The Dutch food safety authority has recalled 50,000 tonnes of beef that they deem unfit for human consumption and that may contain horsemeat. The European horsemeat scandal continues.
The BBC is calling the horsemeat scandal large-scale meat fraud, and Dutch authorities are taking these precautionary steps as the origins of the meat are unclear and thus safety is not guaranteed. However, a statement added that Dutch authorities have "no concrete indications that there is a risk to public health."
The meat seems to have come from two wholesalers, Wiljo Import en Export BV and Vleesgroothandel Willy Selten. In total, 132 companies in the Netherlands and around 370 more around Europe are affected by this discovery.
The recall covers meat dating back to January 1, 2011 up until February 15 this year, the Dutch food authority said on Wednesday. Despite a recall from the European rapid alert system, it looks like it may be too late for some.
According to Benno Bruggink of the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), “the meat ended up all over Europe, and I think it has been largely consumed, but the meat we can still find we are going to recall.”
Esther Filon of the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority told AP in a telephone interview, "If meat has an unclear source then the law – the general food law – says it is no longer fit for human or animal food."
Following the recent discovery of horsemeat in beef products all over Europe, the Netherlands started investigating its own meat industry in February. Authorities are making it clear that there is no direct risk to human health, but obviously consumer confidence will be shaken yet again by another horsemeat scandal.