10 Million Burgers Recalled for Being Contaminated With Horse Meat

Horrifying 6

horseI've been craving hamburgers lately. Well, actually, I was craving hamburgers. And then I read this: 10 million burgers with horse meat recalled. Oh Mr. Ed! I know horse meat isn't poisonous. It poses no special health hazard. But I just don't like the idea of horse meat sneaking up on me like that -- in my burger. I'm not quite ready for that food adventure.

So there's always the haunting question: how did this happen? Beef can get contaminated by bacteria because it's teeny-tiny. But horses are huge. You would kind of notice if a horse wandered into the beef processing plant, wouldn't you?

You will probably be relieved to hear that this all went down in Ireland and Britain. I mean, I'm sorry for the people in the U.K. who may have bought the burgers -- but yeah, no need to run to the kitchen and see if you've got horse burgers. You don't. Most likely.

Apparently Ireland's Food Safety Authority does DNA testing, and they found horse DNA in over a third of the hamburger patties they tested that came from Silvercrest Foods. Worse, one out of every 27 patties was made up of 29 percent horse meat! So now authorities suspect fraud.

Trace amounts of horse meat would be understandable (I guess?) coming from a plant that deals with meat of different animals. But with this much horse meat in the patties, it does kind of look more suspicious than accidental cross-contamination. Oh man, and I was just reading The Horse and His Boy with my son, so this is so disturbing now. Hey, here's a thought: If this kind of thing can happen in the U.K., I wonder what's going on with our own ground meats?

If you happened to buy hamburger patties with horse meat, do you think you could taste the difference?


Image via Adrian Parnham/Flickr

food safety, recall


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ethan... ethans_momma06

Couldn't taste it, but wouldn't be thrilled since that violates my religious dietary restrictions.

EmmaF... EmmaFromEire

To be honest, the general consensus here in ireland is that were more pissed off about the false advertising- the vast majority of the burgers were advertised as 100% beef, so some the other usual combination- beef and pork. There's been uproar about that.I've no problem eating horse meat, to each his own, but if i'm buying a beef burger, i'd like it to be actual beef.

handy... handy0318

Horse meat isn't poisonous, but I would worry about having it mixed with beef simply because different meats cook at different rates. I honestly don't know if horse meat cooks to a safe rate faster or slower than beef...but one should find out before combing the two. Which is a little hard to do if one doesn't even know of the mix.

jessi... jessicasmom1

I am glad I know where my beef came from 

Nycti... Nyctimene

Handy, horse meat actually is poisonous in many ways because there is no regulation on any horse meat industry and I've never heard of anywhere specifically raising horses to be slaughtered. The majority of horses bought for horse meat are bought from livestock auctions and are former pets and former race or show horses, all of which have (at some point) been given various equestrian drugs that are not safe for human consumption and are still in the meat when eaten. Especially race and show horses which make up a large portion of horses harvested for meat. 

Horse meat is awful for people to eat. Completely chalk full of dangerous chemicals and drugs. 

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