You Have Been Eating Horse Meat Without Knowing It


Remember the last time you had a burger? Juicy,
beefy, meaty maybe flame grilled and a little smoky…Or maybe it was a turkey or salmon
burger. Remember the delicious flavor exploding on your tongue? Can you trust that the meat
patty you ate was actually what it purported to be though? During a series of tests done on ground meat
items in the winter of 2012, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland [FSAI] discovered the
presence of equine DNA in several alleged beef products. In 27 beef burger products tested, just over
⅓ or 37% were positive for horse DNA, and 85% were positive for pig DNA. Thankfully,
in all but one product, the equine presence was at a very low level, about 0.3% horse
DNA. However, the frozen beef patty product ‘Everyday Value Beef Burgers’ sold at
Tesco markets and manufactured by Silvercrest Foods, a subsidiary of huge, multinational
food processor ABP Food Group was found to have 29.1% equine DNA as well as pork DNA. FSAI informed the Irish Department of Health
and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine of the results of their tests.
They also notified their British counterpart, the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency. On January 15, 2013 five retailers who sold
the horse tainted beef products, Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Aldi, Lidl and Iceland were informed
of the test results. These five supermarkets and a few other grocery stores ended up removing
10 million burgers products from shelves. On January 16th, amid widespread media attention
and public outrage, four subsidiaries of ABP were accused of supplying adulterated meat.
They were Silvercrest in County Monaghan, Dalepak in North Yorkshire, Freshlink in Glasgow,
ABP Nenagh in County Tipperary, Ireland and Dairy Crest, Rossington. Supermarket Tesco
immediately dropped Silvercrest as a frozen meat supplier, but continued to use ABP as
a provider of fresh meat. Over the next several days the scandal continued
to grow as the news set off a chain reaction of meat investigations and testing by several
groups and governments. Burger King for whom Silvercrest was a regular supplier, switched
beef patty providers just as a precaution. Other major grocery retailers such as Sainsbury’s,
Asda and the Co-op also removed some frozen meat products as a precaution, but later the
products were found not to contain horse. However, Asda did its own testing and found
5% fresh horse meat in its personal brand beef Bolognese sauce. The sauce was supplied
by Greencore, an Irish food company. Greencore said it purchased the meat in their sauce
from ABP’s Nenagh plant. Both Greencore and ABP ran tests and couldn’t find horse
meat in the pasta sauce. However, Asda stood by its test results. ABP especially received a lot of criticism
from the media and public. They blamed rogue meat suppliers and claimed that their company
had never knowingly sold horse meat. On February 7, Findus, a food company announced
that in a sample of 18 beef lasagne products that it tested, 11 items contained between
60% and 100% horse meat. It also found that there was 60%-100% horse meat in ground beef
items. They traced the source of the tainted meat back to Comigel, a third party French
frozen ready meal producer. The adulterated products had been made by Comigel’s subsidiary
Tavola at a factory in Capellen, Luxembourg. On February 14, the French government suspended
the licence of French meat processing company À la Table de Spanghero, claiming that the
company knowingly imported horse meat from Romania, relabeled it and sold it as beef.
Meat had been back traced from France through Cyprus and the Netherlands to Romanian abattoirs. Over a 6 month period, Spanghero had shipped
and sold 750 tons of adulterated meat. One of the companies they sold to was Comigel.
However Comigel wasn’t blameless either; investigators felt that due to inconsistencies
in the paperwork and the smell and look of the meat when defrosted, Comigel staff should
have realized that the meat was not beef. A number of other companies were also found
to have a wide range of issues with their products: Nestlé found 1% horse DNA in its
Buitoni Beef Ravioli and Beef Tortellini, made by German sub-contractor HJ Schypke and
sold in Italy and Spain. One of the largest private catering businesses
in the UK, Sodexo which supplies 2,300 institutions including schools, prisons and branches of
the armed forces had to withdraw frozen beef products after finding horse meat in a sample. In an odd twist, upon testing, Gæðakokkar
30% beef meat pie which was sold in Iceland was found to not contain any meat at all. Pertinent to finding horse in beef products
was the worry that the horse meat could contain traces of the veterinary drug phenylbutazone,
a common painkiller for horses. Even with above board production of horse meat, there
are regulations that horses treated with the drug cannot legally be used for human consumption. Further testing of horse tainted beef samples
