The Straits Times
Published on Feb 10, 2013

Legal threats fly in Europe horsemeat fraud scandal


LONDON (AFP) - A Europe-wide food fraud scandal over horsemeat sold as beef deepened on Saturday as two companies at the centre of the row took legal action and governments said criminal activity was suspected.

Frozen food giant Findus lodged a legal complaint in France after evidence showed the presence of horse in its beef lasagne was "not accidental", while a French meat-processing firm said it would sue its Romanian supplier.

Romania - to where the horsemeat has been traced after a complex trail leading through Cyprus and The Netherlands that The Sun newspaper in Britain dubbed a "hoofdunnit" - announced an urgent inquiry into two abattoirs.

Britain said this week that the Findus lasagne and two meals sold by supermarket chain Aldi contained up to 100 per cent horsemeat, and products containing horse have subsequently been found in France and Sweden.