World leading food giant Nestle has withdrawn its beef pasta products from sale in Italy after finding traces of horsemeat, local media reported on Tuesday.
Nestle said that its tests had found more than one percent horse DNA in Buitoni Beef Ravioli and Beef Tortellini, which were removed from Italian supermarket shelves. Other products were reportedly withdrawn in Spain and France.
"We have informed the authorities accordingly," the Swiss-based company was quoted as saying in a statement by Italian ANSA news agency.
The company apologized to consumers while assuring that action was being taken to deal with the issue and will result "in higher standards and enhanced traceability."
Nestle, which last week said that its products were unaffected by a widening horsemeat scandal in Europe, suspended deliveries of all products made using beef from a German subcontractor to one of its suppliers.
The horsemeat scandal surfaced in mid-January when Irish food inspectors detected horsemeat in frozen beef burgers made by firms in Ireland and Britain and sold in supermarket chains including Tesco, Britain's top retailer.
The scandal has since spread across Europe, stoking consumer anger and government investigations, which led supermarket chains to remove millions of products from the shelves
Governments have stressed that horsemeat poses little or no health risk, but some carcasses have been discovered to be tainted with a painkiller which was banned for human consumption.