Horsemeat found in canned beef at two retailers -food agency

LONDON Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:19pm GMT

A ''no horsemeat'' sign is exhibited alongside meats in the window of Bates Butchers at Market Harborough, central England, February 20, 2013. REUTERS/Darren Staples

A ''no horsemeat'' sign is exhibited alongside meats in the window of Bates Butchers at Market Harborough, central England, February 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Darren Staples

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LONDON (Reuters) - A batch of canned sliced beef containing horsemeat has been removed from the shelves of retailers Home Bargains and Quality Save, Britain's Food Standards Agency said on Thursday .

Routine tests by local government trading standards officers in Lincolnshire, eastern England, found the product, which was manufactured in Romania in January this year, contained horse DNA at a level of between 1 and 5 percent.

"Horse meat is not identified in the ingredients list and therefore it should not have been present in the product," the agency said in a statement.

Neither Home Bargains, the trading name of family-owned business TJ Morris, nor Quality Save, a chain of discount stores operating in northern England, could immediately be reached for comment.

The beef tested negative for the drug phenylbutazone, or 'bute', the anti-inflammatory painkiller for sporting horses which is banned for animals intended for eventual human consumption as it is potentially harmful, the agency said.

A scandal broke around Europe in January when traces of horse were found in frozen burgers sold in Irish and British supermarkets, including those run by market leader Tesco.

(Reporting by Christine Murray; Editing by Anthony Barker)

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