Nestlé withdraws risk meat product in Portugal

The multinational company Nestlé has withdrawn a package pre-cooked lasagna that was aimed at the Portuguese hotel and restaurant sectors, a source from the company told Expresso newspaper.

The move comes after Nestlé discovered traces of horsemeat DNA (more than 1%) in ravioli and tortellini products of the Buitoni brand in Italy and Spain.

Nestlé has guaranteed that none of these products are for sale in Portugal and it has suspended distribution of all of its products that contain cattle meat supplied by the German company H.J.Schypke, a sub-contractor of one of its suppliers JBS Toledo, a European branch of a Brazilian company which has also announced the suspension of the sale of processed meat in Europe.

In a statement on its website, Nestlé said: “Our tests have found traces of horse DNA in two products made from beef supplied by H.J. Schypke. The levels found are above the 1% threshold the UK’s Food Safety Agency uses to indicate likely adulteration or gross negligence. We have informed the authorities accordingly.”

Nestlé has pledged to reinforce its quality control regarding a problem that has been discovered in various EU countries.

The statement continued: “We are enhancing our existing comprehensive quality assurance programme by adding new tests on beef for horse DNA prior to production in Europe. We want to apologise to consumers and reassure them that the actions being taken to deal with this issue will result in higher standards and enhanced traceability.”

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that eight carcasses of horsesslaughtered in the UK and exported to France contained a prohibited anti-inflammatory drug injected into the animals in the abattoirs which has a health risk for humans.