Horsemeat burgers!!!

(29 Posts)
ppeatfruit Thu 17-Jan-13 09:22:02

Apart from the fact it should 've been on the packs. What's the big deal?

Provided the meat was raised and slaughtered with due regards to all livestock welfare regulations, I agree with you. I think the real problem (apart from the lack of labelling) is that it is untraced.

rubyrubyruby Thu 17-Jan-13 09:25:50

I've neigh idea

ppeatfruit Thu 17-Jan-13 09:30:06

4merly Do you realistically think that ANY cheap meat is welfare sensitive? ruby grin

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 17-Jan-13 09:32:49

What do you mean 'apart from the fact it should have been on the packs'??!!!?? It's a very serious matter to put something in a foodstuff and not declare it on the label. Doesn't matter if the item itself is edible or not. In the case of horsemeat being sold as beef, it's a fundamental misrepresentation... fraud. Imagine a veggie burger that was found to contain ham..... would we say it was no big deal? Ham is perfectly edible?

ivykaty44 Thu 17-Jan-13 09:38:33

If you buy asparagus and find out later the grocer has been conning you and really you are eating brussell sprouts would you not feel a little bit conned at his lies?

If you go to a shop and buy a product then you want it to be the product you have chosen and not a pack of lies.

That is the problem - it is not moral to cheat and lie and the food wasn't clearly labelled.

There was a problem with fish last year where other fish is being sold as cod when it clearly is not cod.

If you are happy to eat meat that you do not know what it is and don't care what it is then you have every right to be told that the meat is of unknown source - but everyone else has the right to know it is of unknown source and it needs to be labelled as such.

ppeatfruit Thu 17-Jan-13 09:40:24

What I meant was what I said. Of course it should've been on the labels but so should the pork they put in them (and don't put on the labels either) and other additives BUT cheap is cheap not good. sad. sorry for being flippant but no one HAS to buy them.

navada Thu 17-Jan-13 09:43:02

I checked my burgers in the fridge & they're off.

Sorry.

ppeatfruit, I quite agree with you about the welfare sensitive issue. If the meat is raised in the EU according to regulations in that country, even if they are not as high as ours, we can not do a thing about it, except refuse to buy it. That is where the impportance of the labelling comes in.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 17-Jan-13 09:55:01

No-one has to buy anything but, as consumers, we are legally entitled to know exactly what we are buying and that it is safe to eat whether we are paying 50p for it or £50. Cheap processed meat is a poor choice for many reasons but there are some very important minimum standards and, somewhere along the line, they have been completely ignored in this case.

ppeatfruit Thu 17-Jan-13 10:10:05

The manuf. haven't the room to put ALL the ingredients on the labels. I was reading about what is put in catfood and apparently the euthanasia drug has been found in MRM which is also in human food like sausages shock.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 17-Jan-13 10:25:58

The manufacturers are legally obliged to fully disclose the contents of the product on the label. All meat slaughtered in the UK that is to be used for food has to be passed fit for human consumption by government inspectors. Even the meat designated as only suitable for animals has to hit certain minimum standards. If you'd spent as many hours in slaughterhouses as I have you'd realise that they do not 'euthanase' anything with drugs. hmm Meat that originates overseas and is destined for UK consumption should adhere to the same standards of hygiene and safety.

That's why the horsemeat in burgers story is so appalling. Because, somewhere along the chain, there have been serious failures in due diligence.

ppeatfruit Thu 17-Jan-13 10:34:20

I can't do links but there was a woman talking about petfoods in which a certain drug had been found i've no idea how it got there maybe from abroad. Do they just knock them out then?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 17-Jan-13 10:37:22

Depending on the animal the stunning/killing is done very quickly with either a bolt or an electric shock and then the animal is bled prior to being butchered. There are no euthanasia drugs involved. When it comes to medicinal drugs there are regulations as long as your arm about which are allowed, not allowed and how much time has to elapse between treatment and slaughter.

