11 February, 2013
Meat testing: Statement from Tim Smith, Tesco Group Technical Director
Tim Smith, Group Technical Director, comments:
"A week ago Tesco withdrew a frozen Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese product from sale. We did this as a precaution because Findus products from the same factory were reportedly at risk of containing horsemeat.
"Since then, we have carried out a number of tests on the product and those tests identified the presence of horse DNA. Of the positive results, most are at a trace level of less than 1% but three showed significant levels of horse DNA, exceeding 60%. We have carried out further tests to ensure that there is no danger to health through the presence of potentially harmful bute. The test for bute was clear.
"The frozen Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese should contain only Irish beef from our approved suppliers. The source of the horsemeat is still under investigation by the relevant authorities. The level of contamination suggests that 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. 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 underway and will give us and our customers assurance that the product they buy is what it should be."
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