Is Aldi Ground Beef Horse Meat

Findus, a food producer in Sweden, is just one of many businesses that Comigel supplies. Other companies include Aldi, which has removed some products from its shelves in Britain, and Axfood, Coop, and ICA, which have recalled certain meat products in Sweden. Auchan, Casino, Carrefour, Cora, Picard, and Monoprix, six significant French retailers, announced that they were recalling lasagna and other products. The company that manages Findus in the Nordic area, Findus Nordic, announced that it has started a lawsuit against Comigel and its subsuppliers. The Findus British division stated that it is also thinking about suing suppliers. According to the company, preliminary findings from an internal investigation “strongly suggest” that a beef lasagna product contaminated with horse meat “was not accidental.” “We are only at the beginning of our legal process. I imagine Comigel will find itself embroiled in numerous legal proceedings in the future,” Findus Nordic CEO Jari Latvanen remarked. “Comigel is the villain. CEO of Comigel Erick Lehagre claimed to Agence France-Presse that a French supplier had “fooled” his company. “We were victims,” he said, according to AFP.

Aldi stated that after tests on today’s Special frozen beef lasagna and today’s Special frozen spaghetti bolognese, they found that they contained between 2030% and 20100% horse meat. They also said that it felt angry and let down 22 percent of its French supplier, Cigel. Comigel has placed the blame on its suppliers for the tainted Findus beef lasagnes. Erick Lehagre stated that although Spanghero, the company he thought his company was purchasing French beef from, later informed him that the beef originated in Romania. According to an Aldi spokesperson, random tests revealed that the products they had withdrawn contained horse meat ranging from 2003% to 20100%. “Like other impacted companies, we find this to be totally unacceptable and feel frustrated and deceived by our supplier.” Our customers expect beef if the label states that it is beef. Suppliers understand fully that we expect them to adhere to our strict requirements and that noncompliance will not be tolerated,” he stated.

Origins: Aldi is a German-based global discount supermarket chain that operates about 8,000 stores worldwide, primarily in Europe, Australia, and the United States. It was the subject of a minor scandal that broke in February 2013 when Aldi stores in the United Kingdom withdrew some frozen ready-to-eat food products from sale after the discovery that they actually contained horsemeat rather than the 100% beef indicated on their labeling. However, this problem was not unique to Aldi: other food vendors in Sweden and France were also caught up in the issue, which stemmed from their unknowingly receiving horsemeat-tainted products from a supplier (Comigel), who in turn blamed the problem on a subsupplier:

The horse meat scandal first surfaced in Ireland

When meat products from several grocery chains were tested by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) in November 2012, this equine debacle got underway. They found that horse meat was present in one-third of the frozen hamburger samples. Authorities linked these products to the meat supplier ABP Food Group, which has operations in both Ireland and the United Kingdom. As a result, the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) became involved, and the scandal was made public in January 2013.

In the UK and Ireland, shelves containing about 10 million frozen hamburgers were removed from Aldi, Tesco, Lidl, and other supermarkets. Burger King quickly changed suppliers after learning that ABP was also a source of beef. It turned out that ABP wasn’t the original source of the horse meat, despite the fact that it lost about €45 million overall. In the end, Irish authorities concluded that the tainted meat came from Poland, though they were never able to pinpoint the precise source.

Things got worse after the frozen burger scandal prompted widespread testing of beef products in UK supermarkets. In February 2013, it was discovered that lasagna and bolognese dishes distributed by Tesco and Aldi under the frozen food label Findus contained horse meat. However, since those goods weren’t obtained through ABP, a second network of fraudulent horse meat transactions was discovered, seemingly unrelated to the first. You won’t believe how blatant the criminals’ crimes were when they were caught this time.

Manufacturers fight over who’s to blame

After horse meat mislabeled as beef was unknowingly sold in Aldi, food producer Findus immediately pointed fingers at Comigel, its supplier. In an interview with CNN, the company branded Comigel as a “villain” and announced its plans to take legal action. Findus strongly believed the supplier was aware of its products horse content. However, an investigation by the Department of Agriculture found this was not the case, and the mix-up happened due to cost-cutting strategies followed by suppliers. Additionally, Comigel CEO Erick Lehagre told Agence France-Presse that they were victims, as well. Findus and Comigel have since cut ties.

The European food industry had increasingly become reliant on various suppliers, processors, and distributors, often operating across international borders to capitalize on cost efficiencies. However, the complexity of these supply chains made them susceptible to fraudulent activities. As investigations unfolded, it became evident that the adulteration of so-called “beef” products made with horse meat was not a localized issue but a widespread problem. The contamination was attributed to a complex network of intermediaries, processors, and suppliers that obscured the origin of the meat and enabled fraudulent practices to go unnoticed, as The Guardian reported.

The controversy raised public outcry, which prompted more scrutiny and calls for regulatory changes. In response, the European Union strengthened labeling regulations and introduced initiatives to improve authenticity and traceability throughout the food supply chain. These adjustments were made in an effort to restore customer trust and stop future occurrences of this kind.