ppeatfruit Thu 17-Jan-13 10:45:32

Though for this to have happened as you say there must have been some strange illegal business going on somewhere in the process hmm

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 17-Jan-13 11:01:20

Yes... that's why it's so serious. Someone somewhere in the chain is getting round the rules and contaminated product is making it through to the shelves. However, in the case of the tests for horse/pork/beef DNA, this is a relatively new thing. Up to now the standard tests are for things like hygiene (bacteria counts etc), fat content, temperature, residue (of medication or other substances) levels.

ppeatfruit Thu 17-Jan-13 11:34:07

Yes I heard on the radio yesterday that humans are made of 75% fly DNA or something like!

Good article here BHS

flatpackhamster Thu 17-Jan-13 15:29:59

Funny that the BHS don't seem to have realised that the mince which made the burgers wasn't sourced from the UK. It was a plant, somewhere in Holland or Spain, which produced the mince.

duchesse Thu 17-Jan-13 15:35:25

I seriously doubt the euthanasia drug is found in MRM or any meat products unless they contain cat or dog meat straight from the back of the vets'. hmm Even horses that are being put down for welfare reasons are shot in the head with a bolt gun- it's quite the quickest and most humane way of doing it. And as somebody said below, fodder animals are not euthanised, they are slaughtered.

duchesse Thu 17-Jan-13 15:36:40

This scandal is all about traceability and nothing whatever about eating horse (which incidentally is delicious and very palatable).

ivykaty44 Thu 17-Jan-13 15:40:39

what agency though is it that deals with products being the product that it states on the tin?

As I was under the impression that the food standards agency was there to make sure that the food was fit for consumption not what type of meat

ppeatfruit Thu 17-Jan-13 16:31:58

Would it be the ASA? I don't know otherwise cogitoergo might know.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 17-Jan-13 16:33:10

There are a multitude of agencies involved. At abattoirs you have vets checking animal welfare and the Meat Hygiene Service (merged with the FSA) testing that the meat is fit for human consumption. Then there are internal QC checks for goods in and out and spot checks by retailers and other customers. You're right that, up to now, it's been more about hygiene, due diligence, and 'safety' in general rather than what type of meat it is in the first place. The DNA test was initiated by Irish inspectors (FSAI) ... it's not a standard thing.

I suspect that, in order to get a significant amount of anything into the process that isn't what it's supposed to be (rather than traces), there has had to be a large amount of collusion at goods-in and quality inspection level. Put bluntly, someone has bought a very cheap consignment of horse, snuck it in the back-door and tipped it in the hopper.... but charged Aldi, Tesco or whoever for beef. Could have been going on for years.

ppeatfruit Thu 17-Jan-13 16:44:10

Blimey sad shock I suppose there are times when the inspectors aren't there? Could it have been sneaked in then?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 17-Jan-13 16:59:29

There is always the same goods-in procedure at any manufacturing plant. Someone has to take receipt and sign off on the delivery note. Someone has to QC it to make sure it meets the standards or it gets rejected, returned & the supplier doesn't get paid or has to replace it.

For example.... Mr Bent Supplier has a pile of old horsemeat but wants to get beef money for it. He offers the goods-in/QC inspection team a cash incentive if they'll sign it off as beef and make sure it gets through to the beefburger production line no questions asked. After that point, minced extruded horse looks and performs very much like minced extruded beef so it's not picked up in bacteria tests etc. anywhere else in the chain. DNA test spots the con.

ppeatfruit Thu 17-Jan-13 17:28:53

AAAh so each manufacturer and abbatoir? in the E.U. and G.B. has its own inspection team?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 17-Jan-13 19:22:58

Yes. The regulations and practices are different depending on whether the plant is a primary producer (abattoir) or a processing facility but all places where food is involved have quality inspection whether they are manhandling real, live pigs, mass-producing sandwiches or shrink-wrapping broccoli.

ppeatfruit Thu 17-Jan-13 21:37:58

Thanks Cogito that is fascinating. thanks

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