Dumeco has been ordered to retrace 78 tonnes of its beef this week following the failure to test one cow for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Some 700kg of meat is thought to have already been consumed in Europe.
"The risk of infection is tiny as the risk-prone parts of the cows had been removed and the chance of a cow being infected is very small at one in 100,000," said a spokeswoman at the Dutch food safety board.
The board ordered the country's biggest meat processing company to recall the batch on Tuesday, despite a large proportion of the meat already having been distributed across Europe.
The majority of the meat sold in Denmark, Germany, France and Italy, is claimed by the board to already have been returned.
However, some 700 kg of the beef sold in the Netherlands could not be traced and is believed to already have been consumed.
"A mistake was made in testing one animal and it was processed by accident. With hindsight we cannot say whether the cow was infected or not," said the spokeswoman.
The board claims there is a minimal risk of infection of the brain-wasting illness, Creuzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), which has killed 130 people in Europe to date.
Dumeco, created in 1995 from an amalgamation of cooperatives and a family company, is owned by Best Agrifund, an investment fund that is part of agricultural group ZLTO.
"We are assessing the impact and will see where we can claim damages," a Dumeco spokesman said.