Early this year, Aldi confirmed that the meat products it had withdrawn from the meat counter contained up to a hundred percent horsemeat. Some companies have claimed that the problem originate from overseas. For instance, two cases of frozen lasagna from Findus and burgers from Tesco were imported from France and Ireland . Though the beef products containing horsemeat were arguably safe; consumers were urged to return them to retailers. This issue is considered as fraud and not a food safety issue.
Aldi said that it was angered by Comigel, its French supplier. This is the same supplier that was linked to tainted lasagnas in Findus. According to Aldi’s spokesperson, random tests indicated that the withdrawn products comprised of horsemeat in percentages that ranged from 30 to 100. The company felt angry because it made it appear that Aldi was cheating its customers. If beef is indicated on the label, customers expect the product to contain beef. Suppliers should adhere to the retailers’ stringent specifications. Aldi further said that it would conduct tests for phenylbutazone, a veterinary drug. Aldi, however, is confident and sure that the products sold to customers were safe.
Some companies acknowledged that they started conducting tests on their own products as soon as cases were reported in mid-January in Ireland. The presence of significant horsemeat amounts in lasagna and burgers is a reflection of deliberate contamination or gross negligence in the food chain. The priority of any food product supplier or seller should be to protect its consumers. This entails protecting them from fraud and ensuring the safety of food products.