Nestle, the world's biggest food company, removed beef pasta meals from sale in Italy and Spain on Tuesday (February 19) after finding traces of horse DNA.

The discovery of horsemeat in products labelled as beef has spread across Europe since last month, prompting product withdrawals, consumer anger and government investigations into the continent's complex food-processing chains.

Swiss-based Nestle, which just last week said its products had not been affected by the scandal, said its tests had found more than 1 percent horse DNA in two products.

Nestle withdrew two chilled pasta products, Buitoni Beef Ravioli and Beef Tortellini, in Italy and Spain.

"Well we have always eaten horsemeat without a problem but, in this case, it is fraud. It is one thing if I buy it and know that I am buying horse meat, but another if I don't know, also because a horse is too nice to end up in the frying pan," said doctor Alberto Scopietta.

Governments across Europe have stressed that horsemeat poses little or no health risk, although some carcasses have been found tainted with a painkiller banned for human consumption.

Presented by Adam Justice