What’s the beef, Mr. Ed?

By 17. January 2013Blog, Nutrition, Quality

Worryingly yes, with a bit of piglet in there too. That was the grim news in a statement published by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) on the 15th January.

The study, looking at the authenticity of beef burgers and beef containing products on sale in Ireland found that products also contained horse and pig DNA. In most of the products the levels were low, but one burger on sale in Tesco contained 29% horse meat compared to the beef content.

Professor Alan Reilly, Chief Executive of FSAI was quoted as saying “Whilst, there is a plausible explanation for the presence of pig DNA in these products due to the fact that meat from different animals is processed in the same meat plants, there is no clear explanation at this time for the presence of horse DNA in products emanating from meat plants that do not use horsemeat in their production process.  In Ireland, it is not in our culture to eat horsemeat and therefore, we do not expect to find it in a burger.  Likewise, for some religious groups or people who abstain from eating pig meat, the presence of traces of pig DNA is unacceptable.  We are working with the meat processing plants and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and the Marine to find out how horse DNA could have found its way into these products.”

All offending products have been removed from sale by the supermarkets, and Tesco has issued full page apologies in the UK newspapers.

Read the press release on the FSAI website.