Apr 302013

When the news surfaced about how horse meat was mistakenly introduced into grocery stores and restaurants in Europe, outrage erupted. Horse meat was sold to restaurants and grocery stores in Europe and the U.S. The news caused a steep decline in fast food and restaurant sales, causing quite a stir throughout Europe and in the U.S.

Horse Meat Scandal: Overhyped Controversy or Legitimate Concern?

Following the Aftermath of the News

Ireland’s Food Safety Authority announced that large amounts of horse meat had found its way into the food supply. As a result, ten million burgers were removed from the shelves. Ireland then traces the horse meat issue to Poland. In France, supplier Comigel was tied to criminal activity for the first time. In the UK, Aldi discovered that many of its products contained up to 100 percent horse meat. The scandal prompted the European Union to begin testing regularly for bute, a substance normally provided to horses.

Investigation and the Horse Meat

The European Union decided to move forward with more testing and published the results on its website. In Germany, 3.3 percent of the samples tested positive for horse meat while 12.5 percent in Greece did. In France, 13.3 percent of the samples tested positive for horse meat. European Union officials concluded that 5 percent of the 7,000 samples tested positive for bute. At the conclusion of the comprehensive investigation, it was determined that the horse meat scandal was tied to food fraud.

Food Safety in America

Even though the investigation showed that a small percentage of the food supply was affected by the horse meat scandal, critics in the U.S. express concern for the testing procedures. Critics of the testing method believe that the samples be tested for more than justa bute, and that better testing methods can dramatically improve food safety.

The infographic shows how many countries can be affected by fraudulent activity and raises concerns about food safety in Europe and the U.S. It shows the role U.S. plays in supplying horse meat to the world and highlights the risk factors for bute when horse meat is consumed. It explores the restrictions that have prevented its introduction into the U.S. food supply and how attitudes of Americans are largely behind the low rate of consumption of horse meat in the U.S.

Image source: www.topmastersinpublichealth.com

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