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Some ready meals 100% horse meat

(37 Posts)
claig Thu 07-Feb-13 19:35:03

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 09-Feb-13 08:46:14

"I try to avoid soya in everything, but had no idea they add it to meat as well."

Soya should be on the label if it is in the product. Sausages have always contained a percentage of rusk and other fillers to meat - the higher this is, the cheaper the sausage. Rusk etc can be up to 35% of a pork sausage and 50% of other sausages. There was an outcry many years ago from the EU that our traditional links contained so little actual meat they should be renamed something like 'edible pork flavoured tubes' ... I forget.... rather than 'sausage' which, in continental terms is something much more meaty. We responded with 'Hands Off Our Bangers' ....

This is what I mean about how all processed meat products will have to be looked at again. Not because they contain Romanian cat instead of chicken but because the formulations are often remarkably free of actual meat. Similarly, what we call ice-cream contains very little actual dairy products.

NameAndChanged Sat 09-Feb-13 08:50:52

I buy aldi lasagne and feel a bit sick. Not really because its horse buy because its somwthing completely different to what I thought I was eating.

I really struggle to eat meat anyways and this has just made me go blurgggh!

TheFallenNinja Sat 09-Feb-13 08:53:49

The biggest mistake being made at the moment is the FSA stating that there is no risk to human health, they don't know that at all.

What does need to be made clear is that supermarkets aren't unwitting victims in all this. They control the supply chain and as we have a nation fed based on figures on a spreadsheet they have to shoulder a portion of the responsibility.

In the very back of my mind this will shoot off in all kinds of directions but will ultimately involve a small well organised group of pretty unsavoury characters.

insideoutsider Sat 09-Feb-13 08:56:58

Why am I thinking horse meat would be more expensive than cow seeing cows are bred on a large scale for consumption? If that's correct, I don't understand why horse meat is being found in the cheapest value foods... Can someone put me right?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 09-Feb-13 09:00:55

"If a store selling 100% Beef products is actually found to be selling 100% horse meat products, the items have been mislabelled. Is it a crime?"

Yes it's a crime. Fraud. The criminal responsibility lies principally with the producer of the specific raw material ingredient who has been passing off horse as beef. If it can be demonstrated that the end product manufacturer knowingly/maliciously misled consumers through mislabelling they can be prosecuted if it is a branded product like Findus. If the Findus quality control procedures are found to be negligent or lacking then it's a lesser offence. If Findus have been conned but their quality control procedures were deemed up to standard then they will have to introduce new safeguards but they will be the ones suing the raw material supplier.

Retailers are not criminally responsible for the content of Findus products but have a duty of care once they take ownership. A product withdrawal is adequate if contamination occurs. Own-label products are a very different matter because then the retailer is also the producer.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 09-Feb-13 09:02:51

"Why am I thinking horse meat would be more expensive than cow seeing cows are bred on a large scale for consumption? I"

Horsemeat that is not destined for human consumption is practically worthless.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 09-Feb-13 09:06:50

" the FSA stating that there is no risk to human health, "

If I sold you something labelled as apple pie but it contained pears instead of apples I could run that through a barrage of tests, including assessing pesticide residues, that would prove that it was safe to eat. It would still be fundamentally mislabelled. The FSA have the means to assess whether a product is toxic and hazardous to health.

MoreBeta Sat 09-Feb-13 09:10:50

My biggest concern with this is the potential for harmful drugs and chemicals given to horses getting into the human food chain.

I used to work in the laboratory of an animal feed factory back in the early 1980s when BSE started. We used to put meat and bone meal from rendered animal carcases all perfectly legally into cattle food. BSE started to appear shortly after that.

Many farmers at the time strongly believed that BSE was caused by the feeding of sheep brains and nervous tissue to cattle. That nervous tissue was not diseased but had simply absorbed organophosphate chemicals from sheep dip that farmers were legally obliged to dip their sheep in once a year.

The symptoms of BSE are very similar to poisoning by organopghosphates and although this was never proved the Govt withdrew the use of organophosphate sheep dip shortly after BSE started to become prevalent.

Protecting the food chain from harmful chemicals and vetinary drugs is the most crucial issue here. I believe that Food Standards have been sytematically undermined in this country and that this candal will cause a dramatic tightening of food standards and not before time. It is long overdue.

The myth of cheap food is over - inflation in food prices has been masked by allowing ever lower food quality standards.

PilgrimSoul Sat 09-Feb-13 09:15:49

Horsemeat is worth €400 per tonne, beef €4000.

Some very shady people have made a LOT of money from this food fraud.
The authorities have been warned for quite some time that it makes no sense for the transport of live horses between Ireland, France and the UK to have doubled in recent years for such valueless animals.

Beaaware Sat 09-Feb-13 11:16:52

Fortunately I kept a copy of the Guardian magazine from 2001 all about the BSE scandal and wriiten by Kevin Toolis, I think this is very relevant and may explain why we have not yet been told if horse meat is dangerous to human health:

" Driven by short-term political expediency, each and every arm of the British state, from civil servants in the Ministry of Agriculture to ministers in the Department of Health and 10 Downing Street, colluded in a conspiracy of denial, 'Telling the truth even about potential risks of infection, they reasoned, would cause 'panic' and hit the meat trade at home and abroad. For two decades , Britain's rulers ignored and minimise the real health risk of this deadly TSE disease to millions of their own citizens"

insideoutsider Sat 09-Feb-13 13:48:28

Gosh, thanks for that... I live on ready meals half the time (but fresh for the kids). Lord knows how much of this horse meat I've had!

I pray they don't find them in schools - not too confident about that though :-/

dikkertjedap Fri 15-Feb-13 21:09:09

It is not just in the UK, it is really all over Europe. It is not just in value products either, it has also been found in premium products.

I suppose the only way round it, is either becoming vegetarian or getting all your meat from a reliable butcher, who cuts the carcasses himself, thus he can see whether it is a cow or horse entering his shop and of course, no ready meals at all.

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