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  #1  
Old 17 January 2013, 10:52 PM
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Default Horsemeat found in hamburgers in Britain and Ireland

Quote:
(CNN) -- The discovery of horse DNA in hamburgers on sale at supermarkets in Ireland and Britain is testing the appetite of meat lovers there.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland said Tuesday that 10 out of 27 hamburger products it analyzed in a study were found to contain horse DNA, and 23 of them tested positive for pig DNA.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/16/world/...tml?hpt=hp_bn2

I found this bit about the story to be the most surprising:

Quote:
In nine out of the 10 burger samples, the horse DNA was found at very low levels, the authority said, but in one sample from Tesco, Britain's largest retailer, the horsemeat accounted for about 29% of the burger.
Unless horsemeat is illegal to sell in the UK, this seems pretty wasteful along with being unethical, considering that at least in my experience horse meat of comprable quality to hamburger beef tends to sell for more than the regular beef does.

- Il-Mari
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  #2  
Old 17 January 2013, 11:17 PM
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I don't think it's illegal to sell - it's just not much eaten here. There was an article in the BBC about why it's "taboo" (Why are the British revolted by the idea of horsemeat?), but I'm not convinced we are particularly revolted by it either - I've had it once or twice, just not in this country.

Nobody I know seems particularly up in arms over this; the media seem more upset than people I've heard talking about it - it's almost a bit of a joke - but it's still better to know how the supply chain works and how things are getting into it that aren't meant to be there. That's more important than the fact that the contaminant is horsemeat, to me - the horsemeat as such doesn't really bother me, but it makes you wonder what else might be wrong. I doubt it's the highest-quality horsemeat so there probably would be a cost saving involved, depending where it's coming from.
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  #3  
Old 17 January 2013, 11:44 PM
stoolie stoolie is offline
 
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I went to Tesco to get some burger patties, and they're off....
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  #4  
Old 18 January 2013, 09:29 AM
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There's also the question of fraud and regulations on publishing accurate ingredient lists. You can sell horsemeat if you want, but only if people KNOW they're getting horsemeat.
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Old 18 January 2013, 10:29 AM
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It's legal to sell and eat horsemeat as long as it is not misrepresented as beef (by the way, they are mostly called beefburgers by the supermarket chains here, as a hamburger would be expected to contain ham!).

The legality issue is due to food labelling laws. Beefburgers containing undeclared (on ingredients) horse or pork are considered "contaminated".

Most of the people I met at the Tesco clearance chiller cabinet yesterday (okay, a small and possibly unrepresentative sample) weren't bothered about horse in the product. If Tesco had slapped a label on it saying "beef-and-horse patties" they'd have bought it.

There's a restaurant in Edinburgh that serves horse and they've seen a huge rise in demand from curious customers as a result of the horse-burger story.
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Old 18 January 2013, 11:39 AM
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just curious how they could determine the percentage of DNA in a sample -- i tiny amount of dna provides a large enough sample for identinifcation purpose -- but i wouldnt expect them to quantify a full 1/4 lbs patty --
-
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Old 18 January 2013, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llewtrah View Post
It's legal to sell and eat horsemeat as long as it is not misrepresented as beef (by the way, they are mostly called beefburgers by the supermarket chains here, as a hamburger would be expected to contain ham!).
Ah, hamburgers. Beef does all the work, ham gets all the credit [/Harry Hill]
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Old 18 January 2013, 01:11 PM
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You are of course aware that it's probably the people of Hamburg who get all the credit.
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Old 18 January 2013, 02:34 PM
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Next you'll be telling us Frankfurters aren't made of people called Frank.
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  #10  
Old 18 January 2013, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Enrico View Post
You are of course aware that it's probably the people of Hamburg who get all the credit.
Ah don't spoil the fun, how can they mock silly Americans if the name doesn't originate there?
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Old 18 January 2013, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sue View Post
Ah don't spoil the fun, how can they mock silly Americans if the name doesn't originate there?
I don't think anyone was mocking Americans. The Harry Hill joke Embra posted was just a bit of wordplay, while llewtrah was merely commenting on a quirk of packaging laws here (possibly - McDonalds certainly sells "hamburgers" with no legal penalties, but it is true that most frozen burgers you buy will be marked as "beef burgers", so I'm not entirely sure.)
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  #12  
Old 18 January 2013, 03:31 PM
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Please tell me my Welsh rabbit does contains bits of the yummy, yummy Welsh?
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  #13  
Old 18 January 2013, 03:33 PM
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No rabbit either. I know the etymology indicates "rabbit," but "rarebit" is much more usual IME.
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  #14  
Old 18 January 2013, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not_Done_Living View Post
just curious how they could determine the percentage of DNA in a sample -- i tiny amount of dna provides a large enough sample for identinifcation purpose -- but i wouldnt expect them to quantify a full 1/4 lbs patty --
-
Indeed. In one report it was said that there was 29% horse dna found in one sample. Meat producers here are saying it was caused by an imported additive. There must've been some quantity of the additive used.
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  #15  
Old 18 January 2013, 11:05 PM
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I'm surprised no one else referenced it first:

