New reports about horse meat discovered in Findus beef lasagna caused the manufacturer to apologize to residents of the United Kingdom. According to Yahoo!, this frozen food giant is also offering refunds to anyone who purchased the affected products made by Cormigel, a French food supplier.
These tainted products were tested by Findus UK and, in 11 out of 18 cases, the meat in the lasagna contained from 60 percent to 100 percent horse meat.
Catherine Brown, chief executive of Britain's Food Standards Agency (FSA) called this "an appalling situation." Brown went on to say that by examining the product in question, she believes that "it is highly likely there has been criminal and fraudulent activity involved."
That said, horse meat had been found in hamburgers in Britain earlier this year after being discovered in beef consumed in Ireland. That so-called beef, which also included pig in the mix, had been delivered to stores from processing plants located in several areas in the British Isles.
In both the case in January and the case reported about today, the offensive products were quickly removed from Tesco shelves. The prolific retailer feared all the meat had been contaminated and did not want to take any chances.
Meanwhile, the FSA did say that there has been no difinitive evidence that eating horse meat leads to a safety risk. However, DNA tests ordered on the contaminated lasagna were done to look for a drug called phenylbutazone that is used by veterinarians.
The drug, also called bute, is used to treat pain and fever in large animals like horses. However, when consumed by humans, the medication can cause the suppression of white blood cell production.
For that reason, bute is banned from animals intended to be made into food consumed in the United States and in Europe, according to American Horse Meat. So, if bute is determined to be present, the horse meat discovered in these particular batches of Findus beef lasagna could be extremely detrimental to those who have already eaten the contaminated food.