Burgers containing horse meat could have been made from "diseased or injured animals", according to environmental health experts.
Health concerns have been raised by the Society of Chief Officers of Environmental Health in Scotland (SOCOEHS) over the safety of beefburgers which have been found to contain horse meat.
The chief of the SOCOEHS said "there is no way of telling whether the meat is safe" because these burgers have bypassed official inspection.
John Sleith, chairman of the organisation, said: "We note that statements are being made that it is not a health issue, but our concern is that there is no information on how the horse meat came to be in the burgers and so there is no way of telling whether the meat is safe to eat, it could be from diseased or injured animals, for example.
Mr Sleith also said that this scandal was an example of "food fraud" which is becoming an increasing problem. He said: "Recently, for example, there have been cases of cheap beef being sold as more expensive lamb in curries."
"We would urge the public, or indeed food workers, to contact their local Environmental Health office if they suspect anything unusual in their food or drinks products," Mr Sleith said.
Supermarket giant Tesco has placed full-page adverts in a number of national newspapers apologising to customers for selling beefburgers containing horse meat. The apology came as a reported £300 million was wiped off Tesco's stock market value.
Aldi, Lidl and Iceland have also withdrawn frozen beefburgers from their shelves after they were found to be contaminated with horse meat. Sainsbury's, Asda and the Co-op later withdrew some frozen products but stressed that the move was "purely precautionary".
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said it would consider taking legal action against companies at the centre of the scandal and a food company has vowed to adopt strict DNA testing of its products to prevent a repeat.
The ABP Food Group, one of Europe's biggest suppliers and processors, is being investigated by health and agriculture authorities in the UK and Ireland. Two of its subsidiaries, Silvercrest Foods in Ireland and Dalepak Hambleton in Yorkshire, supplied beefburgers with traces of equine DNA.