Dutch authorities are recalling about 50,000 tonnes of beef sold across Europe because of issues in tracing the source of the meat.
The beef in question may possibly contain horse meat, the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority said.
About 370 companies around Europe and 130 more in the Netherlands are believed to have bought the meat from two Dutch trading firms, identified by the authority as Wiljo Import en Export B.V. and Vleesgroothandel Willy Selten B.V.
The Netherlands is among more than a dozen European nations embroiled in the horse-meat contamination scandal which began in May.
The discovery of horse meat in processed beef products has resulted in tens of millions of ready-to-eat meals being pulled from supermarket shelves.
The authority said in a statement: “Because of the unclear origin of consignments of meat, the food safety of the meat cannot be guaranteed.”
The authority therefore declared it unsuitable for human consumption.
“At this moment there are no concrete indications that there is a danger to public health,” it said.
The authority said it had informed other European Union countries of the issue via the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed.