Germany is shaping up to become the next focus of ‘Horsegate’, with German retailers this week recalling products across Europe and a German supplier blamed for dragging Nestlé into the horsemeat scandal.

Nestlé has accused German processed meat company Schypke Fleischwaren of supplying it with “mislabelled” beef that subsequently tested positive for horse, prompting recalls of Nestlé pasta products in Italy, Spain, Portugal and France. Schypke has also been implicated by Aldi and Lidl supplier Copack, which had to pull a number of frozen pasta meals from German stores this week.

Another German supplier, Dreistern, has been blamed for triggering recalls of tinned goulash sold by Lidl in Germany and Scandinavia, while a third German company, Vossko, has been accused by Liechtenstein’s Hilcona of supplying beef contaminated with horse for a Combino pasta product that had to be withdrawn in Austria and Germany.

All companies have denied they handled horsemeat, and have blamed their own suppliers. Dreistern has suspended production of its goulash while investigations continue. Brazilian beef giant JBS, which had used Schypke as a sub-contractor to supply Nestlé and Copack, said it had terminated its contract with the company.

Official tests by the German government are uncovering more frozen, chilled and tinned products contaminated with horse DNA. As The Grocer went to press, Germany’s consumer affairs ministry had found horse in 40 of 533 products, amounting to 8%. By comparison, the first wave of tests published by the UK’s Food Standards Agency last week detected horse DNA in 29 out of 2,501 products - just over 1%. Further UK test results were due out on Friday (22 February).