BERLIN (AP) — German officials on Monday vowed tighter controls on meat products and stronger penalties for companies that violate food-labeling rules as more items marketed as “all beef” were pulled from supermarket shelves after testing positive for horse meat.
Consumer Protection Minister Ilse Aigner and her state counterparts announced a 10-point plan seeking to allay Germans’ fears after five national supermarkets recalled lasagna, chili, tortellini and goulash — all with traces of horse meat. Most recently, German discount supermarket Lidl on Monday said it had recalled Combino brand “Beef Tortelloni,” sold at its stores in Austria, after tests showed it contained horse meat.
Aigner said Germany, Europe’s largest economy, will step up testing, and be looking for any meat not clearly noted on the label — not just horse.
“I can’t say this is the end,” she told reporters. “We have to count on other cases being discovered.”
Traces of horse meat have turned up across Europe in frozen supermarket meals such as burgers and lasagna, as well as in in beef pasta sauce, on restaurant menus, in school lunches and in hospital meals.
Millions of products were pulled from store shelves in Britain, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway after the scandal broke, and supermarkets and food suppliers were told to test processed beef products for horse DNA.
European officials have said the scandal is the result of fraud, and possibly an international criminal conspiracy to pass off cheap horse meat as more expensive beef.
France agreed on Monday to partially restore the health certification of a meat seller at the heart of the uproar over horse meat. In a decision just ahead of a meeting between French government officials and workers at the Spanghero company, French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll said he would allow it to resume production of ground meat, sausages and some cooked goods after inspectors found nothing amiss there over the weekend.
However, frozen goods, which were the center of questions over whether Spanghero officials deliberately passed off horse meat as beef, remain off limits for the company.
In addition to implementing a European Union action plan on testing meat products, some of Germany’s other plans include making sure consumers are more quickly informed as soon as a company has detected that their product may be mislabeled, and facilitating better information flow between state and federal agencies.
The French government has said the chain of fraudulent meat sales reaches across 28 firms in 13 countries.
At least some of the horse meat originated at abattoirs in Romania, and was sent through a Cyprus-registered trader to a warehouse in the Netherlands. Spanghero bought the meat from the trader, then resold it to the French frozen food processor Comigel; it was then marketed in other countries.
Germany also intends to rethink food labeling regulations so that people purchasing it can be sure where it came from.
“We want to be as transparent as possible for the consumer,” Aigner said.
Lori Hinnant contributed from Paris.
More Related Stories
- Must-see morning clip: Barackalypse Now
- Okla. tornado survivor reunited with dog trapped in rubble live on camera
- Is Pope Francis an exorcist?
- Oklahoma tornado death count at least 91
- Frantic parents search for children in tornado's wake
- Crews dig through rubble after deadly tornado
- 51 killed in massive Oklahoma tornado
- Don't cry climate-change wolf
- Record tornado devastates Oklahoma
- Limbaugh: No one willing to impeach the first black president
- Tornado reduces Oklahoma City suburb to rubble
- AP: Toll at least 37 dead in Okla. tornado
- Entire Midwest on tornado warning
- Oregon senator proposes appeal to Monsanto Protection Act
- Supreme Court to rule on prayer at government meetings
- Beltway scandal machine breaks, knows nothing about America
- Gitmo hunger striker launches Twitter campaign
- "Hero" cop, honored by Obama, accused of double rape
- Father of gay high school student arrested for dating classmate speaks out
- Pentagon adviser pushed Anthrax drug, which his firm produced
- Conservatives A-OK with closeted Boy Scouts
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11