Swedish officials were meeting Monday with executives from the biggest supermarket chains to get an overview of how widespread the fraud is, while in Paris top French government officials and meat producers were gathering to get a handle on the crisis, which has snared a French food processing company, Comigel.
The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority also said Monday it was launching an investigation into the horsemeat scandal. Later, Dutch supermarket chain Plus announced it was removing frozen Primafrost lasagnas from its shelves as a precaution.
In Oslo, Findus said it was recalling lasagna from stores in Norway although it had found no evidence that they contained anything but the declared ingredients. A company statement said that none of its products had been produced by Comigel after Aug. 1, 2012 -- the date after which batches of processed food contained horsemeat.
Re-tracing the path of the mislabeled meat will take time. Processed foods, unlike fresh, do not need to be labeled by their countries of origin in Europe. And typical frozen meals like the ones being pulled from supermarket shelves across Europe can have more than a dozen ingredients from all over.
French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll said the results of the French investigation into the horsemeat fraud would be released Wednesday.
No one has reported health risks from the mislabeled meat. But clearly some company in the food chain benefited from selling the much cheaper horsemeat as beef.
"There are people who are out there to defraud, who are looking to cheat," Le Foll told RTL radio.
Sorin Minea, who heads Romania's main food producers' association, claimed Monday in an interview that international gangs had perpetrated the fraud. "There is an international ring that does this<t40>...<t$> the documents [relating to the meat] are changed abroad," he said.
An expert would know the difference between horsemeat and beef and would be unlikely to mislabel it by accident.
"If the buyer is suspicious they have to check it at the source," he said.
Michel Barnier, a former French agricultural minister who now works at the European Union level, said it was not an issue of food safety but of justice.
"Consumers have the right to the truth, quality, and transparence. We have to do more in tracking," he told Europe 1 radio.
Findus Sweden plans to sue France's Comigel for breach of contract and fraud, said Findus Nordic CEO Jari Latvanen.
He said the company's deal with Comigel stipulates that the beef in the frozen lasagna should come from Germany, France or Austria, but that has not been the case.
Associated Press writer Lori Hinnant in Paris, Mike Corder in the Hague, Netherlands and Karl Ritter in Stockholm contributed to this report.