Yesterday, Ireland’s second-largest meat processor, Silvercrest Foods, recalled 10 million burgers from supermarkets, like Tesco, throughout Ireland and Britain in fear that pieces of beef contain horsemeat, the Huffington Post reports.
The horsemeat does not pose a threat to people’s health, but could damage the beef business, which is central to Ireland’s economy. Also, it’s just the principle of things.
Action was taken after the Food Safety Authority of Ireland found DNA within the beef that contained small traces of horsemeat within more than a third of the patties. In addition, one patty had 29 percent horsemeat.
Ireland is widely known for its DNA testing on foods. “Health authorities stressed Ireland’s policy of occasionally DNA testing food was exceptional, given that most countries don’t bother checking for non-health issues in food at all. They said such testing, if repeated worldwide, would likely find much more widespread mislabeling of meat and fish products and traces of the ‘wrong’ meats in processed foods.”
Well, it’s lucky they tested these cheap burgers. Now, a full investigation is underway, with focus on a powdered beef-protein additive from Spain and the Netherlands, which contributes in the making and distribution of cheap burgers. This meat usually is between 60 and 70 percent actual meat.
With the current investigation, the names of each meat supplier have yet to be released.
This sort of story shouldn’t come as a shock, since it’s known that meat processing plants and slaughterhouses handle all kinds of meat and cross-contamination is very common. It also brings up the issue that consumers have the right to know what they are putting into their bodies.
“Consumers have a right to know exactly what is in their food, even though in this case there’s nothing dangerous about horsemeat. An unintended consequence is that it’s done serious damage to Ireland’s food market abroad,” Patrick Wall, former chairman of the Food Safety Authority, said.
While we in the United States are not used to consuming horsemeat, it is consider a delicacy in Europe, but does that still make this meat issue copasetic?
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