Hey, my steak still has marks where the jockey was hittin' it.
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  #16  
Old 18 January 2013, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Not_Done_Living View Post
just curious how they could determine the percentage of DNA in a sample -- i tiny amount of dna provides a large enough sample for identinifcation purpose -- but i wouldnt expect them to quantify a full 1/4 lbs patty --
-
No, but taking a few samples and averaging the results would give them a pretty good idea. Since it's ground meat the percentages should be reasonably similar throughout.
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  #17  
Old 18 January 2013, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BringTheNoise View Post
There's also the question of fraud and regulations on publishing accurate ingredient lists. You can sell horsemeat if you want, but only if people KNOW they're getting horsemeat.
I would say that this is an issue. A hamburger that contains other meats than hamburger (ground beef) should be clearly labelled as such.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BringTheNoise View Post
I don't think anyone was mocking Americans. The Harry Hill joke Embra posted was just a bit of wordplay, while llewtrah was merely commenting on a quirk of packaging laws here (possibly - McDonalds certainly sells "hamburgers" with no legal penalties, but it is true that most frozen burgers you buy will be marked as "beef burgers", so I'm not entirely sure.)
I hate the whatever-burgers. It is not a burger, it is a sandwich, on a bun. Hamburger is ground beef. I think technically a hamburger is a hamburger sandwich. A "beef burger" is partially redundant, and partially mangled.
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  #18  
Old 19 January 2013, 09:10 AM
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"Burger" here is used to mean what I think you would probably call a "patty": you can stick a prefix in front of it to determine what kind it is. Beefburgers are the most common, but you can get chickenburgers, veggieburgers, beanburgers...

I don't think that's mangled: the word has just evolved differently here. I could start moaning about how people use the word "sandwich" to mean something in a bread roll, when to me it refers to something between two slices of bread.
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  #19  
Old 19 January 2013, 01:15 PM
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Except for your usage of beefburger (which would be simply a hamburger here), the usage has evolved the same way here. I think geminilee's problem (with the shortening of the name hamburger to "burger," which then calls for a qualifier of its contents) is purely a pedantic one. I entirely understand the irritation, because the "ham" was an integral part of the word, not a reference to the meat, but I don't think it is a commonly held issue.

We also have veggieburgers, soyburgers, etc. Also steakburgers, a monicker that suggests a better cut of beef has been ground to make the patties.

As for ham-burgers, I've never seen a burger entirely made of ham. However, my husband is a bit of a hamburger connoisseur, and he swears that sliced ham on top of a burger patty is the perfect combination. I prefer bacon myself.

Eta: count me among those who, after reading about this, started wondering about the taste of, and wanting to try, horse. A local place has a venison-burger on their menu, and while its not the same thing, it's making me want one.
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  #20  
Old 19 January 2013, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BringTheNoise View Post
I don't think anyone was mocking Americans. The Harry Hill joke Embra posted was just a bit of wordplay, while llewtrah was merely commenting on a quirk of packaging laws here (possibly - McDonalds certainly sells "hamburgers" with no legal penalties, but it is true that most frozen burgers you buy will be marked as "beef burgers", so I'm not entirely sure.)
Could be me being oversensitive and I shouldn't have assumed an anti American sentiment from those posting here. But I do notice a lot of anti American sentiment when I am in England and part of that does seem to manifest itself in mocking word choices, including hamburger, and for some reason toasted sandwiches . Apparently we're stupid if we ask for a toasted bacon sandwich because here (in England) 'we' don't toast bacon, ha ha.
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