A meat company from the West Midlands has been catapulted into the heart of the horsemeat scandal after banned desinewed sheepmeat from the UK was found at French processor Spanghero.
The FSA said its investigations had shown Central Food Services, based in Walsall, “sent a number of consignments of product labelled as ‘desinewed lamb’ to Spanghero” - the company accused by French authorities of selling 750 tonnes of mislabelled horsemeat to Findus supplier Comigel. “This is in breach of the UK moratorium on the production, and use, of desinewed meat introduced on 28 April 2012,” a spokeswoman added.
The meat supplied by CFS raised alerts in France earlier this week, when veterinary inspectors discovered “mechanically separated meat” at Spanghero.
Mechanical scraping of beef and lamb bones has not been allowed in the EU since 2001 - one of several measures introduced after the BSE crisis - but until last year the UK had argued desinewed meat did not count as mechanically separated meat.
It was forced by the EC to put the moratorium on desinewed meat from ruminants last year. According to French reports, the meat was produced before the 28 April moratorium came into force but sold afterwards.
CFS did not respond to requests for comment.