Horse meat discovery affects Wal-Mart’s Asda and supplier Nestle

by The City Wire staff ( 5 views 

The world's biggest food and drinks maker Nestle SA has become the latest company to pull some of its products off European shelves after they were found to contain undeclared horse meat.

This move comes on the heels of Wal-Mart’s British subsidiary Asda who also yanked products from its shelves last week.

Switzerland-based Nestle SA said in a statement late Monday (Feb. 18) that it withdrew some of its beef pasta ready meals from sale after tests conducted two days earlier detected horse DNA.    

“We are now suspending deliveries of all our finished products produced using beef supplied by a German firm, H.J. Schypke, a subcontractor of one of our suppliers, JBS Toledo N.V.,” Nestle noted.

Nestle said it increased its surveillance after reports emerged last month of mislabeled products being sold in Britain.

The company pulled the Buitoni Beef Ravioli and Beef Tortellini meals sold by retailers in Italy and Spain and frozen meat sold as Lasagnes à la Bolognaise Gourmandes to catering businesses in France, although the company said they were safe to consume.

Other Nestle food brands, such as Stouffer's, Lean Cuisine and Gerber baby foods, weren't affected.

"The levels found are above the 1% threshold the U.K.'s Food Safety Agency uses to indicate likely adulteration or gross negligence," according to Nestle’s statement.

Nestle is a major supplier to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. around the world and maintains a large sales office in Rogers.

Last week Wal-Mart’s British subsidiary, Asda said it pulled products from shelves when it discovered horse DNA in its beef bolognese sauce .

"We have a preliminary test result that suggests the presence of horse DNA in our 500g Beef Bolognese sauce. As you'd expect, we have withdrawn this product from our shelves," Asda spokeswoman Jo Newbould told Reuters.

Asda has about 550 stores across the UK. 

The three other products also pulled from shelves include: beef broth soup, meat feast pasta sauce and chilli con carne soup. Asda said it does not have positive test results for horse DNA in those products. It said the products were made at the Irish food group Greencore's plant in Bristol.

Last month, Asda withdrew four burger products after they were found to contain trace levels of equine DNA. The burgers were supplied by Silvercrest, which had also sold Tesco and other grocers beef burgers containing horse meat.