Horsemeat: Chicken nuggets test positive for horse in Greece

Horse DNA has been found in chicken nuggets in Greece, according to Greek food safety authority EFET.

In an update on its website, published on Friday (22 March), EFET said frozen chicken nuggets made by a Greek company and supplied to a local catering company had tested positive for between 10% and 25% horse DNA. The nuggets were sold in 3kg cardboard boxes and had a best-before date of 7 January 2014.

Four other meat products made by the same company had also tested positive for horse DNA as well as three additional products made by other companies, EFET added.

“EFET has requested the immediate recall/withdrawal of the above products from the internal market,” it said in its statement. “Relevant controls are already in progress. It is stressed that the recall/withdrawal refers only to the above batches of the products.”

The products identified by EFET on Friday are the latest in a string of meat products to have been recalled in Greece because of horse DNA adulteration. Since 1 March, EFET has issued six product recall notices about undeclared horse DNA in meat products, most of which involved multiple products.

EFET said it was testing samples with horse DNA for the veterinary drug phenylbutazone (bute), which is not allowed in the food chain, and so far all had come back negative.

Testing for horse DNA across the European Union has to date largely focused on beef products. In February, Food Standards Authority chief executive Catherine Brown said retailers and suppliers should in time widen this to all meat products to ensure products had not been cross-contaminated.

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