September 28, 2016

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. During 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 … [Read more...]

Horse DNA Found in Meat Pies From Latvia

Horse DNA has been found in meat pies from Latvia sold throughout the United Kingdom, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Horse meat was not listed as one of the ingredients in the frozen pies and they have been removed from the market. The recalled products were made by Galdin Klajies in Latvia and distributed in the UK to small retail shops specializing in foods from Eastern Europe by Monolith UK Ltd. They were sold in  200g packages with a description on the label reading 'pie with minced meat.' Monolith tested the product and found that it contained  more than 1 percent of horse meat. The products are now being tested for phenylbutazone (bute), an anti-inflammatory drug used commonly in horses that poses a health risk to humans. Monolith has informed its … [Read more...]

Valley Meats in NM Gets USDA OK for Horse Slaughter

Horse slaughter is set to begin at Valley Meats  Co. in Roswell, NM and facilities in Missouri and Iowa will be approved in the coming days, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA's FSIS). The agency issued Valley Meats a grant of  inspection clearing the way for the company to become the first facility to slaughter horses in the U.S. since the practice was banned in 2006. In 2006, Congress withdrew funding for inspectors at horse slaughtering facilities creating a de facto ban. The Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) requires federal inspection of animals slaughtered for human food.  The funding was briefly restored in the 2012 budget but not included in 2014 budget, so what will happen with Valley Meats and the other facilites is … [Read more...]

FSA Reviews Horse Meat Scandal

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has performed a review of the European horse meat scandal which began in January when health officials in Ireland announced that they had found horse and pig DNA in products that were supposed to contain only beef. The FSA spent months testing thousands of products throughout the United Kingdom to determine how widespread the problem was.  The European Commission also asked member states to carry out testing. Products containing more than 1 percent horse meat were analyzed for phenylbutazone (bute), an anti-inflammatory drug used commonly in horses that poses a  health risk to humans. None of the products was found to contain the drug. The EU has since announced revisions to its food safety laws that include increasing unannounced inspections and upping … [Read more...]

After Horsemeat Scandal, EC Revises Food Safety Laws

Months after the discovery of a food fraud scandal in Europe where foods advertised as beef were found to contain horse DNA, the European Commission (EC) has announced revisions to its food safety laws that include increasing unannounced inspections and upping penalties.  Under the new law, fines must be equivalent to the economic gain from the violation.  "Crime must not pay. If penalties are low it does pay," said Tonio Borg, the EC's Health and Consumer Commissioner said during  a news conference in Brussels yesterday. European health officials spent months analyzing meat products after the Food Safety Authority of Ireland announced it had discovered horse DNA in a variety of products in January. Since that time, at leas 4,000 samples of meat have been tested and  three people have … [Read more...]

After European Horse Meat Scare, USDA Ramps Up Species Testing

After the European horse meat scare, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) is ramping up its species testing efforts. In January, products sold throughout Europe that were labeled as containing 100% beef were found to contain horse DNA. Meat from race horses treated with hormones, steroids, and anti-inflammatories is unsafe for human consumption. Bute, an anti-inflammatory, is of particular concern. Bute was banned from most human medical uses after it was found  to cause cancer. Testing of products solds in Europe continued for weeks and dozens of products were recalled some arrests were made. An investigation is ongoing, according to the U.K.'s Food Standard Agency (FSA). "The evidence we have about the two cases of the significant amount … [Read more...]

Oklahoma OKs Horse Slaughter

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has signed into law a bill that legalizes processing horse meat for export. Oklahoma is one of several states moving to legalize horse slaughter now that the federal ban on it has been lifted. From 2006 to 2011, Congress withheld funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to inspect horse meat, creating a de facto ban on horse slaughter in the U.S.  During the ban, some horses were shipped to Mexico or Canada for slaughter, others were abandoned by their owners who thought it too costly to transport them, according to a report form the Government Accountability Office. “Unfortunately, the 2006 federal ban on horse processing plants has made this situation worse. After the implementation of that ban, the Government Accountability Office reported a … [Read more...]

Applications For Horse Slaughter Permits Mosey In To USDA

Europe’s horse meat scare hasn’t scared everybody.  While European health officials scan their meat for horse DNA, in the U.S., companies from five states have submitted applications to the U.S. Department o Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA’s FSIS) for permission to slaughter horses. According to Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER), a Colorado nonprofit organization that seeks to prevent the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue and education, FSIS has received applications from companies in New Mexico, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Missouri. FSIS says the applications are in the early stages. Horses have not been slaughtered in the U.S. since 2007 because Congress withheld funds for inspection of horse meat from 2006 to 2011.  During that time horses were … [Read more...]

Whoa, FSA Finds More Horse in Meat

The Food Standards Agency (FSA)  has completed its third round of testing food for horse DNA and found four additional products that are tainted. That brings the total number of products tainted to 17. All of these contaminated products, sold throughout the United Kingdom, have been withdrawn from the market. The products added to the recall are: Bird's Eye Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese, Bird's Eye Beef lasagne,  Brakes spicy minced beef skewer and Taco Bell ground beef. So far, the agency has received results of 5,430 tests.  Over 99 percent of them have shown no trace of horse DNA. None of the products containing horse meat have tested positive for traces of the veterinary medicine phenylbutazone (bute) which would be harmful to humans if ingested. The FSA advises consumers to … [Read more...]

Nestle and Ikea Drawn Into Europe’s Horsemeat Scandal

The European horse meat scandal continues to expand. Horse DNA has been found in many different products, and now that product has been found in the foods of two major manufacturers, Nestle and Ikea. Horse meat was found in Ikea meatballs made in Sweden and shipped to 13 countries in Europe. The Czech State Veterinary Administration stopped more than 1600 pounds of the frozen meatballs from reaching commerce. Meatballs from that same batch were shipped to Slovakia, Hungary, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Greeze, Ireland, and Cyprus. Ikea has removed the meatballs from store shelves in all of those countries. In Spain, public health authorities found horse meat DNA in Buitoni and La Cocinera beef cannelloni made by Nestle.  That company is testing … [Read more...]

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