Skip to main content

View Diary: Horse meat in your burgers? Why assume this is just a UK problem? (133 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  For me the problem is how it got there (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, eataTREE, Lujane, OldDragon, trumpeter, kurt

    Are people at the processing plant so dim they can't tell a horse from a cow? In general horse meat is more expensive than beef, at least food grade horse meat. It's not a regular commodity. So the likelihood is someone wanted to dispose of a "downed" or sick animal carcass and threw it in the mix.

    What's wrong with America? I'll tell you. Everything Romney said was pre-chewed wads of cud from Republicans from the last 30 years and yet he managed thru a combination of racism and selling the (false) hope of riches to get 47% of the national vote.

    by ontheleftcoast on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:40:28 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Or, it might be that they didn't clean the grinder (7+ / 0-)

      and the source is contamination from a prior batch of ground meat. Not likely to happen in US facilities unless it's imported from Mexico; I don't think there are any meat plants in the US that can legally butcher horses.

      -7.25, -6.26

      We are men of action; lies do not become us.

      by ER Doc on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:51:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Could be cross contamination (8+ / 0-)

        But that begs the question of what else could be transferred thru such a process. Face it, industrial food processing isn't a friend of anyone but the corporations who use it to drive down their costs to maximize their profits. Sure, we get "cheap" food, but in every possible sense of the word.

        What's wrong with America? I'll tell you. Everything Romney said was pre-chewed wads of cud from Republicans from the last 30 years and yet he managed thru a combination of racism and selling the (false) hope of riches to get 47% of the national vote.

        by ontheleftcoast on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:55:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That wouldn't happen here (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          badscience, ER Doc

          While smaller butchers might process different animals (deer or a home raised steer or pig), large plants in the US only handle one type of animal.
          The plant in Ireland making the burgers probably wasn't a slaughter plant but bought meat from different suppliers.

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:31:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I read it was imported frozen from Poland (8+ / 0-)

        by the Irish meat processor, who then mixed it into hamburger along with beef from their operations.

        You can't even export horses from the US without certifying they won't be used for food - unless you export them by plane, which doesn't have the certification requirement (I used to read export regs when bored).

        Modern revolutions have succeeded because of solidarity, not force.

        by badger on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:55:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, and thank Obama for adding horse meat (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mr Robert, Lujane, kurt

        back to the American diet...

        Kitchens across the country could start serving up horse meat in just weeks since Congress recently lifted a 5-year ban on funding horse meat inspections, the AP reported.

        The move, which went by nearly undetected, was buried in a Nov. 18 spending bill signed into law by President Obama on Nov. 18.

        Congress originally cut off horse meat inspections in 2006, which basically obliterated the possibility for a commercial horse meat use. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is required to inspect any agricultural product intended for human consumption.

        Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/...

        What's wrong with America? I'll tell you. Everything Romney said was pre-chewed wads of cud from Republicans from the last 30 years and yet he managed thru a combination of racism and selling the (false) hope of riches to get 47% of the national vote.

        by ontheleftcoast on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:58:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, that's a very good thing. (7+ / 0-)

          Here in CT, we have the highest ratio of horses per acre of any state. It's a small state and a lot of people here have a horse or two on their three acre suburban lots.
          Horses live, on average 24 years. And they don't always age gracefully.
          What do you do with a 1000 pound animal that is lame and in pain, dangerous as a result? A friend in Monroe had a neighbor that over the course of four years, buried 5 horses in his yard. As a result, wells in the neighborhood were polluted by the unregulated, uninspected graveyard. Prior to the ban (thanks PITA), those horses would have gone to the knackers and if healthy, become food for humans (in Canada and France. It used to be a valuable export business in this country) and if not prime, they'd become dog food. Shutting off the auctions, keeping these animals going was inadvertently responsible for a lot of misery both for the horses and for their humans.
          Had they gone to auction, they would not be wasted, they would not become pollution. They would not be kept alive in pain, would not become dangerous because of that pain.
          Plus, they would not cost their owners hundreds of dollars to have someone dig a BIG hole and either pay a vet or someone else to kill the animal. The owners would not have to deal with putting down an animal they had attachment to.
          Along the way, the lack of killer auctions took the floor out from under the price of horses (20 or 30 cents a pound isn't much but it means $250-300 as a base). That plus the overabundance of marginal horses made it economically impossible for many good horse breeders to stay in business.

          If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

          by CwV on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:22:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Very interesting point. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ice Blue, Ahianne, kurt

            My problem with sending a pet horse (and they are pets to many people) to the knocker is that I know way to much about that process to wish it on any animal much less a pet. Imagine doing that to your dog. Ick.

            There is room in this world for humane slaughter but we aren't there in the meat-packing industry.

            Force is the midwife of every old society pregnant with a new one. Marx

            by Marihilda on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 02:44:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  American horses are often medicated (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            trumpeter, kurt

            with who knows what, especially when they're older and/or in pain.  Even if a gastronome is willing to defy the taboo, the meat may contain certain drugs that are banned in human-grade meat products.

            Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.--Sam Rayburn

            by Ice Blue on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 03:15:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I tend to agree with that (0+ / 0-)

            I've never understood the "but it's a horse" rationale for not eating them.

            What's wrong with America? I'll tell you. Everything Romney said was pre-chewed wads of cud from Republicans from the last 30 years and yet he managed thru a combination of racism and selling the (false) hope of riches to get 47% of the national vote.

            by ontheleftcoast on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 05:40:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Filler (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc, Mr Robert, Lujane, kurt

        The burgers in question were all the very cheap "value" type which by UK law are allowed to contain less than 50% beef meat, the rest being rusk, cereal, fillers and other chemicals.

        Apparently one of the fillers used was MRM based - in effect a version of "pink slime" (see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...)  This was purchased by the Irish plant from an unauthorised supplier in central Europe.

        DNA tests are available but you have to be looking for specific species so it needs a battery of such tests to rule out contamination.

        "Who stood against President Obama in 2012?" - The trivia question nobody can answer.

        by Lib Dem FoP on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 01:01:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Auction this week, horses were dirt cheap (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert, Lujane, skohayes

      where mares that would have brought $500 2 years ago bring $100 today as there is a surplus of grade equines vs the number of people who want to own horses

      •  See my reply above (0+ / 0-)

        Apparently horse is back on the menu in the US.

        What's wrong with America? I'll tell you. Everything Romney said was pre-chewed wads of cud from Republicans from the last 30 years and yet he managed thru a combination of racism and selling the (false) hope of riches to get 47% of the national vote.

        by ontheleftcoast on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 12:59:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site