Germany announces first suspicious case in horsemeat scandal
BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
Horse meat sausages seen in the shop window of a horse butchery in Munich, Germany, 11 February 2013. EPA photoGerman officials announced on Wednesday the first suspected case of horsemeat mislabelled as beef having been delivered to the country amid a widening scandal in Europe.
Germany was alerted via a European quick warning system late on Tuesday of suspicions that mislabelled processed lasagne was, or could have been, brought into the country, a consumer protection ministry spokeswoman said.
It was delivered to at least one trader in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), where authorities are checking whether the product has been withdrawn from the market, she said.
"It also has to be checked whether in the products there actually is or was undeclared horsemeat," she told a regular government news conference.
Officials in NRW state said an examination of documents had indicated that products had been delivered via a distributor in Luxembourg "which are suspected of horsemeat labelling breaches".
They said in a written statement that they believed deliveries had taken place between November and January.
However as a precautionary measure, the German supermarket chain Kaiser's Tengelmann has taken its own branded frozen lasagne off the shelves.
European Union farm ministers are due to hold crisis talks in Brussels later to agree a response after France became the second EU nation following Britain to find horsemeat posing as beef in frozen food.