Tesco today announced that it had found horse meat in some of its Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese.
It said it had carried out several tests following the product’s withdrawal from sale on a precautionary basis.
Tesco said most of the positive results were are at a trace level of less than 1 per cent, but three tests showed significant levels of horse DNA, exceeding 60 per cent.
The company also tested the horse meat for Phenylbutazone, a common anti-inflammatory drug used in horse which is banned from entering the human food chain, and the results were negative.
Tesco Group’s technical director, Tim Smith, said the product was pulled from sale a week ago as a precautionary measure because Findus products from the same factory were reportedly at risk of containing horse meat.
“The frozen Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese should contain only Irish beef from our approved suppliers,” Smith said.
“The source of the horse meat is still under investigation by the relevant authorities.
“The level of contamination suggests that [French company] Comigel was not following the appropriate production process for our Tesco product and we will not take food from their facility again.
“We are very sorry that we have let customers down,” he said.
“We set ourselves high standards for the food we sell and we have had two cases in recent weeks where we have not met those standards.
“Our DNA testing programme is under way and will give us and our customers assurance that the product they buy is what it should be.”