A frozen food manufacturer has withdrawn 180,000 ready meals from supermarket shelves after tests revealed that they contained up to 100 percent horse meat.
Findus, a popular European frozen food company, found that 11 out of 18 ready meals, advertised as containing 100 percent beef, actually contained between 60 to 100 percent horse meat.
The ready made lasagna meals have been sold in some of Britain's most popular supermarkets, including Tesco, Morrisons, and Asda.
Findus France has withdrawn several other ready meals from shelves, including its shepherd's pie and moussaka dishes.
Although the company maintains that its products can be consumed without health risks, many people are squeamish at the thought of eating an animal they consider to be a pet.
Findus said it did not know how long people may have unwittingly been consuming horse meat, but admitted that their supplier, Comigel, based in north-east France, had been providing the meat for its ready meals for more than two years.
The Food Standards Agency urged anyone who bought the products to return them to retailers, who will give them a full refund.
Food safety officials in the UK are now ordering the testing of all beef products to ensure that the contamination is not more widespread.
Chief executive of the Food Standards Agency, Catherine Brown, said UK firms must test all their beef products by next Friday.
"The FSA is now requiring a more robust response from the food industry in order to demonstrate that the food it sells and serves is what it says it is on the label," she told CNN.
Findus, which ironically boasts "You can trust us" on its website, has issued a second apology for its role in the scandal, saying: 'We are sorry that we have let people down.'