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French horsemeat scandal firm resumes work as ban eased

Published on Feb 19, 2013 5:55 AM
A sign with the Spanghero logo is seen at their head office in Castelnaudary, Southwestern France, Feb 15, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

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

But Spanghero, whose horsemeat 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.

Upholding that ban means it cannot act as middleman between abattoirs and food-processing companies, the situation which allegedly allowed it to change labels on horsemeat and sell it on as beef.

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

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