RIYADH: ABDULLAH ALBESALA ARAB NEWS/AL-EQTISADIAH
Published — Friday 22 February 2013
Last update 22 February 2013 1:34 am
The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has confirmed that products containing horsemeat produced by Nestlé, the global food company, was not supplied to Saudi Arabia.
An official SFDA source said the Kingdom was not supplied with Nestlé's pasta and pastry products containing horsemeat. These products have been found in other Arab countries.
The source said that Nestlé informed the SFDA that these products were not sent to Saudi Arabia. This official confirmation came after the SFDA investigated Nestlé's products on local supermarket shelves.
"Nestlé assured us that there are no products proven to contain horsemeat on the Saudi market. The shipments of these products went to other countries, not Saudi Arabia," the SFDA source was quoted as saying yesterday in Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper.
"We have worked with the parent company and the agent in Saudi Arabia to identify the products on the Saudi market that have been proven to contain a proportion of horsemeat. If we had found such products, the company and the agent would have been obligated to withdraw these products from the market."
The source stressed there was no proof so far of any imported products containing horsemeat in Saudi Arabia that arrived via the ports. He said SFDA tests conducted over the last few days on product samples at the country's ports, and from local shops and supermarkets, have found no traces of horsemeat. He added that the SFDA has now compiled a list of companies and products involved in the scandal. This is to prevent these products from entering the country. The horsemeat scandal erupted in Europe last month. Nestlé, one of the world's largest food companies, withdrew spaghetti meals with meat from stores in Italy and Spain after discovering horsemeat in them.
The Swiss company initially said last week that their products were not affected by the growing scandal, but after a series of tests, traces of horse DNA were discovered in one percent of its products.
Meanwhile, the Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority (CAFIA) announced that it found some frozen products containing horsemeat, which were labeled as cow meat. CAFIA said that DNA tests showed that two batches of lasagna meals with minced meat, made by frozen food processor Tavola S. A. Comigel and sold at a Tesco store in the western city of Plzen, contained horsemeat.
Tesco was ordered to recall the products, according to reports.