Previously published in Examiner on Feb 26, 2013
The furniture company Ikea seems to be in the middle of scandal. According to thestar published yesterday, “Ikea became entangled in Europe’s widening meat scandal Monday, forced to withdraw meatballs from stores across Europe amid suspicions that they contained horse meat. Stores in the U.S. and Canada were not affected, Ikea said.”
That is great that Canada and the USA wer not affected. It is a fraud to mislabel ingredients on packaging.
Thestar goes on to say, “The company reacted after authorities in the Czech Republic said they had detected horse DNA in tests of one-kilogram (2.2-pound) packs of frozen meatballs that were labeled as beef and pork. The Czech State Veterinary Administration said it tested two batches of Ikea meatballs and only one of them contained horse meat. It did not say how much.” Twenty-one Europeans countries have been affected by this packaging fraud.
How any company can lie about what they put in their products is beyond me. It has to do with money I suspect. Horse meat is cheaper than beef.
Thestar goes on to say that, “Ikea’s North America branch said the U.S. stores get their meatballs from a U.S. supplier. Based on the results of our mapping, we can confirm that the contents of the meatballs follow the Ikea recipe and contain only beef and pork from animals raised in the U.S. and Canada,” Ikea North America spokeswoman Mona Astra Liss said in a statement.”
More horse meat found in the UK
According to Channel 4 news, horse meat was discovered in some burgers and lasagna disturbed in the UK and Ireland just last month. “Far from being dangerous to eat, horse meat is considered a delicacy in some countries, namely our more adventurous foodie neighbor France, as well as Italy and Japan. The FSA was keen to point out that “there is no food safety risk to consumers from these products”. The FSA is the acronym for the Food Standards Agency, an independent government department responsible for food safety and hygiene across the UK.
I have never eaten horse meat. I had colleague once that ate it all the time. She said she would never eat beef. She found it too heavy.
Channel 4 news goes on to say, “Last month the restaurant chain Burger King announced that it would no longer be sourcing burgers from the Irish supplier ABP which owns Silvercrest, even though ABP has insisted that meat for Burger King was stored and processed separately. Burger King said this was a “precaution” which might mean that some products were temporarily unavailable.”
I hate to think that Burger King would be serving horse meat calling it beef.
However, if the European authorities, “find the products tested had contained horse medicines – for example, phenylbutazone, a commonly used medicine in horses – the risks to human consumption would be much higher. This is banned from use on animals in the food chain, but so far it has not been found in the beef samples tested.”
All in all, this, latest scandal over Ikea’s meatballs, has created a split in the European Union between nations like Britain, which see further rules as a protectionist hindrance of free trade under the 27-nation bloc’s single market, and those calling for tougher regulation, including Austria and Germany.”
In Canada the Canadian Food and Drug Administration monitors the food content and in the USA it is the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) which carries out this duty.
What a relief the horse meat scandal has not extended to North America.