Inspectors find 100kg of horsemeat labelled as beef on sale at market

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Horsemeat imported from Hungary and labelled for sale as diced beef has been discovered at a market stall in Lancashire.

Lancashire County Council identified 100kg of horsemeat as falsely labelled, with 40kg of the product already sold to the public, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said. The remainder has been withdrawn from sale.

The FSA said the meat was imported by Hungarian Food Ltd in Preston and sold in 1kg bags on its market stall in the town and also at a shop in Liverpool called Taste of Hungary. Both the European Commission and the Hungarian authorities have been informed, the agency said, while local authority investigations were continuing and the meat will be tested for 
the veterinary pain-killing drug bute.

Hungarian Foods Ltd said last night that it did not know the meat it was selling was horse.

Company secretary Ildiko Mokran said: “We did not know anything about it, so when we got the results it was a really big shock.”

The discovery is the latest in the ongoing scandal over horsemeat and other contamination of food products.

Many of the UK’s biggest food firms and supermarkets have recalled beef products after tests found they contained horse DNA.

Aldi, Findus, Co-op, Tesco, Asda, Taco Bell, Birds Eye, Sodexo, Whitbread, Brakes and Rangeland were all found to have products affected.

This week Asda said its 340g tins of Chosen By You Corned Beef and Smart Price Corned Beef, withdrawn on March 8 as a precaution, had subsequently tested positive for “above trace levels” of horse DNA.