The Romanian meat industry will seek compensation for being wrongly implicated in the horsemeat scandal, if it turns out meat sales have dropped as a result.

Romanian meat industry association ARC said official figures due out in April or May would show if there had been any change in demand for Romanian meat from abroad and within Romania compared with 2012.

“If our worries will be backed by the figures, we will hand our requests for compensation to the Romanian authorities,” ARC executive director Mihai Visan told thegrocer.co.uk. The authorities would then be able to pursue the compensation claims at EU level, he added.

Romania was dragged into the scandal after horsemeat found in Findus lasagne was traced back to the country. French meat supplier Spanghero claimed it had received horse labelled as beef from two Romanian abattoirs, but has since itself become the focus of French investigations.

The Romanian government has maintained from the start that any horsemeat sold by the abattoirs was clearly labelled as such.

Mislabelled meat found in Bucharest

Earlier this week, a 100kg batch of horsemeat wrongly labelled as beef was intercepted by Romanian officials in Bucharest.  The Romanian food safety watchdog said the meat was destined for sale in the local area, and there was no connection to the wider horsemeat scandal.