Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, announced that it has removed two of its Buitoni brand beef pasta meals from sale in Italy and Spain after traces of horse DNA were found in the products.
Nestlé withdrew two chilled pasta meals, Buitoni Beef Ravioli and Buitoni Beef Tortellini, Reuters reports. Lasagnes à la Bolognaise Gourmandes, a frozen product for catering businesses produced in France, will also be withdrawn. Nestlé announced that it was suspending deliveries of all products made using beef from a German subcontractor.
“There is no food safety issue,” Nestlé asserted in a statement on Monday. The company said it had informed the appropriate authorities, Reuters wrote.
Nestlé is the latest food company to be affected by the food-production scandal that has spread throughout Europe. In the last month, food companies in Europe have discovered horsemeat in products labeled as beef. Amid consumer anger and concern, Reuters said, products have been withdrawn from the market, and governments in a number of European countries have begun investigating the continent’s network of food-processing chains. There are calls for increased food testing and tougher regulations on food labeling throughout the European Union (EU).
Although the crisis was first seen as an issue of fraud and mislabeling, The New York Times reports that there are emerging fears that phenylbutazone, a powerful equine painkiller, may have entered the food chain via horse meat. Eight horses slaughtered for food in Britain tested positive for the drug. Six of those carcasses had already been exported to France for use in human food.