by Christopher Freeburn | March 1, 2013 12:06 pm
The horse meat scandal in Britain is spreading.
Regulators revealed on Friday that DNA testing had discovered horse meat in menu items found at Yum! Brands (NYSE:YUM) Taco Bell locations in the United Kingdom, marking the first time tainted beef had been found in restaurants, Reuters noted.
Taco Bell said that the horse meat was detected in “batches of ground beef” from a European supplier and that the affected meat had been removed from its restaurants. The company noted that it was communicating with the U.K.’s Food Safety Agency.
More than 1,797 DNA tests have been run on food products over the last week. All but four of those tests did not find horse meat. Frozen foods from Birds Eye and food products from Brakes were found to also contain horse meat.
Yum! Brands is attempting to restore Chinese consumer confidence in its KFC brand after state television in China revealed that some of its poultry suppliers were improperly using drugs to boost chicken growth.
In January, Burger King (NYSE:BKW) dropped an Ireland-based beef supplier after horse meat was discovered in products its supplied to supermarkets in Ireland and the U.K.
Last month, Nestlé (PINK:NSRGY) pulled beef pasta meals from from European stores after tests found horse meat in the products.
Shares of Yum! Brands dipped fractionally in Friday morning trading.
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