was done by multiple authorities and thankfully the presence of phenylbutazone was not found
in the majority of product. For samples where the drug was found, the level of contamination
was only 1.9 mg/kg a miniscule amount; that’s less than 1/8th of a teaspoon per 2 pounds. The UK’s Chief Medical Officer, Sally Davies,
stated that the level of contamination posed very little risk to human health, adding that
you’d have to eat around 500–600 100% horse meat burgers to receive the daily human
therapeutic dose of phenylbutazone. When all was said and done, over 4 million
dollars in meat products had been destroyed. Authorities were not able to determine how
many citizens in the EU unwittingly ate horsemeat. The public was rightfully outraged, reputations
were damaged and the sale of frozen hamburgers fell by 43%. Sales of frozen ready meals containing
beef fell by 13%. Executives at various companies pointed fingers
and blamed other companies. As a result of the scandal, various countries in the EU began
more rigorous testing of meat products and doing more factory inspections. Countries
also increased penalties and punishments for those caught selling adulterated meat. Initially, only a few lower to mid level people
in the meat industry were arrested and charged with fraud in the months after the horse meat
scandal broke. However since then, a number of arrests have happened, often in joint international
stings involving people knowingly selling mislabeled horse meat or selling horse meat
considered unfit for human consumption. Notably in July of 2017, the Guardia Civil,
Spain’s national police in coordination with Europol, the European police agency arrested
65 people involved in an organized ring believed to be selling horse meat unfit for human consumption
throughout Europe. The arrested were charged with animal abuse, document forgery, perverting
the course of justice, crimes against public health, money laundering and being part of
a criminal organization. The EU continues to struggle with creating
legislation and implementation of systems that fully monitor and trace adulterated and
contaminated food products. During the horse meat scandal in Europe, some
Americans were worried that horse meat tainted beef was being sold in the US too. The U.S.
Department of Agriculture [USDA] was quick to reassure the public, saying that adulterated
beef was unlikely in the US food supply because not only did no domestic suppliers slaughter
horses, but the agency has strict labeling and inspection standards for imported meat.
However…individual species testing for meat imported into the U.S. is typically only performed
when there’s a reason to question a shipment. Ultimately, the US has done limited research
in regards to species testing in meat products. A 2015 study by researchers Chapman University’s
Food Science Program did find that in 48 samples of fresh and frozen ground meat products of
various animals, 10 of the samples were mislabeled. Of those, nine products were found to contain
more species than the package label indicated. The 10th sample label was completely inaccurate.
Traces of horsemeat were found in two of the samples. The authors of the study thought that the
findings of multiple species suggested the possibility of cross-contamination at the
processing facility, that equipment wasn’t properly cleaned between the processing of
products, so the meat mixed. Also the study indicates the possibility of lower-cost species
being intentionally mixed in with higher-cost species for economic gain. Unfortunately, since the Chapman study, there
hasn’t been further testing for various species in meat products in the US. Individual companies
and retailers do private testing, but unless a widespread issue occurs, those tests will
probably never come to light. Now, if you live in America or a country that
doesn’t eat horse meat, you might be a little nauseated by now. We bear no judgement as
to whether horses should be eaten or are just for riding. While the idea of eating horse
generally grosses out Britons and Americans, once upon a time our countries did eat horse.
In fact, during World War II when beef was rationed, many Americans turned to horse meat
as a cheap and tasty substitute. Currently, in many other countries such as
Iceland, Slovenia, Belgium, Germany, Poland and China horse is simply another meat choice.
Furthermore horse is actually considered a delicacy in Japan, where it can be served
as sashimi. But all this is besides the point. What the
scandal and various studies have revealed is that multinational firms are controlling
huge parts of the consumer food chain. Shady decisions made by contractors of contractors
sometimes in a different country affects what’s on your plate. Food fraud is on the rise.
A 2014 report estimated that food fraud costs the global food industry $30 to $40 billion
US every year. As well as adulterated products, food fraud is also mislabeling products and
even obscuring where products come from. Can you as consumer trust what your food packaging
