As EU ministers prepare to meet to discuss the horse meat scandal, Romania says two slaughterhouses are under investigation in connection to the row – but denies wrongdoing.Romania on Tuesday disclosed the names of two local companies that are under investigation for alleged involvement in the frozen food scandal spreading accross Europe.
But Romanian authorities still insist they sold and labelled the meat correctly – and that the fault lies elsewhere.
Meat processing plants CarmOlimp and Doly Com are the sole Romanian companies which last year exported meat to France but say they did so in compliance with EU regulations, the National Sanitary Autority, ANSVSA, said.
“From all the data we have at the moment, no companies from Romania breached any European rules when exporting horse meat,” ANSVA said in a press release.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta on Monday denied claims that horse meat was fraudulently sold off as beef, from where it entered the frozen food system.
“We want to find out the truth in the case. But Romania should not be used as a convenient scapegoat, as there is no evidence of wrongdoing in the local meat industry,” Ponta said.
This week, the British media caused uproar in the UK when they reported that horse meat was detected in beef food products sold in France and Britain by the food giant, Findus.
In some cases, products sold as frozen lasagne, and supposedly made of beef, were in fact 100 per cent horse meat in terms of their meat content.
Findus said that abbatoirs from Romania were part of the supply chain that had resulted in horse meat being marketed as beef.
Food experts say the consumption of horse meat poses no threat to human health. But many consumers in countries where horse is not considered fit for humans feel angry and deceived.
At the same time the scandal has revealed the complexity of the pan-European chain of meat suppliers and traders, in turn raising questions about quality control.
EU agriculture ministers on 13 February are to meet to deal with the fallout from the scandal.