Food safety inspectors have frozen the operations of four veal and one beef farm after finding traces of illegal antibiotics in animal feed.
All livestock on the five farms is being tested and those which are found to have the antibiotic in their blood will be killed and the meat destroyed. The feed containing the drug was sold by one of the farms to the others, according to the food safety body statement.
Meat from the farms is now being traced. Some 45,000 kilos was sold in the Netherlands but consignments also went to Belgium, Germany, Spain and Italy where the authorities have been informed, the food safety body said.
Officials say there is no danger to human health and the meat is not being recalled. However, the meat which is in circulation should be withdrawn from sale as a precaution.
The European authorities have been informed about the find and the farms will now have to return some of subsidies they received from Brussels.
The food safety body will also fine the farms. It says they are responsible for the quality of livestock feed and can be fined even if they did not know it contained antibiotics.