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Meat Scandal


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I remember when horse meat was a brief fad here in the US back in the 1970's. I was living in Tucson at the time and there was a butcher shop dealing exclusively in horse meat which I think was located on Speedway. Horse meat was touted as healthier than beef--leaner, lower in cholesterol, etc. My wife and I tried several cuts and of course ground horse meat, which if i remember correctly, we thought was the best of show. IMHO it was not as good as beef. The horse meat shop lasted maybe six months and vanished.

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I remember when horse meat was a brief fad here in the US back in the 1970's. I was living in Tucson at the time and there was a butcher shop dealing exclusively in horse meat.

There's nothing actually wrong with properly reared and butchered horse meat. It is served in various parts of main land Europe. It is a cheaper, leaner, sweeter version of beef that personally I think is ok but would not order it over beef (or various other meat). The issue is that people were being palmed off with something they thought was beef and was not.

The price of these prcoessed meals have become so low that corners were being cut / supply chains being put under pressure and taste did not matter.

Andrew

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And they're going to court now. Authorities temporarily shut down the producer, but apparently this is only possible when the quality is questionable. Samples are being tested, but in the meantime the discussion about not delivering what's agreed on will be taken to court.

Media have been adamant that the quality supposedly always has been good, even when it isn't the 100% beef as promised.

The steak restaurant mentioned in my 1st post in this topic doesn't have an available table anymore. They admit to have known it was horse, but advertising it as biefstuk (beef steak) on their menu was purely for marketing reasons. This has been going on since 1949, including staff contracts to not ever disclose the 'beef' steaks real origin. To his defence, the owner did say he always told the truth when people asked where the meat came from. South - America! Honestly no one has
ever asked if the beef steak was really beef, he said. (Have you ever asked your waiter if your beef really said moo a few weeks ago?) And now his business is flourishing.

Food for thought I guess...

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More than just bute can show up in horse meat. Stuff like wormers, etc., which I would think would have a worse impact on a human than bute, which is basically aspirin for horses. Wormers come with labeling that indicates they aren't to be used on horses being raised for food.

Born Free, Now Expensive

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Here in The Netherlands horse meat seems to have gained a lot of popularity due to this scandal. As already mentioned the restaurant being famous for its great steaks (Turned out to be horse, which they happened to sell for over 50 years), is busier than ever. I saw a national supermarket chain had a full page advertisement full of horse meat this weekend and even michelin restaurants are starting to put horse on their menus.

Apart from a horse sausage, which is very famous over here, I have never eaten any horse but can't wait to try a nice sized horse steak.

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  • 1 month later...

Haven't had chance to watch this yesterday, but the tabloids were reporting that "unknown" meat DNA was found in curries bought in London. By unkown, they mean not beef, pork, lamb, goat, horse or chicken.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01rlxmt/Horsemeat_Banquet/

http://www.thecriticalcouple.co.uk

Latest blog post - Oh my - someone needs a spell checker

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Haven't had chance to watch this yesterday, but the tabloids were reporting that "unknown" meat DNA was found in curries bought in London. By unkown, they mean not beef, pork, lamb, goat, horse or chicken.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01rlxmt/Horsemeat_Banquet/

As a biochemist and molecular biologist, I have some problems with understanding how one finds DNA of unknown origin with methods used in food-testing. Generally, one is only prone to find what one looks for.

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I guess they compared the meat to the normal DNA patterns of the common meats, but it didn't match. Actually, you may find it was rabbit. But having said that, I believe rabbit DNA is very similar to cat.....

In the old days they used PCR based RFLP, these days it's mainly standard PCR for specific sequence patterns. With those methods you only find what you test for. Something must be very closely related to give a hit, but be slightly different from what's expected. Horse and zebra might give something slightly unexpected etc.

Cat and rabbit would definitely be sufficiently different to detect with these assays.

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I also have had some training in molecular biology. I am not sure if the average eG'er would know what a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) is without you explaining it in more simple terms :)

There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw
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There is no "average" eGer. With only one or two exceptions we are above average!

My worry about this whole horse meat thing is that horse meat contamination is detectable, BSE infected meat probably isn't. If a horse can get in with the cow meat, how much easier would it be for a squirrely BSE cow to be snuck in?

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More than just bute can show up in horse meat. Stuff like wormers, etc., which I would think would have a worse impact on a human than bute, which is basically aspirin for horses. Wormers come with labeling that indicates they aren't to be used on horses being raised for food.

My reading tells me the wormers used in horses are the same as those used in pigs raised for slaughter. Clearly, we aren't meant to chug any veterinary grade wormers wholesale from the bottle. However, the wormer has been ingested by the animal and passed through the gut with the dead worms long before slaughter. Any vestigial wormer in the flesh is harmless.

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