Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The horse and the beef burger

I love horses as much as the next person. When I was a little girl, I enjoyed riding on them, stroking their soft noses and feeding them apples. Horses are brilliant fun!

Apparently I also like eating them - lightly grilled, and stuck between two sesame buns, with tomato ketchup and a large helping of gherkins. Yummy - not!

How do I know this? Because I was one of the lucky shoppers, who recently bought Tesco's frozen beef burgers, which turned out to contain a generous portion of horse meat. 
I have still some left in the freezer, but I am not sure that I can face another slice of 'Black Beauty' any time soon.

Clearly the UK Government's Food Standards Agency, Tesco and consumer groups are up in arms. Not so much because of the extra horse meat, but because the beef burgers was not labelled correctly!

This suggest that I shouldn't be upset by finding a bit of Shire Horse in my evening dinner, as long as the so called 'beef burger' I am eating, somewhere on the package, has the word 'Horse' printed on it.

Sure the label is important, but should we not worry about the fact that when I look at a horse, I see well... a horse, while others apparently see beef! 
Someone was clearly not paying a lot of attention when the difference between a cow and a horse came up in biology.

Obviously the UK's food labelling laws are very stringent  and as a consumer I can appreciate how easy it must be for a food producer to break the law.

"But Mr. food inspector, I can assure you that we don't know how a flock of horses gained entry to the factory and one by one jumped into the meat grinder!?"

To avoid the food industry breaking the law, I suggest the labelling of beef burgers be relaxed. Here is how this could be done.

1-"Beef burgers - may contain beef"
2-"Beef burgers - with a hint of 'My Little Pony' "
3-"Beef burgers - contains assorted mammals"

Yum yum NOT! 

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