Feb 8 2013
Frozen food giant Findus has reiterated its apology over some of its beef lasagne products containing horse meat, after claims that the contamination could stretch back to last summer.
The company said it was "sorry that we have let people down" and confirmed it carried out a full product recall on Monday, two days before DNA tests confirmed that some of its products contained up to 100% horse meat and it alerted the Food Standards Agency.
But it did not respond to claims by Labour MP Tom Watson that it sent a letter to retailers on Monday warning that a France-based supplier had told it there may be problems with raw materials delivered since August 1 last year.
A Findus spokesman said: "At Findus UK our first priority is our customers and providing quality products they can trust. But we know that many people have been concerned by the news this week that tests have shown that some of our Findus beef lasagne has been found to contain horse meat.
"We understand those concerns; we are sorry that we have let people down."
The Department for Education said that any schools with concerns about food should "contact their caterer or local authority immediately".
The Findus spokesman added that the firm "do not believe this is a food safety issue" but that anyone who had bought 320g, 360g or 500g Findus beef lasagne packs could call its customer care line on 0800 132584 for advice and a refund.
Agriculture and Food Minister David Heath said people should carry on with their usual shopping habits until they are told to do otherwise.
He told BBC Radio 4's The World At One that he was "staggered" by the recent findings, but added: "If there is any risk whatsoever, people will be told.""
He said there was "every probability" that an element of criminality was involved, and food agencies and police across Europe were investigating what had happened.