says? In general, misleading or mislabeling packaging seems to be a much bigger problem
than potential adulterated mystery meat in America. But why does it matter if your burger which
was labeled ‘Product of the USA’ came from Texas or latin America? A variety of
reasons. For example, some consumers have made a decision to only purchase beef that
was raised in a place where the rainforest wasn’t destroyed to create pasture land
for cattle. For others, minimizing the carbon footprint of their food supply chain is important
and they’d rather eat meat that was shipped from only a few states away as opposed to
flown in from thousands of miles away. Others want their meat slaughtered a certain way
for ethical or religious reasons. Also there’s the simple but very important notion that
consumers should be able to make purchasing decisions based on accurate labeling. Current gaps in American law allows cattle
and pigs to be slaughtered overseas and imported to the US, where they are cut up. Since they’re
processed in the US, this allows companies to slap a ‘Product of the USA’ sticker
on them. How is that possible, you’re asking? In 2015, the US congress voted to repeal laws
that allowed the USDA to enforce Country of Origin Labeling [COOL] requirements for beef
and pork products. The World Trade Organization [WTO] had ruled that Canada and Mexico could
begin imposing more than $1 billion in tariffs on U.S. products in retaliation for having
to label meat products as produced in their countries. They felt that some shoppers would
eschew products labeled as having been imported from Canada or Mexico. Worried about tariff
issues, Congress repealed COOL and companies have been using the repeal to their advantage
ever since. However, in July of 2019 the current congress showed some interest in reinstating
COOL. Beef is not the only protein that is mislabeled
in the US. Seafood is frequently substituted and mislabeled. In March of 2019, a marine
conservation nonprofit Oceana, released a new report on the state of seafood fraud in
the U.S. They found that 20% of the 449 fish for sale they tested were incorrectly labeled.
To highlight how widespread the issue was, the fish samples were purchased from different
retailers in 24 different states and the District of Columbia. Among other findings, the report discussed
that the most commonly mislabeled fish were sea bass and snapper. Mislabeling often occurred
in the case of cheaper, less desirable, imported fish which were sold as local catch and when
farm-raised fish were marketed as wild caught. A previous Oceana report found that 59% of
tuna sold in grocery stores and restaurants is not actual tuna, and 87% percent of snapper
isn’t snapper. In August 2019, Phillip R. Carawan the former
owner of a supplier Capt. Neill’s Seafood pled guilty to having his company falsely
label and sell over 179,872 pounds of foreign crab meat from South America and Asia as a
“Product of USA” making over $4 million in the process. It isn’t only meats that are targets of
food fraud. According to the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention, a nonprofit which helps create
standards for drugs, dietary supplements and food ingredients, the top three adulterated
and or mislabeled foods are milk, olive oil and honey. These three are often cut with
starches, less expensive oils and corn syrup, respectively. Frankly, the issues we’ve
been discussing are just the tip of the iceberg. By now you may be thinking that you should
raise and slaughter your own beef, catch your own seafood, keep bees and plant olive trees.
For many people that lifestyle simply isn’t possible. So what can you do to ensure what
you’are eating is actually what you think you are eating? Educate yourself. Some industries have created
committees or task forces committed to ensuring the quality and safety of their products.
They sometimes put out reports testing items and touting top quality products for their
industry. The olive oil industry has actually created seals that reputable companies can
include on their labels, as a sign that the product is of good quality. If possible, purchase local. Get to know the
sellers at your local farmer’s market or co-op. You’re less likely to purchase mislabeled
imported food there. Also you can hold your elected officials responsible.
Don’t be afraid to send an email or letter to authorities detailing your concerns. Often
the USDA has a comment period where they actively seek public feedback when considering new
regulations. Ultimately, you can also vote with your wallet.
When possible, don’t support companies or retailers who have been revealed to be involved
in mislabeling, promoting or selling fraudulent products. How safe do you think the food supply chain
is in your country? Let us know in the comments! Also, be sure to check out our other video
What Would Happen If You Only Ate Meat and Nothing Else?! Thanks for watching, and, as
always, don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

