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French firm accused of selling horse has ban partially lifted


France

French firm accused of selling horse has ban partially lifted

Spanghero, the French meat company accused by the French government of knowingly selling horsemeat, has had the ban on its licence partially lifted.

Union leaders met with government officials who now say minced meat, sausages and ready meals can be produced, but the ban still applies to frozen meat.

Restrictions were put in place last week, with French Consumer Affairs Minister Benoit Hamon saying the company could not have failed to notice the imported horsemeat was cheaper than beef.

Around 300 jobs would be at risk if Spanghero closed down.

An employee described how he felt during the ban and his sense of relief now.

“It’s been impossible to sleep. I’m extremely tired but now I’m so happy to be coming back to my job,” he told reporters outside the factory.

Another employee said he is glad jobs have been saved, but is worried about whether the company will still have as many customers and or whether people will trust the quality of the meat.

Frozen meat can be sold after Spanghero’s entire stock is checked.

A full report is expected by the end of the week.

The company maintains that it has never knowingly sold horsemeat as beef and that it was conned by middle men.

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