Results of tests for horse meat in the European Union revealed that less than 5% of the tested products contained horse DNA and approximately 0.5% of the horse carcasses tested were contaminated with phenylbutazone.
Across the EU, 4144 tests were conducted under the equine DNA program; of that number 193 were positive. Additionally, there were 7951 tests for equine DNA carried out by food business operators across the EU, of which 110 were positive. The European Commission reported that the EU program for phenylbutazone testing found 16 positives from 3115 tests.
France had the most positive tests for illegal horse meat labeled as beef than any other EU Member State. The official DNA tests showed that of 353 tests conducted in France, 47 tested positive for horse DNA, a rate of 13%. In Greece, 288 samples were tested with 36 positive results, a rate of 12.5%.
In February French authorities accused Spanghero, a French meat processor, of knowingly mislabelling horse meat as beef and selling it to large distributors in frozen meals. French authorities temporarily suspended Spanghero's operations in February before allowing the company to resume production of ground meat, sausage and other products.
However, Spanghero's frozen meat storage operations remained closed. The company has denied the allegations of wrongdoing.
Germany carried out tests on 878 samples, and 29 returned positive results, a rate of 3.3%. Ireland, where the horse meat scandal first broke, returned no positive results for horse meat.
Source: The European Commission