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Horsemeat lasagne was not sold in Malta shops

‘Beef’ lasagnes caught up in a scandal after horsemeat was found in some products have not been available on the Maltese market since 2010.

If there was any risk, we would have recalled the product

The exclusive distributor of Findus in Malta, Alf. Mizzi and Sons (Marketing) Group, confirmed with The Sunday Times there are no Findus lasagnes to be recalled.

“The only other products containing beef are Findus meatballs, but these are not produced in the same plant in France where the lasagne is produced. They are produced in Sweden. If there was any risk, we would have recalled the product,” commercial director Ray Portelli said.

The discovery of horsemeat traces in beef products wreaked havoc in a number of countries, especially the UK, even though horsemeat is no more dangerous than beef.

However, there is concern about a drug given to horses known as bute (phenylbutazone), which is dangerous for humans.

The discovery was made last month by Irish food inspectors, who found horsemeat in frozen burgers stocked by UK supermarket chains including Lidl, Tesco and Iceland.

A few weeks later, pig DNA was found in halal products for Muslim prisoners.

Meals in schools and hospitals are now being tested for horsemeat as part of a nationwide probe into processed beef products.

In recent days, the British media has reported that the Food Standards Agency said it was “highly likely” that criminals were responsible for contaminating British food products with horsemeat.

Findus, a popular brand of frozen food, including Malta, withdrew 180,000 lasagnes from sale after carrying out tests on meals from a French supplier that had raised concerns.

The Environmental Health Directorate in Malta has to date received no information that any contaminated products were placed on the local market.

The directorate is following this issue through the EU rapid alert system for food and feed.

A Health Ministry spokesman added that although such contamination is undesirable and went against food labelling laws, in all probability it would not pose a risk to public health.

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