I'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