Horsemeat discovered in beefburgers on sale at Tesco and Iceland

Ok I know I’m a bit late with this, but I’ve been super busy! Better late than never, because I simply could not hold back my opinions of this [hilarious] ‘discovery’.

 

Horsemeat has been discovered in beefburgers sold by the supermarket giants Tesco and Iceland, it emerged tonight. Investigators said that in Tesco’s Everday Value burgers, horsemeat accounted for almost one third of the meat content.

The Republic of Ireland’s food safety authority (FSAI) claimed meat with “horse DNA” sold in UK and Irish supermarkets had originated from two processing plants in Ireland – Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods – and the Dalepak Hambleton plant in north Yorkshire.

The Food Standards Agency, working with the Irish authorities, established that mainland Britain was part of the area affected. A spokesman said: “At this stage it is not believed to be a food safety risk.

“We are aware that investigations are ongoing to ascertain how or why horsemeat was used in the products.”

A total of 27 beef products were analysed by the FSAI with 10 containing horse DNA and a further 23 containing traces of pig DNA.

Tesco was informed of the test results today and immediately withdrew from sale all products from the processing plants, said its group technical director Tim Smith last night. “The presence of illegal meat in our products is extremely serious,” he added. “We understand that many of our customers will be concerned by this news, and we apologise sincerely for any distress.”

The FSAI analysis also found traces of horse DNA in batches of raw ingredients, including some imported from the Netherlands and Spain.

Professor Alan Reilly, the FSAI chief executive, said there was “no clear explanation” for the presence of horse DNA in beef burgers. “In Ireland it is not in our culture to eat horsemeat and therefore we do not expect to find it in a burger.”

The Labour MP Barry Gardiner, who sits on the Food, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee, said: “Big companies like Iceland and Tesco are responsible for their supply chain and for verifying whether their suppliers are giving them what they should be delivered. It is abhorrent that the suppliers appear to have adulterated the burgers in this way”

Iceland said it had noted the FSAI’s findings “with concern”. A statement from the chain said it would work with suppliers to investigate the issue. The budget supermarket Aldi confirmed that its Oakhurst Beef Burgers range on sale in Ireland had been affected and had been withdrawn from sale.

FSAI investigators said the findings raised concerns about “the traceability of meat ingredients and products entering the food chain”. They added that Jews and Muslims may have unwittingly eaten pork.

John Bryan, president of the Irish Farmers Association, said: “Nothing or no one can be allowed to compromise the high standards and reputation of Irish-produced food.”

Liffey Meats blamed the contamination on “imported ingredients”. A spokesman said: “We sincerely regret that any product produced by the company would not conform to the highest specifications and sincerely apologise to our customers.” Silvercrest added that it had “never purchased or traded in equine product”.

 

Firstly, everyone’s reactions “Oh my god, I can’t believe this, it’s disgusting!!” were just bizarre. I’ve lived more than half of my life knowing this. I was genuinely very shocked to discover that people were so outraged. Obviously, the main reason that I’m a vegetarian is because I believe it is wrong (for ME) to eat meat, but additionally, I have been brought up on a very healthy, natural diet. So, being fully aware of what goes into meat products for 12 years entirely suppressed any desire to eat any form of meat.

It’s like, if an article posted “shocking truth: our future generations will be immune to antibiotics – battery animals pumped with drugs”, I think I’d throw myself off a bridge. What planet is everyone living on?!

 

This also reminds me of the reaction to the guy who received a weird looking KFC meal that looked like brain. But that’s what processed meat is … Just because the liver (or whatever it was) was whole, and you could see it, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t in everything else – they just forgot to blend it!

I mean, I see nothing wrong with eating other animals (if you already eat them) or eating different parts of the animal. I see no difference between a chicken leg and a chicken arsehole and a pig’s ear. Obviously, for religious reasons it is unfair and deceiving, but I think if you eat meat, you have to expect it. In ready meals, sandwiches, salads etc. you have to expect to have chicken pumped with 90% water, or mince beef with other meats in it. That is how the industry works, and that is why meat is so cheap.

It doesn’t bother some people, and I applaud that. And although I don’t eat meat, if I did, I would see no difference between eating a pig, or a cow, or a dog, or a horse. All animals are living beings. In China, they eat dog, and I see absolutely nothing wrong with that if you eat other animals. Just because a cow or a chicken is not usually domesticated, doesn’t mean it is any different to a ‘pet’.

 

One of the main reasons as to why the meat industry is the way it is, is because cheap meat is imported from countries with different food regulations to the UK. For example, cheap prawns are kept in sewage in different countries, then imported here. Same for the meat – once it is processed in another country, who knows what’s in it?

 

I appreciate that it is very hard to shop for food correctly when you are a student or on a low income, especially when there are so many cheap offers available. I do, however, hope that people research what they are eating, and actually bother to change their diet. I’m not saying this because I don’t want people to eat horse penis (I really don’t care, it’s all the same – you’ve eaten it before, even if you don’t realise), I’m saying it because processed, cheap meat is dangerous – it is FULL of chemicals, salts and sugars that are beyond unhealthy. When I have children, I will not let any form of processed meat touch their lips. McDonald’s burgers have to be served with pickle (unless requested) otherwise the burger will be counted as confectionary (dessert) because it has so much sugar in it!!! The desire for people to put these things in their bodies, and their children’s bodies, is just beyond me.

If you do want to know more, do some research, watch some documentaries, or read Felicity Lawrence’s great book ‘Not On the Label: What Really Goes into the Food on Your Plate’.

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