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Horsemeat in lasagne since summer?
Fears have been raised that Findus's beef lasagne may have been contaminated with horsemeat since last summer
Findus's beef lasagne may have been contaminated with horsemeat since last summer, it has been claimed.
Labour MP Tom Watson said he had obtained a letter from the company to retailers warning that a French-based supplier told it on February 2 that raw materials delivered to it since August 1 last year were "likely to be non-conform and consequently the labelling on finished products is incorrect".
The letter, which Mr Watson said was sent to retailers on Monday, added: "The supplier has asked us to withdraw the raw material batches."
Tesco confirmed that it was informed of a product withdrawal by Findus on Monday but did not give any more details. Findus was not immediately available for comment.
Mr Watson said products should have been taken off the shelves and customers informed immediately after Findus received the information from suppliers.
"There should have been a huge public information campaign, refunds should have been advertised," he said. "Yet it was only Wednesday that people learnt that horse meat was in the food."
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has said companies will be ordered to test their beef products after some Findus beef lasagnes were found to contain up to 100% horse meat.
It was "highly likely" that criminal activity was to blame for the contamination, the agency added, as consumers were warned not to eat the meals.
Findus UK tested 18 of its beef lasagne products and found 11 contained in the range of 60% to 100% horse meat, the FSA said. The frozen food company apologised to customers and said refunds would be offered to anyone who bought the affected lasagne products, which were made by French food supplier Comigel.
Retail giant Tesco and discount chain Aldi have withdrawn a range of ready meals produced by Comigel over fears that they contained contaminated meat.