Asda has withdrawn an own-label fresh beef bolognese sauce produced by Greencore after screening tests revealed traces of horse DNA.

The chilled Chosen by You 350g beef bolognese sauce is is the first fresh product to be drawn into the horsemeat scandal – previously only frozen products had been removed from stores.

Asda has also withdrawn three other Greencore products as a precaution: 600g Beef Broth Soup, 500g Meat Feast Pasta Sauce and 400g Chilli Con Carne Soup, but said it had no positive horse DNA results for any of them. “We are taking a belt-and-braces approach,” added a spokesman.

Greencore said a screening test had revealed traces of equine DNA in the sauce, and is waiting on the results of further tests to validate its presence and extent. The company added that it was working closely with the supplier of the meat used in the sauce - ABP Food Group through its Nenagh plant in County Tipperary, Ireland.

In a statement issued last night, Greencore said: “We are committed to maintaining the highest standards of food safety and food traceability, and are therefore extremely concerned that the quality of one of our products may have been compromised in this way. The company is participating in full with the intensive industry testing programme to examine the full supply chain in order to restore consumer confidence.”

ABP confirmed that it supplies Greencore, but added that it had carried out “hundreds of tests” on fresh beef in recent weeks and that they had all been negative for equine DNA. It added that it had never knowingly purchased or processed equine meat.

Asda said it was working hard to ensure shoppers could have “complete confidence” in the food they bought. “We’re very sorry if this ongoing situation is causing our customers any upset or inconvenience,” added the spokesman.