Germany's agriculture ministry has said it's looking into its first suspected case of horsemeat in a product labeled as beef. EU ministers are due to meet Wednesday to discuss a response to the Europe-wide scandal.
A spokeswoman for Germany's agriculture and consumer protection ministry said authorities were investigating whether a shipment of frozen lasagna contained horsemeat, following a tip-off from EU authorities.
Mareike Enderle told reporters in Berlin that the suspect dishes were believed to have been delivered to at least one trader in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia. She said it was unclear whether the products were taken off the shelves before sale.
Enderle gave no indication of where the horsemeat originated or where the lasagna was manufactured.
Ireland, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, said the talks are designed to promote "an exchange of views and allow for sharing of information between the most affected member states."
The ministers will also look at "whatever steps may be necessary at EU level to comprehensively address this matter."
The talks come a day after France became the second EU nation after Britain to find horsemeat in food falsely labeled as beef.
On Wednesday, French President Francois Hollande warned that the scandal posed a grave threat to the country's frozen food sector. "The president underlines that it is a serious affair in relation to consumer confidence and potentially serious for the consequences for the French sector," government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said.
Companies in France, Luxembourg, Romania, Ireland, Cyprus and the Netherlands have all been linked to the scandal.
ccp/kms (AFP, dpa, AP, Reuters)