Tesco has describes the withdrawal of products as a precautionary measure (Reuters)
Tesco has describes the withdrawal of products as a precautionary measure (Reuters)

Two supermarket chains have withdrawn frozen spaghetti bolognese and lasagne ready-meals over fears that the meat used may have been contaminated.

Retailers Tesco and Aldi withdrew a range of products supplied by French Comigel as a precaution following the recent horsemeat scandal.

Comigel is understood to have alerted frozen food giants Findus, which supplies to Tesco and Aldi, that some of its ingredients did "not conform" to the product specification.

Findus recalled 320g, 360g and 500g packs of lasagne because its supplier had asked it to withdraw the product over a "labelling issue". Tesco said it had removed products in its own-label Everyday Value brand as a precautionary measure.

A spokesman for Tesco said: "Following the withdrawal of Findus beef lasagne, which is produced by Comigel, we have decided to withdraw our frozen Everyday Value spaghetti bolognese, which is produced at the same site, as a precautionary measure.

"There is no evidence that our product has been contaminated and the meat used in the Findus product is not used in our product. However, we have decided to withdraw the product pending the results of our own tests."

Aldi would not confirm if the products had been contaminated or labelled incorrectly. A spokesman said: "Following an alert from our French supplier, Comigel, Aldi immediately withdrew its Today's Special frozen beef lasagne and Today's Special frozen spaghetti bolognese from stores as a precautionary measure.

"Comigel has flagged concerns that the products do not conform to specification. They have been withdrawn immediately so that Aldi can conduct its own investigations into the factory concerned. These investigations are continuing.

Food Standards and Trading Standards

"We will continue to maintain active scrutiny across our supply lines."

A Findus UK spokeswoman said: "This issue concerns only the beef lasagne product. This is a product that Findus does not manufacture itself, but is sourced externally.

"We are working closely with retailers and the Food Standards Agency and Trading Standards. We are conducting a full reassessment of our supplier's sourcing."

The decision to remove the beef products from the shelves came on the same day that Asda withdrew from sale four own-brand frozen products supplied by a Northern Ireland company, Freeza Meats.

It followed the discovery of a batch of meat containing 80 percent horse DNA in a cold store operated by Freeza Meats in Newry.

Asda said: "Although all the science says there is no trace of horse in our burgers produced by Freeza Meats, we can't and won't take any chances when it comes to the authenticity of ingredients in our products.

"As a precaution we have taken all four frozen burger products off sale produced in that factory, and have instructed Freeza Meats to segregate and hold any frozen burgers in production or in their supply chain destined for Asda."