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Some ready meals 100% horse meat

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

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.

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 :-/

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"

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.

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.

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.

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 09:00:55

"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.

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?

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.

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!

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.

edam Fri 08-Feb-13 23:21:24

sorry, that's 2-5% (figures went all wibbly when I cut and pasted). So in the UK between 2-5% of the samples of horsemeat destined for human consumption were contaminated with dangerous drugs that should never have been anywhere near the human food chain. God knows how bad the contamination is on the continent, where the all this horsemeat that was never supposed to be in Tesco burgers or Findus readymeals comes from.

FGS, the last Tory government gave us BSE, that's why the Food Standards Agency was set up in the first place - so that the govt department in charge of agriculture wasn't in charge of food (in theory, removing the conflict of interest between promoting food production and guaranteeing consumer safety). The current government originally planned to abolish the FSA but backed down - but I wonder whether cuts have been made that have placed us at risk. Someone on Newsnight said half the food laboratories in the country have shut down over the past few years so there just isn't the capacity to check what the hell is in our food in the next week as the government is promising it will do.

AnyaKnowIt Fri 08-Feb-13 23:05:46

shock angry

edam Fri 08-Feb-13 23:05:16

There's more - from the same committee (part of Defra): "The number of horse samples which have tested positive for residues of phenylbutazone
has varied between 2‐5% over the last five years." This refers to horses slaughtered in the UK, for export. God knows how much of this stuff is in horsemeat from the continent.

edam Fri 08-Feb-13 23:03:01

"The Veterinary Residues Committee (an independent scientific advisory committee that advises the Government) has repeatedly expressed concern over residues of
phenylbutazone entering the food chain. This is because this substance has the potential for serious adverse effects in consumers, such as blood discrasia (a rare but very serious, life‐threatening, condition)." Veterinary Residues Committee
Position Paper – Residues of Phenylbutazone in horses
Published July 2012

So the feckers KNEW there was a problem six months ago.

AnyaKnowIt Fri 08-Feb-13 22:52:47

Yep its a crime

chickydoo Fri 08-Feb-13 22:51:52

I might be naive, but isn't selling something, that is in fact something else a crime??
If I purchased a Mercedes, & later found although new, it had a skoda engine, wouldn't that be misrepresentation. If I purchased a Gold ring from a high street store & found later it was fake, would the store not be liable.
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? I don't know, maybe someone can enlighten me.

claig Fri 08-Feb-13 22:30:16

It said on Channel 4 news that some burgers contain only about 45% beef, and that the rest is other type of ingredients including crap like "soya protein".

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

mam29 Fri 08-Feb-13 21:22:56

My freinds sussex council and they got email today reassuring parents that they checked their suppliers are ok.

I checked my council website and they source everything from local farms within 40miles.

Im afraid the purchasing will depend on your council or nhs trust I guess not done at central level.

Still They always have daily veggie option .we can also pick and choose days and have menu in advance as usually 4week rolling menu.

I agree with others when does cheap mean doesnt have to be accuratly lableled and say ahh it was heap people were silly they should have known.

If we cant trust labels then thats worrying for allergy sufferers and relgious based diets. Not sure can be allergic to horse..

Who knows about the drugs as bute is not fit for human consumption and never really been any trial on it in humans over long term.
Bute is just one of drugs horses have,

Guess depends how long and frequent individual has consumed cheval. Bute never leaves the horses system might lower in levels over time.

Im amazed how blase people are about it.

I fear we as uk exposed as our supermarkets drive down prices , are awful to producers and we compared to europe eat more processsed foods/readymeals.

Beaaware Fri 08-Feb-13 20:27:53

orangepudding, you have every right to be worried, I experienced the BSE scandal so I know how worrying this latest beef scandal is. For two decades the government told us that beef was safe to eat, this is what John Major told one mother whose child died from human mad cow disease "I SHOULD MAKE IT CLEAR THAT HUMANS DO NOT GET MAD COW DISEASE" HE LIED, along with many others in the government at the time, they lied. Do you know that bse infected beef went into baby food! even childrens vaccines, have you ever read the website, enough information on there to understand why this latest horse meat scandal is being underplayed by Cameron, not much talk about 'Bute' in the horse meat is there, why, supermarkets doing their own testing, why?. Did you know that no one has ever been held accountable for the human deaths from BSE and there are many innocnet people who have died from vCJD We still have a CJD surveillance unit monitoring the UK population, what for? 'Progressive dementia symptons, 60 million of us exposed to rogue infectious prions, I think we have every right to be worried about horse meat from unknown sources. I hope to god this stuff has not been put into baby food.

AnyaKnowIt Fri 08-Feb-13 20:12:18

No its shouldn't be expected.

If they can't produce 100% beef products for £1.50 then they shouldn't be labelled as such.

orangepudding Fri 08-Feb-13 20:10:54

I think it's worrying. I don't mind the fact it's horse meat I worry that it may not be safe for human consumption due to drugs the ani,also may have been given.

I also wonder what's being used for school dinners.

Bossybritches22 Fri 08-Feb-13 20:05:56

It's not the fact that its horsemeat that is the worry, it's the fact it's a labelling issue.

If they're lying about that,what else are they lying about? hmm

But then again if they market a 100% beef lasagne for £1.50 or less then it is only to be expected.

I just hope all this food doesn't get binned, by the public, there are some dog/cat sanctuaries that would be grateful for the donations I'm sure.

AnyaKnowIt Fri 08-Feb-13 20:01:49

Aldi frozen meals contain between 30% and 100% horsemeat

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