Pure horsemeat imported from Hungary was sold to British shoppers as ‘diced beef’, officials have confirmed.

Nearly half the meat had already been sold to the public before its true provenance was discovered.

The Food Standards Agency said that 100kg (220lb) of horsemeat was imported by Hungarian Food Ltd in Preston, Lancashire, and sold on its market stall in town and a shop in Liverpool.

Handout image shows an employee working at the meat processing line of Doly-Com meat plant in Roma village

On sale: Hungarian Food Ltd has been found to be selling horsemeat falsely labelled as diced beef at its market stall in Preston, Lancashire (stock image)

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On sale: Hungarian Food Ltd has been found to be selling horsemeat falsely labelled as diced beef at its market stall in Preston, Lancashire (stock image)

burgers at  tesco kensington PICTURE JEREMY SELWYN 16/01/2013

Beginning of a national scandal: Tesco Everyday Value beefburgers were one of the first products removed from shelves removed after it was discovered they contained horse meat

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