The Asda chain said late Monday that its Smart Price Corned Beef had been withdrawn from shelves in March after it was found to contain traces of horse meat, and that further tests showed that the banned drug, also known as bute, had been detected in very small doses.
"Asda is recalling this product and anyone who has Asda Smart Price Corned Beef should not eat it," said a statement on the company Web site, which added that the risk to health was extremely low. Consumers were asked to return the product to stores.
The announcement marked a new development in the scandal over horse meat in beef products. Until Monday, there had been no suggestion that any item sold in Britain posed a health risk. Eight horses slaughtered in Britain for human consumption tested positive for bute and although some of that meat was exported to France, none of it was used in British food, according to the authorities.
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