Feb. 19 - Nestle, the world's biggest food company, has removed beef pasta meals from sale in Italy and Spain after finding traces of horse DNA. Sonia Legg reports.
ATTN CLIENTS - UPDATED VERSION WITH NEW PICTURES OF RELEVANT PRODUCTS It's the home of pasta but even Italy is now embroiled in the horsemeat scandal that continues to spread across Europe. Two ranges of chilled pasta meals have been withdrawn from shelves in Italy and Spain. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) WOMAN MAKING PASTA ANGELA PRESCURA SAYING: "This is wrong because every thing that is in the ingredient must be labelled. If ingredients aren't written clearly it can be dangerous." The meals were made by the world's biggest food company adding a new dimension to the ongoing crisis. Last week Nestle said its products were not affected. Now it says tests have found more than 1% of horsemeat in Buitoni Beef Ravioli and Beef Tortellini. A range of frozen Lasagne produced in France for the catering business has also been withdrawn. Food testing labs continue to be inundated and this new case again highlights the continent's complex food-processing chain. The Swiss-based company has suspended deliveries of all products made with beef from a German subcontractor. And Italy and Spain have now joined the UK, France and Germany, along with Finland, Sweden and Austria as victims of possible fraud. Italian shoppers say it's the deception that's the problem. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) DOCTOR ALBERTO SCOPIETTA SAYING: "We have always eaten horsemeat without a problem but in this case it is fraud. It is one thing if I choose to buy it, quite another if I don't because a horse is too nice to end up in the frying pan." (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) PENSIONER ROSALBA RIZZO SAYING: "This is something that just shouldn't happen, what is in the food needs to be on the packet." Governments stress horsemeat poses little or no health risk. But the cost of the crisis is rising. Numerous supermarket chains and fast food outlets have now had to withdraw beef products. And with consumer confidence in processed food taking a battering, the biggest cost could be still to come.