On February 18, Nestlé, the world's biggest food company, went public with the news that it was to recall several of its products on account of their containing horse meat.
Despite the decision to pull these dishes off supermarkets and store shelves, the company wished to make it quite clear that initiating this recall must not in any way be linked to food safety issues.
Quite the contrary: the company merely wished not to fail to meet its customers' expectations concerning the food that Nestlé manufactured and marketed.
As explained on the company's official website, “There is no food safety issue, but the mislabeling of products means they fail to meet the very high standards consumers expect from us.”
The dishes listed under this recall are Buitoni Beef Ravioli and Beef Tortellini, both of which are made available for purchase in Italy and in Spain.
Besides these beef pasta meals, the company is to recall their Lasagnes à la Bolognaise Gourmandes.
All of these products are to be replaced with ones made entirely out of beef, the company wished to reassure the general public.
“Assuring the quality and safety of our products has always been a top priority for Nestlé. We want to apologise to consumers and reassure them that the actions being taken to deal with this issue will result in higher standards and enhanced traceability,” Nestlé argued.
Apparently, said dishes ended up containing horse meat in addition to beef because of one of the company's suppliers in Germany, i.e. H.J. Schypke, subcontractor of JBS Toledp N.V.
Thus, information made available to the general public by Nestlé says that, “Our tests have found traces of horse DNA in two products made from beef supplied by H.J. Schypke. The levels found are above the one percent threshold the UK's Food Safety Agency uses to indicate likely adulteration or gross negligence.”
“We have informed the authorities accordingly,” the company reassured their customers.