Horse Flesh in Beef Burgers
"food fraud is big business"
John Sleith, chairman of the Society of Chief Officers of Environmental Health in Scotland (SOCOEHS) said "there is no way of telling whether the meat is safe" because these burgers have bypassed official inspection.
"If it hasn't come through the official inspection system, then there is no confidence that it is completely harmless.
Sleith also said that this scandal was an example of "food fraud" which is becoming an increasing problem.
"This episode is indicative of a growing trend we are finding, where there is substitution of meat products," he said.
"Food fraud is big business and food inspectors have to be alert to it.
January 2013: BBC - Now They Prepare a Plan; MIRROR - 10 Million Burgers Removed; MAIL - Has Been Going On For Years; TELEGRAPH - It may Happen Again; HUFFINGTON - May Have Been Diseased Flesh; also in the USA, BurgerKing - GLOBAL POST.
Horsemeat has been identified in beefburgers sold in UK and Irish supermarkets, the Republic of Ireland's food safety authority (FSAI) has said.
The FSAI said the meat came from two processing plants in Ireland, Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods, and the Dalepak Hambleton plant in Yorkshire.
The burgers were on sale in Tesco, Iceland and Dunnes Stores, Lidl and Aldi.
A total of 27 products were analysed, 10 were found to contain horsemeat and 23 contained pig. Horsemeat accounted for approximately 29% of the meat content in one sample from Tesco. In addition, 31 beef meal products, including cottage pie, beef curry pie and lasagne, were analysed, of which 21 contained pig.
"Whilst, there is a plausible explanation for the presence of pig since these meats are processed in the same meat plants, there is no clear explanation at this time for the presence of horsemeat." a meat processor expert said.