Burgers on sale in 5 different supermarkets across the UK and Ireland have been tested and found to contain horse meat. The biggest offender was a burger tested from Tesco which had 29% horse meat content.
Although the products that were affected by the horse meat contamination have been removed voluntarily from the shelves by the supermarkets affected, investigations are being carried out to find out how the contamination occurred in the first place. The burgers were all produced in UK or Ireland based factories which do not handle meat from horses, therefore how the illegal content came to be present in the produce in the first place is of concern to a number of people.
There are sometimes cases where pig meat contamination can occur, even in items marked up as being beef or lamb, and this is easier to explain, although no more acceptable, because it is known that pork is processed within the same area of the factory.
The products were all frozen beef burgers that had been on sale in the freezer departments of Iceland, Tesco, Lidl and Aldi. In Ireland, the Irish shop Dunnes was also affected.
Food health officials are reassuring the public that the horse DNA content is not of any threat to consumers, however any customers with products in their freezers that they’re concerned could be contaminated are entitled to return the items to their local store for a full refund.
The shocking news story brings into question the supply chain for meat produce, especially in more highly processed foods. If you want to have more knowledge about where the meat in your food is sourced from and how it is processed, shopping locally at an independent butcher’s shop can be an ideal way to do so, as many butchers have close knowledge of the slaughter house and farms where animals in their shops are raised. They also often make their own sausage and burgers, giving you fresh produce with quality ingredients.