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France eases ban on meat firm at heart of Europe horse scandal

Published on Feb 19, 2013 1:15 AM

PARIS (AFP) - The French firm that sparked a Europe-wide food scandal by allegedly passing off 750 tonnes of horse meat as beef was allowed on Monday to resume production of minced meat, sausages and ready-to-eat meals.

But Spanghero, whose horse meat found its way into 4.5 million "beef" products sold across Europe, will no longer be allowed to stock frozen meat, Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll told AFP.

The firm's sanitary licence was suspended last Thursday after it was accused of passing off huge quantities of horse meat as beef over a period of six months.

France's DGCCRF anti-fraud office concluded after an initial inquiry that 500 tonnes of the meat were sent to French firm Comigel, which makes frozen meals at its Tavola subsidiary in Luxembourg. That meat was used to make 4.5 million "beef" products that were sold by Comigel to 28 different companies in 13 European states, the DGCCRF said.

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