GERMAN officials have announced the first suspected case of horse meat mislabelled as beef having been delivered to the country.
It comes amid a widening scandal in Europe.
Germany was alerted via a European quick warning system late on Tuesday of suspicions that mislabelled processed lasagne was, or could have been, brought into the country, a consumer protection ministry spokeswoman said.
It was delivered to at least one trader in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), where authorities are checking whether the product has been withdrawn from the market, she said.
"It also has to be checked whether in the products there actually is or was undeclared horse meat," she told a regular government news conference.
Officials in NRW state said an examination of documents had indicated that products had been delivered via a distributor in Luxembourg "which are suspected of horse meat labelling breaches".
They said in a written statement that they believed deliveries had taken place between November and January.
However as a precautionary measure, the German supermarket chain Kaiser's Tengelmann has taken its own branded frozen lasagne off the shelves.
European Union farm ministers are due to hold crisis talks in Brussels later to agree a response after France became the second EU nation following Britain to find horse meat posing as beef in frozen food.
Meanwhile, ready meals by frozen food giant Findus thought to contain horse meat instead of beef have been pulled from supermarket shelves in Norway, the country's food safety authorities say.
"Frozen products that may contain horse meat have been exported to Norway," the body said in a statement, adding that "all the major supermarket chains and Findus have confirmed to the food authority that they have withdrawn the products and they are no longer on the shelves in Norway."
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority said it did not plan to carry out any DNA tests on the products to verify the type of meat they contained.
But it left the door open to further action, saying "DNA tests could possibly be used in case of suspicion of fraud", without saying who would carry out the tests.
Horse meat is rarely consumed in Norway. Only some 1500 to 1600 horses are slaughtered for human consumption in the country per year, and only after strict health checks, the food safety body said.
The horse meat scandal erupted last month when the meat was found in ready meals labelled as beef products in Ireland.
Last week horse meat was found in frozen beef lasagne in Britain.