French prosecutors are investigating how horse meat was sold as beef, the country's consumer affairs minister said Thursday.
The announcement comes as UK inspectors said that horse carcasses contaminated with an equine painkiller harmful to humans may have entered the food chain in France.
A number of meat plants that handled the horse meat as it made its way through the food chain are facing questions about what they knew and whether fraud was involved.
Spanghero was the first company to label the meat as beef, the minister said, adding that 750 tons of horse meat were involved over a period of at least six months.
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