Horse meat found in Latvian-made pies in Britain

The withdrawn Latvian-made product.
The withdrawn Latvian-made product.

A Latvian-made frozen meat-pie product that was found to contain horse DNA has been withdrawn from sale in Britain, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) says.

It says horse meat is not identified in the ingredients list and therefore it should not have been present in the product.

The pie is a Galdin Klajies product.

It is supplied to small retail shops in Britain, many of which specialise in products from Eastern Europe, and one batch was affected. Monolith has informed its customers and withdrawn all supplies.

The 200-gram packs are described on the label as “pie with minced meat” and are distributed in Britain by Monolith UK Ltd.

When Monolith tested the product, it was found to contain horse DNA at a level of more than 1 percent.

The FSA has requested that the product now be tested for the presence of phenylbutazone, known as “bute”, a common anti-inflammatory drug used in horses which is banned from entering the human food chain.

People with the product stored in their freezers are advised to return it to where they bought it. The affected batch has a best-before date of January 22 2014.

It is the first recall in Britain linked to the horse-meat scandal since March.

About 25,000 tests have been conducted for horse DNA since January, most of them carried out by the food industry.In all, 47 have revealed horse DNA in products labelled as beef.

The horse-meat scandal began when the food safety watchdog in Ireland detected horse DNA in several processed beef products. The scandal rapidly spread across Europe, with positive tests resulting in the recall of tens of million of ready-made beef meals.

The incident highlighted the complexity of the food chain and its vulnerability to contamination by rogue traders.

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