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Food inspectors investigate Dutch role in horse meat scandal

Monday 11 February 2013

Dutch food safety inspectors are to investigate claims that Dutch companies are involved in the horse meat scandal, which is slowly widening across Europe.

The inspectors will also look into whether meat products containing horse without being labelled as such are on Dutch supermarket shelves, news agency Novum reported.

Horse meat has been found in products said to be 100% beef in Britain, Sweden, Ireland and Poland in recent days. In particular, frozen lasagne from a French firm was found to be up to 100% horse. French officials have said a Dutch meat trader had a pivotal role in the supply chain and may  have bought the meat from Romania.

Horse steaks


Horse steaks used to be a popular meat in the Netherlands but are now much less widely eaten. Instead, horse is used to bulk out more expensive meat in snack products.


Checks on popular Dutch snacks such as bitterballen carried out by Wageningen University in 2007 found horse meat was included in 32% of them. And in 2008, a television consumer programme found horse was still used by many producers of frikandellen.


The Netherlands is also a major processor of horse meat imported from abroad, largely from South America.



© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

It's no wonder beef products here taste so lousy. I used to think it was because they used old dairy cows for beef now I understand it's that and also a mix of horse meat.

By Quince | 11 February 2013 3:40 PM

Ah finally we can have a real "burrito". Literally.

By joost | 11 February 2013 3:47 PM

I'll be very surprised if no horse meat is found in products on Dutch supermarket shelves. Iglo frozen foods are found all over Europe and Iglo owns the Findus brand in Italy.

By groverpm | 11 February 2013 4:44 PM

I really don't care as long as I am getting all the nutrition they mention on their food label.

By I'd like to stay anonymous | 11 February 2013 5:21 PM

I always wondered what the mystery meat in kroketten and bitterballen was!

By M | 11 February 2013 8:40 PM

Horst meat consumption is common in many countries however a problem for human consumption are the drugs residuals that are used for treatment in horses. Particular concern is Phenylbutazone (PBZ) the most commonly used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) in equine practice, not approved for human use, as it can cause severe adverse effects such as suppression of white blood cell production and aplastic anemia.

By Terence Hale | 12 February 2013 6:03 AM

When this food scandal started in the UK, a week ago or so, I actually looked at these 'snacks' in the (Dutch)supermarket, where I shop: for horse meat listed amongst the ingredients, but have found NONE mentioned. Clearly, this is not true, by now we know, and I do not follow why not included/listed honestly. Dutch people do not seem to have a problem with it (nor do I ) as long as I know what I eat, and as long as the horses are checked for human consumption and not given any medication or food which is not good for us. Just as with any other meat. Why to deny it then? Puzzled.....

By Katy | 12 February 2013 11:57 AM

@Quince. Actually, horse-meat is extremely tender and more tasty than beef. It was widely eaten her e up to the 80s, so your comment is pretty ill-informed. As for 'the mystery meat in kroketten and bitterballen' I really don't think you want to know :)

By woods | 12 February 2013 10:07 PM

Without a lab & know-how, it's virtually impossible to know all the contents of any meat product that has been chopped, shredded or minced.
Whatever the type of meat you eat, bear in mind that almost ALL meat originated from a factory farm, not pasture.

These farms can incorporate rendered road kill, dead horses, euthanized cats, dogs, feathers, hair, skin, hooves, blood, and intestines in the animal-feed often under catch-all categories like "animal protein products, not to mention MSG, sodium nitrate, antibiotics, etc.. most people only go on taste & price, disgusting, ugh!

By The visitor | 13 February 2013 4:15 AM

British media were blaming the Netherlands, Poland, France, Cyprus, Luxemburg, Romania and of course the EU as a whole, but yesterday two British companies were raided. So far for "buy British". Pathetic.

By pepe | 13 February 2013 1:13 PM

I'm only going to eat oatmeal from now on. In solidarity with the horses.

By J. | 13 February 2013 5:14 PM

I agree with 'Pepe': yesterday, a major body's official shamelessly came into the BBC tv studios and announced that "British standards are so extremely high, and carefully checked - if only the rest of the EU were like that". Nauseating!

By Katy, again :0) | 13 February 2013 5:48 PM

1. Don't believe half what the British media say - they are full of cr@p half the time
2. A raid does not mean guilty. The Todmorden slaughterhouse has been slaughtering horses for years.
3. The FSA is checking all slaughter houses.

By ExtraExtra | 13 February 2013 6:37 PM

Sure ExtraExtra, because the UK is perfect. Impossible that any British company is involved in this scandal. Only foreigners are to blame.
Watch this movie about British slaughter houses:

By pepe | 13 February 2013 8:05 PM

You're right about the British media. Then for a Tory minister to suggest DNA testing on a regular basis, as if it doesn't already happen. What a pompous and arrogant idiot. What does he think the DEFRA lab technicians do all day long, play Freecell?

By mick marsh | 14 February 2013 12:04 AM

The problem is not if you eat horsemeat or not, it is the fact that you had no idea what you were eating and the label was false. If they can do this what else are they putting in your food?
I find it shameful, and further more scary.
Good thing for me is I rarely eat prepared processed foods not because of fear of horsemeat but all the other stuff listed.

By Angela | 15 February 2013 10:12 AM

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