Horsemeat lasagna, horsemeat hamburgers, and horsemeat spaghetti bolognese have been found in Ireland, England, Sweden, and France. Germany, which also imports products made by the frozen food firm Findus, is still conducting tests for the presence of horsemeat in all products that are supposed to have beef and not horsemeat.
According to a Feb. 9, 2013, CNN report, France’s Findus is planning to file a legal complaint on Monday against the unnamed Romanian business responsible for the horsemeat scandal.
“While horsemeat is not itself a food safety hazard, its unauthorized presence -- in quantities up to 100% -- in foods purported to be made with beef has raised serious concerns.
On Saturday, an emergency meeting was held in London while ministers, food inspectors, and retailers expect “more bad news” to come, according to Environment Secretary Owen Paterson.
Owen Paterson considers the horsemeat scandal to be “either criminal activity or gross negligence."
Besides the deception of consumers who thought they were eating beef and not horsemeat, politicians, health officials, and food safety inspectors are concerned about the presence of the veterinary drug phenylbutazone, or Bute.
“Meat from animals treated with phenylbutazone is not allowed to enter the food chain as it may pose a risk to human health.”
Bute, or phenylbutazone is an anti-inflammatory drug used for the treatment of pain and fever in animals. Among some horse owners, the use of Bute in horses is as common as someone using aspirin or Tylenol for fever or pain.
In humans, Bute can cause severe adverse effects such as suppression of white blood cell production and aplastic anemia.
Because of the potential health risk in consuming horsemeat instead of beef, the frozen food producer Findus has been ordered to test lasagna and other beef products for the presence of phenylbutazone.
The British retailer Aldi who distributes various beef products across Europe has found 30% and 100% horsemeat in frozen beef lasagna and frozen spaghetti bolognese.
British and Irish food safety inspectors have found between 60% and 100% horsemeat in lasagna that was supposed to contain beef.