100 Comments

  1. unemployed

    November 9, 2019 at 4:09 am

    I love horse meat!

  2. Tommy Lovell

    November 9, 2019 at 4:09 am

    Horse meat is very tasty . Though it shouldn't be sold as beef , I don't understand the negativity about eating it .

  3. Rogue_101

    November 9, 2019 at 4:09 am

    I’m eating a burger rn

  4. Celairgil Faenmirion

    November 9, 2019 at 4:12 am

    Yum! People have eaten horses forever, why change that now?

  5. Syabila Azri

    November 9, 2019 at 4:12 am

    Okey… how many people here is a brony? (just asking….)

  6. Shuu Ouma

    November 9, 2019 at 4:13 am

    So what? people eat dogs in my country

  7. TGT AG_gamer

    November 9, 2019 at 4:14 am

    How does horse taste like just the pure meat being cooked.

  8. Robert Harris

    November 9, 2019 at 4:15 am

    No i havnt.

  9. assault ninja

    November 9, 2019 at 4:15 am

    I know I have been eating horse meat its my school lunch

  10. M P

    November 9, 2019 at 4:18 am

    Don't care, as long as it is tasty, safe to eat and makes me fat as a burguer should.

  11. Sachem 24

    November 9, 2019 at 4:18 am

    They're all worried about horse meat and then there's McDonald's owning a worm farm

  12. Justin Vela

    November 9, 2019 at 4:18 am

    I’ve never even heard of the word equine until this video. Cheers for always teach me something new apart from the video

  13. Hambugr

    November 9, 2019 at 4:19 am

    Idc if I’m eating horse meat horses are just athletic cows

  14. Sup Man

    November 9, 2019 at 4:19 am

    Do a you vs venom. Marvel VENOM 2018

  15. I-YELL- A-LOT

    November 9, 2019 at 4:20 am

    I HOPE YOU'RE WATCHING THIS TACO BELL

  16. Zoltan Jager

    November 9, 2019 at 4:20 am

    In Hungary the horse meet is special and very expensive if you can buy. Because demand is high. I love it.

  17. Cassie Stephenson

    November 9, 2019 at 4:20 am

    If you offered me some horse meat. I wouldn't tell you neigh.

  18. progamer45 gamer

    November 9, 2019 at 4:21 am

    Nooooooooo

  19. Brent Krause

    November 9, 2019 at 4:22 am

    Only eat a horse you know.

  20. Gaza Kid

    November 9, 2019 at 4:23 am

    I was thinking of applying for USA visa but that idea went out the door

  21. Texan Raider

    November 9, 2019 at 4:24 am

    So basically you want us to fear the fact we’re eating horse meat, let alone cows are TOTALLY fine.

  22. d3vil

    November 9, 2019 at 4:24 am

    i mean we eat tons of other kinds of meat dunno why horse meat is that insane

  23. Mac Hector

    November 9, 2019 at 4:24 am

    When food industries start horsing around with their products,it will become the consumer's nightmare.

  24. Ricardo Rojas

    November 9, 2019 at 4:25 am

    Infographics once said Mexico was in South America. Lost all credibility after that. What else have you lied about ??

  25. The real American99.

    November 9, 2019 at 4:25 am

    They add pork to increase the flavor. I know this. I also don’t care if I eat horse meat is meat.

  26. LuigianoMariano

    November 9, 2019 at 4:26 am

    The worid is going to run out of beef!
    What do we do!?
    We'll add Horse to the supply
    BRILLIANT
    One Investigation Later…
    Wait, what do you mean it's ILLEGAL!?

  27. Judas Iscariot

    November 9, 2019 at 4:28 am

    The infographic show: YouR EaTinG HoRseeeS!!!!

    Everyone Else: I See This an absolute win.

  28. Mega Dragonite

    November 9, 2019 at 4:28 am

    But I'm vegan…

  29. Adolf Hitler

    November 9, 2019 at 4:30 am

    Yummy that just means horse meat is delicious. Where can i get more?

  30. Pablasoo Music

    November 9, 2019 at 4:30 am

    I am Pablasoo

  31. TheAnnouncer

    November 9, 2019 at 4:31 am

    Not sharing the meat? That’s not very NEIGHborly of you

  32. Tnld Max

    November 9, 2019 at 4:31 am

    Idc it's still meat lol

  33. Sonny

    November 9, 2019 at 4:31 am

    I have a Horse named Mayo

    Mayo Neighs

  34. Arkey

    November 9, 2019 at 4:33 am

    Well, why would anyone be worried? Are horse meat known for having any health problems? If it were human meat, I would be freaked out but horses? They're not that weird, especially in different regions of the world. I'm pretty sure I had horse meat sausages before too in some country.

