as part of its ongoing investigation into mislabelled meat”.
“We have no evidence to suggest that this is a food safety risk. However, the FSA has ordered Findus to test the lasagne for the veterinary drug phenylbutazone.”
Britain's Daily Mail reported that there are fears the horsemeat used in the lasagne contained the drug bute, which is a known human health risk.
Supermarket chain Tesco Tesco removed frozen Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese, and Aldi withdrew Today’s Special Frozen Beef Lasagne and Today’s Special Frozen Spaghetti Bolognese.
Tests are being conducted but there is no evidence that they contain horsemeat.
Britain's Food Standards Agency has ordered testing of all beef products for the presence of horse meat.
Chief executive, Catherine Brown, said: "Following our investigations into Findus products, the FSA is now requiring a more robust response from the food industry in order to demonstrate that the food it sells and serves is what it says it is on the label."
Findus asked supermarkets and corner shops to remove three sizes of beef lasagne - 320g, 360g and 500g – from shelves on Monday, the Daily Mail reported.
At the time, it said this was because of what it called a "labelling issue".
It is the latest horsemeat related scare after horse DNA was found two weeks ago in beef burgers in Britain and Ireland, countries where horse meat consumption is generally taboo.
Two weeks ago, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland had revealed that up to 29 per cent of the meat content of some beefburgers was in fact horse, while they also found pig DNA.
The frozen burgers were on sale in high-street supermarket chains Tesco and Iceland in both Britain and Ireland, and in Irish branches of Lidl, Aldi and Dunnes Stores.The consumption of horse meat is more common in parts of Europe including France and in central Asia, China and Latin America.