Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/Scanpix.

Inspection agencies contacted over horsemeat

Twenty-eight wholesale companies in ten Swedish municipalities have purchased meat from the batch of 50,000 tonnes of beef that Dutch authorities recalled Wednesday. The meat was found to be adulterated with horse meat even though it was labelled as beef.

The Swedish National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket) is today contacting local inspection authorities around the country to inform the 25 Swedish companies that bought beef from two Dutch merchants to make sure that the meat has been withdrawn from sale and is available for testing.

The Dutch authorities decided on Wednesday that it should be recalled.

About 500 meat processing companies in Europe bought the beef from the two wholesalers and it is unclear where the meat came from originally.

"The meat must be removed from the market. What we are doing now is contacting municipal councils to make sure that the companies have withdrawn the meat from circulation. It should not take more than a couple of days ," Jan Sjögren at the National Food Agency told Swedish Radio News.

He admitted that the contaminated meat may already have been sold to consumers.

"Yes, the risk is unfortunately big. Parts of the meat has probably already been processed into various products and some of it may already be eaten," he says, although he was not sure what type of products. 

The Swedish National Food Agency does not know how much of the potentially infected meat has entered Sweden.

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