Eight UK businesses may have received beef from the Dutch traders implicated in the Europe-wide horsemeat recall.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said it had received a list of the eight companies – which it did not name, pending further investigation – from the Dutch authorities and had contacted them to find out if and when they might have received the products in question.
On Wednesday, the Netherlands instigated a recall of 50,000 tonnes of beef sold by two wholesaling companies belonging to Dutch meat trader Willy Selten. The origin of the beef cannot be traced, and Dutch investigators suspect some of it may have been adulterated with horsemeat.
A spokeswoman for the FSA stressed because the traceability on the Dutch side was so poor, it was impossible to say for certain if the eight UK businesses identified by the Dutch had received beef products from Selten.
“We’ve made contact with the businesses to find out if/when they may have received products,” she said. “This may be followed up with visits to the premises to verify information regarding products that may be on sale/site/production, and to carry out an audit trail,” she added.
A European Commission spokesman said the product had gone to 16 EU countries and was made between January 2011 and February this year. The Dutch authorities have said they assume a lot of the product may already have been processed and eaten.
Yesterday, authorities in Germany said they believed 124 German businesses had received beef from the Selten businesses.