January 16, 2018

EU to Begin 2nd Round of Horse Meat

One year after the European horse meat scandal began, the European Union has recommended a second round of testing on beef sold in the United Kingdom. The horse meat scandal began in January 2013 when health officials in Ireland discovered horse and pig DNA in products that were supposed to contain only beef.

HorseDuring 2013, thousands of products throughout the European Union were tested to determine the breadth of the problem. About 4.6 percent of samples tested contained horse meat. Those that contained more than 1 percent horse meat were analyzed for phenylbutazone (bute), an anti-inflammatory drug commonly used in horses that poses a health risk to humans.

No public health issues were associated with the meat in question, but there was an outpouring of consumer concern. These concerns drove the EU to revise its food safety laws including adding unannounced inspections and increasing penalties for food fraud. It also stressed the need for better cross-border controls.

Now, a new round of testing is being proposed a safeguard. The testing will be conducted this spring according to each member state’s timetable. Testing will be carried out during the spring and the European Commission will collect results from all member states and publish the results by end July 2014.

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