UPDATE 1-Sodexo says found horse meat in UK beef products

Fri Feb 22, 2013 11:55am EST

* Sodexo says found horse meat in Britain

* Says has not any found horse meat in other countries

PARIS Feb 22 (Reuters) - French catering and vouchers group Sodexo on Friday said it was withdrawing all frozen beef products from the market in Britain after finding horse meat in some of its products.

"Despite repeated guarantees from our suppliers, our sampling has identified a frozen beef product which tested positive for equine DNA," Sodexo said in a statement.

"This situation is totally unacceptable."

The French company, which operates in 80 countries and provides catering services to businesses, hospitals and schools, said it had implemented an internal sampling programme and notified the FSA of its findings.

It added that the withdrawal would not affect its healthcare catering operations in the UK.

"No trace of horse DNA has been found in other countries but we remain vigilant," a Sodexo spokeswoman said, declining to give details on the financial impact the move was likely to have for the company.

Horse meat has been found in beef products across Europe in recent weeks since it was first discovered in Irish beef burgers, damaging confidence in the continent's food industry.

The scandal has triggered recalls of mislabeled products from major retailers such as Ldl and Tesco as well as suppliers such as Findus, Picard and Nestle.