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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.
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) Page 2 of 2 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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