  35. nope Nope

    November 9, 2019 at 4:34 am

    Why is there like a echoing wheel screech or something at 1:23?

  36. Qedar Adonai

    November 9, 2019 at 4:41 am

    solvent green

  37. Leo

    November 9, 2019 at 4:42 am

    Someone give me some horses

  38. Insjensen

    November 9, 2019 at 4:44 am

    Why have there been so many REUPLOADS. Did you run out of new content?

  39. Astroman9569

    November 9, 2019 at 4:44 am

    What difference is it anyways, its not like Beef isnt an animal

  40. Pablo Leiva

    November 9, 2019 at 4:45 am

    Idek what the issue is with eating horses like it’s an animal with food on it. I mean, tricking people is wrong tho

  41. Cheese Assault

    November 9, 2019 at 4:45 am

    I D O N T C A R E

  42. FIREking30

    November 9, 2019 at 4:45 am

    I'm so hungry I could eat a horse

  43. Aidan Toponce

    November 9, 2019 at 4:45 am

    Horse meat is delicious

  44. Mason Campise

    November 9, 2019 at 4:45 am

    Even better

  45. Kevin Rodriguez

    November 9, 2019 at 4:46 am

    Well, I no longer trust frozen foods
    Nice lesson infographics show

  46. candybear5947 Gaming

    November 9, 2019 at 4:47 am

    honest question: why is eating horse so fox pass?

  47. The green tea Dragon

    November 9, 2019 at 4:48 am

    No I haven’t been, I’ve been a vegetarian for 3 years.

  48. if u fall for my profile pic ur retarded

    November 9, 2019 at 4:49 am

    Wait you guys didn't know?

  49. Charlie Bruce

    November 9, 2019 at 4:51 am

    Juicy horse steaks.. Thick, delicious horse burgers.. What's the problem..??

  50. Anonymous User

    November 9, 2019 at 4:51 am

    So what ? People are eating all kinds of meat around the world 🙄

  51. Lucas Biermann

    November 9, 2019 at 4:53 am

    well South America had horses in the past but the natives hunted them down to extinction….

  52. v̩ɴ̩シ̩V̩a̩n̩i̩k̩k̩x̩࿐̩ V

    November 9, 2019 at 4:55 am

    Kazakhstan:*Laughs in Horse meat*

  53. voidofopinion

    November 9, 2019 at 4:56 am

    n-gage

  54. Death Candy

    November 9, 2019 at 4:56 am

    Horse is fineeeeee

  55. Claude Faustus

    November 9, 2019 at 4:56 am

    My little burger..my little burger🎶🐴🍔

  56. Rocketz Blast

    November 9, 2019 at 5:00 am

    I actually like horse meat

  57. Samuel Matheson

    November 9, 2019 at 5:00 am

    Me: "oh boi I need to go to sleep, gotta wake up early tomorrow"
    Infographics: "NO U WATCH LE HORSE MEAT"

  58. Blue Is

    November 9, 2019 at 5:01 am

    As a lifelong vegan, that showed Arabian horses, this is absolutely revolting and against the law and wrong for so many reasons, imo. In many Asian homes and restaurants, they serve cat and dog. Now do you see what I mean?! 😮😠😞

  59. John Nihil

    November 9, 2019 at 5:02 am

    No you've been eating horse meat. I don't eat meat.

  60. John snr and john jnr

    November 9, 2019 at 5:03 am

    I remember when this hit the headlines.

  61. Bean Bag

    November 9, 2019 at 5:03 am

    i’m so hungry i could eat a horse

  62. Sellsy Boi

    November 9, 2019 at 5:05 am

    mmmmm yum

  63. Daplin1

    November 9, 2019 at 5:11 am

    Wait what's wrong with eating horses?

  64. Leah M

    November 9, 2019 at 5:11 am

    say sike right now…

  65. Wimplo86

    November 9, 2019 at 5:11 am

    Japan: “I don’t see the problem here”

  66. Ayanbek Serikov

    November 9, 2019 at 5:11 am

    Actually horse meat is delicious.

