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Horsemeat scandal spreads as French retailers pull foods

Published on Feb 11, 2013 5:57 AM
A file picture taken on June 23, 2011 in Castelnaudary, south-eastern France, shows a Spanghero employee, French meat food industrial factory, working on the production chain of beef steaks. A Europe-wide food fraud scandal over horsemeat sold as beef deepened on Feb 9, 2013 as Romania announced an inquiry into the origin of the meat and suspicions of criminal activity mounted. -- PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - The Europe-wide scandal over horsemeat sold as beef spread Sunday as leading French retailers pulled products from their shelves and threats of legal action flew.

France promised the results of an urgent inquiry into the scandal within days and the government announced crisis talks with meat industry representatives on Monday night.

As Britain dismissed calls for a ban on EU meat, producers and distributors insisted they had been deceived about the true nature of the meat and vowed to take legal action.

Several ranges of prepared food have been withdrawn in Britain, France and Sweden after it emerged that frozen food companies had been using horsemeat instead of beef in their lasagne and other pasta dishes, as well as shepherd's pies and moussakas.

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