REFILE-Nestle withdraws beef products after horse DNA found-FT

Mon Feb 18, 2013 7:14pm EST

LONDON Feb 18 (Reuters) - Nestle, the world's biggest food company, removed beef pasta meals from shelves in Italy and Spain on Monday after tests revealed traces of horse DNA above 1 percent, the Financial Times online reported, citing a company statement.

Swiss-based Nestle, which just last week said products under its labels were not affected by the escalating horsemeat scandal, said it had informed the authorities, the FT reported.

Nestle was not immediately available for comment.

The discovery of horsemeat in products labelled as beef began in Ireland last month and has rapidly spread across Europe, resulting in several product withdrawals and government investigations into the long and complex food-processing chains that criss-cross the continent.

Nestle withdrew two chilled pasta products, Buitoni Beef Ravioli and Beef Tortellini, in Italy and Spain, the FT said. Lasagnes à la Bolognaise Gourmandes, a frozen product for catering businesses produced in France, will also be withdrawn.

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