Lidl has taken the “precautionary measure” of removing a range of beef chilli con carne from its UK stores after the product’s supplier Covi was found to have horsemeat in its Hereford corned beef product.

The horsemeat-containing product is not sold by Lidl in the UK.

“We have removed the chilli con carne from sale as a purely precautionary measure as it is from the same supplier,” said a Lidl spokesperson today.

“The chilli con carne from the supplier Covi has been tested for horsemeat and, along with all our own-label processed beef products, is negative for horsemeat,” they added.

Tests carried out in France identified suppliers Covi along with Gel Alpes as having tested positive for horsemeat in their pre-cooked beef products on Wednesday.

Covi is a privately owned company, established in 1961, with facilities in the French towns of Nantes, Saint-Sebastien-sur-Loire and Bressuire — the latter site being where the product found to contain horsemeat was processed.