Bit of a surprise, horseburgers

In Tesco Everyday Value Beef Burgers, horse meat accounted for approximately 29 per cent of the meat. The supermarket announced last night that it was removing all fresh and frozen burgers from sale immediately regardless if they had been found to contain horse meat.

Tim Smith, the group technical director of Tesco, said: “The presence of illegal meat in our products is extremely serious. Our customers have the right to expect that food they buy is produced to the highest standards.”

An investigation was carried out by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. The Food Standards Agency, working with the Irish authorities, established that mainland Britain was part of the area affected.

More than a third (37 per cent) of the products tested in Ireland contained horse DNA, while the vast majority (85 per cent) also contained pig DNA.

Some of this is trace amounts in some products. Others, as above, are substantial amounts. But here\’s the surprise (from some unknown corner of the memory bank). Horse meat oxidises as soon as it is ground. Turns a grey/brown colour almost immediately. So whatever your views on chowing down on Trigger it\’s just not something you\’d expect someone to put into mince.

23 comments on “Bit of a surprise, horseburgers

  1. “In Tesco Everyday Value Beef Burgers, horse meat accounted for approximately 29 per cent of the meat.”

    And we should get in a lather over this, and yet be expected to consume unlabelled halal meat without a qualm?

  2. So they were worried about the sugar content of food when all along they should have been worried about the Shergar content.

  3. If they’re saying it’s not a health problem why all the hand waving in the air and running around thinking the sky is falling down.

    Other people eat horse meat so it’s not like its bad for humans.

    Probably it’s all due to the factory creating pet food and then switching to human food without having cleared out all the pipes.

    Is this a failure of the system and regulation. No. That’s because everyone has been indoctrinated to think the checklist is god and no thinking for yourself is allowed.

    What it is a failure of is the state to design and write down the regulations properly. So they’ll tweak it this time. And the next time something happens they’ll tweak it again.

    Rather than having regulations to the nth degree, allow people to use some common sense and employ them to manage the factory.

  4. A pretty large proportion of cheap mince and sausages is offcuts, lips, and arseholes anyway isn’t? I’ll take the horsemeat any day. At least there’s a fair chance that used to belong to a part of the animal you’d be happy to pat.

  5. Matthew L – “So they were worried about the sugar content of food when all along they should have been worried about the Shergar content.”

    +1

    4SadButMadLad – “Other people eat horse meat so it’s not like its bad for humans.”

    On the other hand they are French. I will stick to a diet of roast beef if you don’t mind. Just in case.

    “Probably it’s all due to the factory creating pet food and then switching to human food without having cleared out all the pipes.”

    Then we have even bigger problems.

    “What it is a failure of is the state to design and write down the regulations properly. So they’ll tweak it this time. And the next time something happens they’ll tweak it again.”

    Actually I think not. I am not sure but I think the regulations say that “beef” does not have to be majority beef. I am not sure what the exact figure is, but I bet it is well under 60%. As long as most of it is beef, you can label it as beef. The same is true of sausages.

    That is not a failure to design regulations properly. This is what they were designed to do. As far as I know it dates back to WW2 when the government wanted people to eat … unconventional meats, but people didn’t want to. So they required people to mislabel their mince. They have just continued to do so because it is cheaper than giving people what is on the label.

  6. Horse meat is perfectly nice.

    This is essentially a “yuk, I’m not eating that” sugar-coated sensibility story, plus some poor little person who was supposed to clean the lines in a food processing plant somewhere is going to be sacked.

    There’s far more potential for trouble because of the pork found in the same products.

    It’s always a good day, though, when Tesco is hit with a ton of, er, horseshit.

  7. John Price – “Horse meat is perfectly nice.”

    Yeah but that is not the point. I want my meat proerly labelled. I mean dog is perfectly nice. Camel is a bit of an acquired taste. But in both cases you would be annoyed if you paid top dollar for them both only to get pork.

    “There’s far more potential for trouble because of the pork found in the same products.”

    Only if you tell someone. Although a proper butcher will have a Rabbi supervising to make sure that sort of thing does not happen.

    8SadButMadLad – “pet food is (as far as I know, ICBW) of better quality than human food. It tastes just the same after I lick my fingers having fed the cat her food.”

    Yeah but those that eat one are morally numbed creatures that can watch the suffering of others without any emotion at all, while the others are felines. If your diet affects your character then I don’t wanting to be eating either.

  8. @ SMFS. I wasn’t thinking so much of the Jewish faith; more of the Tesco demographic in Sarf London.

  9. Thus spake Tesco Spokesbod: “The presence of illegal meat in our products…

    Wikipedia indicates otherwise:

    In the United Kingdom, the slaughter, preparation and consumption of horses for food is not against the law, although in practice it has been out of fashion since the 1930s and there is a strong taboo against it.

  10. Do they eat horse much in Portugal, Tim?

    And also: is it true that good salamis often contain donkey meat?

    Tim adds: Horse in Portugal? See it around sometimes. Not a regular thing at the supermarket though.

    Donkey in salami? Some salamis contain it, are made of it. And some of those salamis are very good too. But it’s not donkey=good salami. Nor not donkey !=good salami. Just some salamis made with donkey are good salamis.

  11. Heard on the radio the other day that fried Calamaris offered in restaurants is actually fried pig’s rectum. Caveat emptor, indeed.

  12. Matthew L
    “So they were worried about the sugar content of food when all along they should have been worried about the Shergar content.”
    Brilliant, I wonder how long it takes for some jurno to nick that line.

  13. oops, should have read “could actually be” pig’s rectum. (didn’t see myself waking about and discussing dietary aspects of pig rectum today)

  14. …. fried Calamaris offered in restaurants is actually fried pig’s rectum….

    Her Majesty was not impressed by that one she called it Annus Horribilis

  15. Horse meat is not zero rated for VAT purposes like cow and pig meat, so the VAT man’ll be a-knocking on Tesco’s door.

  16. Hearing some more news about the case, it seems that the meat originally came from the continent. Therefore there is nothing wrong at all going on. It’s not even mislabelling as the burgers are allowed to not contain 100% of the specified meat.

    Its been blown out of all proportion. It’s not illegal to sell horse meat. It’s within regs. Probably some food scientists who don’t understand the regs were surprised by the DNA and blurted it out to a MSM who are only too keen on whipping up a frenzy. Must be scientists ’cause I would be surprised that councils would be doing DNA analysis on every sample of meat. Even at current prices it’s not that cheap.

    The only thing is the squeamish factor for which Tesco et al are right to remove the product from their shelves as we wouldn’t buy it anyway.

  17. >“So they were worried about the sugar content of food when all along they should have been worried about the Shergar content.”

    Horsemeat tastes sweeter than beef, as it happens.

  18. Oxonymous (#17), nice idea, but I think once it;s incorporated into a beefburger and sold as a beefburger it’ll qualify for zero rating.

  19. In the past I have read that human flesh is tasty to some.
    Discouraged these days of course
    But with all those old people about – will they follow the horse?

  20. John Malpas raises an interesting question. When you’re in a restaurant and there’s some weird meat on the menu, puffin or gazelle or whatever, you have to have it. Would you have human if it was on the menu?

    I’m not sure I wouldn’t.

  21. A colleague told me today he ate some of these earlier this week and his family at the time all agreed they were the tastiest cheap supermarket burgers they had had for ages.
    I bet they will sell out if they put them back on the shelves. Instead they will bankrupt the supplier involved.

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>