BREAKING: Birds Eye withdraws three products after horse DNA found
Birds Eye has withdrawn its Spaghetti Bolognese, Shepherd’s Pie and Beef Lasagne after its Chilli Con Carne was found to contain two per cent horse DNA.
The chilli is produced for Birds Eye by Frigilunch N.V. and sold in Belgium.
In a statement, the company said: "Whilst this is not a food safety issue, it is clearly unacceptable. In accordance with our high standards, we are immediately withdrawing this product from sale in Belgium.
"As a precautionary measure in the UK and Ireland we will withdraw all other products produced by the same supplier, namely Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese 340g, Shepherd’s Pie 400g and Beef Lasagne 400g."
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Birds Eye assured the withdrawn products will not be replaced on supermarkets shelves until it has finished its investigations and "complete confidence in this supplier".
The news comes as the Food Standards Agency (FSA) prepares to announce results of its latest tests into the contamination of processed beef products.
The Birds Eye statement added: "Since the first discovery of horsemeat in some beef products produced by a number of manufactures and retailers, we at Iglo Foods Group, the parent company of Birds Eye, have been checking the integrity of all our own beef products.
"We aim to uphold the highest standards of food production and labelling and the reliability of our supply chain is fundamental in delivering this."
Customers who bought any of the withdrawn products - Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese 340g; Shepherd’s Pie 400g or Beef Lasagne 400g - will be given a full refund.
For refund details, customers are urged to contact the Consumer Services Careline on 0800 9175410 (or from the Republic of Ireland call 01800 818899).
The company apologised and said it had enhanced its normal quality procedures. It has also introduced "an on-going DNA testing programme".
The statement continued: "The quality of our food is of the utmost importance to us. We know that our consumers rely on us to be certain that they are eating only what is labelled on the packaging and that they can always rely on us to act responsibly."
Last month a widespread investigation was sparked after horse meat was found in some processed beef products sold by a number of UK supermarkets - Tesco, Lidl, Iceland and Aldi.
A growing number of companies across Europe, including Findus and Nestle, have recalled beef ready meals after tests found they contained horse DNA.
The FSA asked UK food retailers to test the beef in thousands of their products.