A catering giant that supplies food to schools, care homes and the armed forces has withdrawn beef from its UK sites after a frozen product tested positive for horse DNA.
Sodexo, which provides services at 2,300 outlets according to its website, said the situation was "totally unacceptable" and the products were being recalled "with immediate effect". Sodexo said its Tillery Valley Foods business, which supplies meals to the healthcare sector, was not affected.
It is the latest company to announce that its products have tested positive for equine DNA. Earlier yesterday, Birds Eye said it was withdrawing three beef ready meals from sale in the UK and Ireland. The move follows tests that found 2% of horse DNA in a chilli con carne dish sold by Birds Eye in Belgium.
Birds Eye's spaghetti bolognese, shepherd's pie and lasagne are made by the same Belgian manufacturer, Frigilunch NV, and are being withdrawn "as a precautionary measure".
The Food Standards Agency said tests showed that out of 1,133 meat products checked, only six – including Sodexo's – contained horsemeat.