Europe’s horsemeat scandal spread on Wednesday to Asia where an imported lasagna brand was pulled from the shelves in Hong Kong, as Czech officials ordered similar action on frozen meals mislabeled “beef”.
A host of top players have been caught up in the spiralling scandal including Nestle, the world’s biggest food company, top beef producer JBS of Brazil and British supermarket chain Tesco.
Hong Kong authorities ordered ParknShop, one of the biggest supermarket chains in the city, to remove lasagna made by frozen food giant Findus, one of the firms at the centre of the scandal.
The product was imported from Britain and made by French firm Comigel.
Hong Kong’s Center for Food Safety said the item “might be adulterated with horsemeat which has not undergone tests for veterinary drugs”.
The chain, owned by tycoon Li Ka-shing, has about 280 stores in Hong Kong and the neighbouring gaming hub of Macau.
A spokeswoman at the government’s food and environmental hygiene department said only one contaminated product had so far been sold in Hong Kong.
Spanghero, the French firm that sparked the food alert by allegedly passing off 750 tons of horsemeat as beef, was on Monday allowed to resume production of minced meat, sausages and ready-to-eat meals.
But the company, whose horsemeat found its way into 4.5 million “beef” products sold across Europe, will no longer be allowed to stock frozen meat.
Under the ban it cannot act as middleman between slaughterhouses and food-processing companies, the situation which allegedly allowed it to change labels on horsemeat from Romania and sell it on as beef.
The firm’s sanitary licence was suspended last Thursday after it was accused of passing off huge quantities of mislabelled meat over a period of six months.
Poor horses! If you can, check out the undercover videos of horse slaughter or any slaughterhouse for that matter. You will never eat meat again!