Vegetarian pies 'laced with meat'

Carnivorous saboteurs may have been responsible for putting meat in a range of vegetarian pies endorsed by Linda McCartney, the wife of the former Beatle, Paul, writes Steve Boggan.

Mrs McCartney, who lends her name to Ross Young's Deep Country Pies, last night said she was 'horrified' that several were laced with meat, causing the recall of 62 cases - more than 700 pies - yesterday. The contamination came to light last week when nine shoppers reported biting into the vegetarian protein pies and finding that they were more free meat than meat-free.

Mrs McCartney, 51, one of the country's most high-profile vegetarians, said: 'Obviously there could simply have been a mistake in the packing - or it could be something more sinister. If I ever needed proof that I am doing the right thing with promoting vegetarianism then this is it - someone must be sufficiently worried to have gone to these lengths.'

Geoff Plaskitt, of Ross Young's, said the pies were made on the same production line in Hull as the company's steak and kidney pies, but the products were never produced together. 'An urgent investigation has been launched,' he said. Mrs McCartney endorses 12 vegetarian products with an annual turnover of pounds 12m.