BEEF products sold by Birds Eye, Taco Bell and catering supplier Brakes have been found to contain horse DNA in the latest round of tests carried out since the start of the meat scandal, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said today.
The third round of tests carried out since January revealed contamination of Birds Eye Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese and Beef Lasagne, Taco Bell ground beef and Brakes spicy minced beef skewer, the FSA said.
Ten tests on the four products returned results of more than 1% horse meat, the agency said, and all four have been withdrawn from sale.
US-owned Tex-Mex restaurant chain Taco Bell said that it was “disappointed'' to have discovered the horse meat in tests it carried out on beef supplied to its UK restaurants by a sole European supplier.
“We immediately withdrew ground beef from sale in our restaurants, discontinued purchase of that meat, and contacted the Food Standards Agency with this information,” it said in a statement.
“We would like to apologise to all of our customers, and we can reassure you that we are working hard to ensure that every precaution is being undertaken to guarantee that we are only supplied with products that meet the high standards we demand.”
Birds Eye had already withdrawn the spaghetti bolognese, lasagne and a third ready meal, a shepherd’s pie, from sale in Britain and the Republic of Ireland as a precaution after tests found 2% of horse DNA in a chilli con carne dish it sold in Belgium.