Nestle has become the latest food company to be hit by the horsemeat scandal after it removed beef pasta meals from shelves in Italy and Spain when tests revealed traces of horse DNA.
The Swiss-based firm, one of the world’s largest food companies, said it had informed the authorities a week after it had said products under its labels were not affected by the horsemeat scandal.
It withdrew two chilled pasta products – Buitoni Beef Ravioli and Beef Tortellini – in Spain.
Both products tested were found to contain more than 1% horse DNA.
Lasagnes a la Bolognaise Gourmandes, a frozen product for catering businesses produced in France, will also be withdrawn.
A statement from Nestle Europe said: “We are now suspending deliveries of all our finished products produced using beef supplied by a German firm, H.J. Schypke, a subcontractor of one of our suppliers, JBS Toledo N.V.
“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 used to indicate likely adulteration or gross negligence.
“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.”
Concerns over horsemeat first emerged in January when Irish authorities found traces of horse in beefburgers made by firms in Ireland and Britain and sold in supermarket chains including Tesco and Aldi.
The scandal then intensified when French firm Comigel alerted Findus this month to the presence of horsemeat in meals it made for the company, which were also on sale in Britain.