UK food regulator finds 29 positive horsemeat tests

Britain's food regulator said it had found 29 positive tests for horsemeat after demanding samples from UK retailers engulfed in a contamination scandal that is spreading across Europe.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) on Friday said it had conducted 2,501 tests, 2,472 of which had come back negative for horsemeat levels above 1 percent, with 29 results testing positive for horsemeat levels above 1 percent.

It said all products that tested positive had already been announced and appropriate steps taken.

The FSA said it had asked the industry to test for horse down to a level of 1 percent as some laboratories can only test accurately to that level, and that it believed any level above that was not going to be accidental.

The FSA, which said that the majority of these results had been sent to them Friday morning, added that over 900 tests were still in progress and that the issue was "fast evolving".

The scandal, which has triggered product recalls and damaged confidence in Europe's vast and complex food industry, erupted last month when tests carried out in Ireland revealed that some beef products also contained horsemeat.

(Reporting by Neil Maidment and Costas Pitas; editing by James Davey)