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Horsemeat in Meat Products - CVUA Stuttgart Informs

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					11.02.2013




Horsemeat in Meat Products - CVUA Stuttgart
Informs

According to current reports, horsemeat has been used in various
ready-made meals and meat products that should actually contain
beef. These falsely declared products have been brought mainly as
deep-frozen goods into Great Britain, France, Poland, and Spain. Un-
der the food law, this is an unambiguous case of consumer fraud.


Is it forbidden to use horsemeat as food?
No!
An explicit ban on the killing of animals for the purpose of gaining meat to
use as food exists in the German Animal Food and Hygiene Regulation
only for dogs, cats, apes and monkeys. That means horsemeat can be
used as food. The slaughtering and marketing of horsemeat in Germany is
conducted mostly by specialized horsemeat butcheries and slaughter
houses.


Features of Horses
According to EU Regulation Nr. 504 / 2008 every horse in the EU requires
a registration certificate. In the certificate it is noted whether the animal
can be slaughtered for human consumption or not. A change from the
certificate’s notation from „food horse“ to “non-food horse“ is possible at
any time. A change in the reverse is not possible! A registration certificate
with an initial classification regarding the possibility of slaughter must be
documented within the first six months of the horse’s life. If this is neglect-
ed, the animal may not be slaughtered anymore. This regulation allows
„non-food horses“ to be treated with medication that is banned for animals
that provide food for human consumption. The necessity of such medica-
tion is greater for horses that are intensively used for sport. The categori-
zation as “non-food horse” is binding for all successive owners. In the EU
no horse may be slaughtered if its registration certificate does not state:
„slaughter for human consumption is permitted”.


 ADRESS Schaflandstraße 3/2 70736 Fellbach Germany    E-MAIL Poststelle@cvuas.bwl.de
 TELEFONE +49 711 3426 - 1234                         INTERNET www.cvua-stuttgart.de
 +49 711 3426 - 1727 (Diagnostics)
 FAX +49 711 588176 +49 711 3426-1729 (Diagnostics)
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Horsemeat as food
Horsemeat differs in taste from the usual animal meats such as beef, pork,
lamb, and poultry because of its sweet note. This difference is usually not
noticeable in meat products due to the addition of spices and other ingre-
dients. In comparison to beef and pork, the average fat content of horse-
meat is lower and the meat is a darker red than that of beef. There is no
health risk associated with eating horsemeat, as long as the usual hygiene
regulations are observed. During the BSE scare, some consumers re-
garded horsemeat as a valid alternative to beef. Therefore, notwithstand-
ing personal, ethical issues therewith, there is no reason to avoid eating
horsemeat.


Investigatory Results from CVUA Stuttgart
From 2003 to 2006 a total of 40 sausages were analyzed using the ELISA
(Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay) procedure. The focus of the in-
vestigations at this time was on raw and boiled sausages. The consump-
tion of horsemeat is not uncommon especially in France and Italy. In addi-
tion to these countries, sausages produced in Spain, Hungary and Ger-
many were also analyzed with regard to the addition of horsemeat. Except
for six award-winning horse sausage products, no further sausages were
detected with any horsemeat. Owing to the current reports, CVUA
Stuttgart will be increasing its investigations into the presence of horse-
meat in meat products.



Author: Dr. Joachim Kuntzer

				
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Description: According to current reports, horsemeat has been used in various ready-made meals and meat products that should actually contain beef. These falsely declared products have been brought mainly as deep-frozen goods into Great Britain, France, Poland, and Spain. Under the food law, this is an unambiguous case of consumer fraud.