  67. Deadlyecho11 1

    November 9, 2019 at 5:15 am

    Is the this bad??

  68. Divergent Droid

    November 9, 2019 at 5:15 am

    Ya know whats funny.. This information will not apply to 95 percent of your demographics. You are essentially taking up 14:19 minutes of peoples valabule time. You Robbed people 14:19 minutes of LIFE.

  69. Valerie G

    November 9, 2019 at 5:17 am

    vegetarian now 😑…. . Until I watch another Gordon Ramsey episode 😬🦴

  70. Can I speak to yo dam manager ?

    November 9, 2019 at 5:17 am

    When can I get unicorn meat?

  71. P3RF3CT WHIT3

    November 9, 2019 at 5:18 am

    I'm French soo this dont bother me

  72. S S

    November 9, 2019 at 5:19 am

    Bear Grylls: So?

  73. Lindsey Gutierrez

    November 9, 2019 at 5:20 am

    Eh meat is meat as long as it’s passing inspection I don’t really care.

  74. Deshawn Flys

    November 9, 2019 at 5:22 am

    I don’t eat 🍔

  75. xXReconCallusXx

    November 9, 2019 at 5:22 am

    So we're all tongans

  76. Chi chan

    November 9, 2019 at 5:23 am

    I can't eat Horse meat, it's
    No Horse November

  77. not a boomer

    November 9, 2019 at 5:24 am

    I dont eat burgers soo, ha!

  78. Brenden Goldman

    November 9, 2019 at 5:24 am

    Horses are just skinny cows , I will gladly eat a horse

  79. Conduktion_ HOllOW

    November 9, 2019 at 5:24 am

    Wait, say sike right now. Don’t be pulling my tail my guy. sighs
    Hold your horses everybody

  80. BRIGHT MINDS

    November 9, 2019 at 5:25 am

    Is this f****k info is true ?? ?

  81. Alistair Kaname

    November 9, 2019 at 5:26 am

    Of course it's the French mixing horse meat into other products. French love eating horse the first time I saw horse meat on a restaurant menu was at a french restaurant in Toronto.

  82. Nathan Jarboe

    November 9, 2019 at 5:26 am

    What’s wrong with horse?

  83. Hawkeye Stegosaurus

    November 9, 2019 at 5:27 am

    I'd ear a horse, at least once..

  84. im a gator

    November 9, 2019 at 5:27 am

    Key words were in Ireland lol

  85. Nothing Left

    November 9, 2019 at 5:27 am

    It was a conspiracy. A group of vegans got jobs at the meat plants and slipped in horse meat then tipped off journalists in order to cause people to stop eating beef.

  86. LILMS

    November 9, 2019 at 5:27 am

    How is horse less expensive than cow

  87. Murgu Talent

    November 9, 2019 at 5:28 am

    Well.Horses are healthy animals.Whats that bad?(didnt watched whole video)

  88. JJ

    November 9, 2019 at 5:28 am

    *Megan Thee Stallion has left the chat

  89. Righteous1

    November 9, 2019 at 5:33 am

    I don't mind horse meat.

  90. FreeSudani

    November 9, 2019 at 5:33 am

    Thats why i only ask for chicken burger

  91. Alex Williams

    November 9, 2019 at 5:33 am

    The fact that this doesn’t bother me is worrying

  92. Eskwuatic Boi

    November 9, 2019 at 5:34 am

    Woah horse meat is delicious!

  93. Lava Animates

    November 9, 2019 at 5:34 am

    Horse.

  94. 3x71us1v3

    November 9, 2019 at 5:35 am

    I assure you I was fully aware of it

  95. Terrell Littleton

    November 9, 2019 at 5:36 am

    Don’t worry, I know exactly what the school feeds me.

  96. Kai Kaoran

    November 9, 2019 at 5:38 am

    It is not bad to eat horse we in Philippines sometimes eat horse. Horse meat is a bit though and leathery but also very delicious.

  97. Ken Hayabusa

    November 9, 2019 at 5:39 am

    Sad to know how many animals die in vain.

Leave a Reply