Horsemeat: Romanian Abattoirs 'Not To Blame'

Robert Nisbet, Europe Correspondent, in Romania

Sky News has uncovered the paper trail which appears to exonerate the two Romanian abattoirs at the centre of the horsemeat scandal.

An invoice released by the CarmOlimp slaughterhouse in Brasov shows that the consignment of horsemeat, which eventually found its way to the ready meal factory in Luxembourg, was clearly and correctly labelled.

It bears the words "Carne Cal Integral", which means "whole horsemeat" in Romanian.

That would back up the results of a preliminary investigation by the government in Bucharest which said the accusations of wrongdoing in the eastern European country were incorrect.

The abattoir's spokeswoman Loredana Albu told us: "The horsemeat was labelled and shipped as horsemeat and also the amount was very small.

"We are talking about whole pieces of horsemeat in frozen packages of 25-30 kilos, so it wasn't minced," she said.

She also showed Sky News an email from the Dutch agent who bought the refrigerated meat, acknowledging delivery of the consignment.

The other slaughterhouse, DoliCom, has also released a complete paper record, stating it exported frozen horsemeat to a Dutch agent and never pretended it was beef.

The managing director has told Sky News the consignment was sealed for its entire transit and tracked using GPS technology.

Iulian Cazacut said his company and Romania has been unfairly besmirched.

"I'm very worried because somewhere on the road, before the lasagnes and the hamburgers were made, someone probably made a deliberate mistake," he said.

"Because of that everyone's attention is on us right now (but) we aim to be as transparent as possible to the Romanian authorities and the European Community."

On Wednesday, the EU health commissioner will meet European ministers caught up in the tangled meat chain.

The Romanian abattoirs believe these documents put them in the clear.