Nestle says horsemeat scandal bad for whole industry

VEVEY, Switzerland Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:14am EST

VEVEY, Switzerland Feb 14 (Reuters) - Nestle SA said a growing scandal in Europe about the use of horsemeat in products labelled as beef hurts the whole industry even though the world's biggest food company is not directly affectd.

"It has affected us because the whole industry is in question again," Chief Executive Paul Bulcke told a news conference after Nestle published 2012 results. "This is bad for so many people working hard to give good food."

The British unit of frozen foods group Findus began recalling its beef lasagne last week on advice from French supplier Comigel, sparking questions about the safety of the European food supply chain.

Nestle, which sold the rights to the Findus brand in most of Europe in 2000 but retained them in Switzerland, launched a campaign this week to reassure consumers that Swiss Findus products were only made from Swiss beef.

"Everything under our labels is not affected," Bulcke said, adding that Nestle had intensified checks on its suppliers in the wake of the scandal.

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