FSAI Advises of Findus Beef Lasagne Withdrawal in Ireland

Friday, 8 February 2013

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) today confirms that Findus beef lasagne products indentified in the UK which tested positive for up to 100% horse meat have been on sale in Ireland.  The FSAI has been in contact with Findus since last night to establish which retailers had been supplied this product.  Tesco withdrew this product from Irish shelves on Wednesday of this week, but did not notify the FSAI.  The FSAI is contacting the retail trade today to ensure this product is withdrawn from sale.  The FSAI is advising Irish consumers to check if they have purchased this product and if they have, not to eat it, but to return it to the point of purchase. 

The beef lasagne product has been withdrawn in the UK by Findus following information from its French supplier, Comigel that there was an issue in relation to the type of meat used in the product.

According to Prof. Alan Reilly, Chief Executive, FSAI it is unknown at this point in time if these products pose a food safety risk, as tests have not been undertaken in the UK to establish if the veterinary medicine phenylbutazone is present in the product. 

    “It is our understanding that Findus is testing the products for the presence of phenylbutazone.  Phenylbutazone is a commonly used medicine in horses and horses treated with it are not allowed to enter the food chain.  Our advice to consumers at this point, is not to consume this product, but to dispose of it or return it to their retailer,” he states.

The FSAI states that full compliance with food law is required across the entire supply chain at all times and that food business operators must remain vigilant in ensuring the authenticity of ingredients used.

The FSAI will provide updates, when available.  Consumers who have queries regarding the affected product can contact the FSAI advice line on 1890 336677 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.