French ministers and food industry chiefs to meet on Monday after seven French supermarket chains withdraw beef meals

Horsemeat scandal spreads to Europe

French ministers and food industry chiefs will hold talks on Monday morning after the horsemeat scandal spread to Europe.

Seven French supermarket chains have now withdrawn beef meals made by Findus and Comigel, after it was discovered that meals sold in Europe contained horsemeat. Last week, some Findus products sold in the UK were found to contain 60-100% horsemeat.

On Sunday, Auchan, Casino, Carrefour, Cora, Monoprix, Grand Jury and Picard all pulled a range of lasagne, moussaka, spaghetti bolognaise, cannelloni and cottage pie products from their shelves.

France’s Junior Minister for Consumer Goods, Benoit Hamon, revealed on Subdat that an initial French investigation found that French food producer Poujol bought the frozen meat from a Cypriot food trader.

That trader had is said to received it from a Dutch trader, which purchased the meat from two Romanian slaughterhouses.

So far the scandal has had an impact on distributors in the UK, France, Sweden, Ireland and Romania, and has raised questions about the complexity of the food industry’s supply chains across the EU.

The horsemeat has already been traced from France through Cyprus and The Netherlands to Romanian abattoirs, and it is feared that food products in up to an additional 11 EU countries may be contaminated.

The EU commissioner for agriculture will meet Romania’s foreign minister on Monday, after claims that at least one of its abattoirs has misled companies.