Monday, 11 February 2013

Romanian, Irish, Italian or Polish gee-gees?

There's a local Indian takeaway that has on the menu 'Meat curry - £4.95; Named meat curry £5.95'. I'd always assumed it meant if you took his choice of chicken, beef or lamb rather than yours you got a discount. Now I'm not so sure. It seems that for some years all of us who have ever eaten processed meat products - pies, sausages, burgers, supermarket ready-meals, pub lasagne - have almost certainly eaten horse. I wouldn't even rule out supermarket mince. As for Frankfurters, the manufacturers actually admit making these from pigs' eyelids, gums, lips, nipples and sphincters, so the addition of a little horse-meat would actually raise the quality of the raw ingredients. 

As Richard North has pointed out on EuReferendum, it seems likely that this is organised crime working on a continental scale and taking full advantage of the EU's fundamental free movement of goods principles. Containers of ciggies or cognac attract all sort of official attention, but no-one pays attention to twenty tonnes of frozen ground meat.

You may detect a certain lack of outrage here and this is because my beef consumption has been 95% prepared by me from fresh identifiable whole pieces of meat. And even though I've bought fresh supermarket mince to date, the purchase of a kitchen mincer (below) will allow me instead to process myself the cheap pieces of skirt or shin from the local butchers that I usually use for gulas

And as for the FSA, their obsession with the minutae of health-fascist campaigning for 'healthy' food traffic-light labelling and the like has left the goal wide open for this greater adulteration. Perhaps a few sackings at the top are due.


G. Tingey said...

TWO separate scandals here, with a side-order of careful thought on the part of the consumer also required.

1] Deliberate adulteration of "Beef" (or whatever) with other, cheaper materials. Which are probably, of themselves, safe, but just "different". Straight criminal fraud-for-monetary gain.
2] Much commoner - the "1% horse" syndrome [ Or 1% pig in hala, for that matter ] Carelessness & very poor hygiene. It means that the meat-processors are definitely NOT cleaning & scouring their equipment properly (at all?).
This is actually much the more worrying revelation.
It menas that the opportunities for contamination by other materials, especially infected/diseased ones is much higher.
SHOULD also be jailable, but somehow, I doubt it will happen.
Really big fines + bad publicity might do the trick.

3] Source your meat carefully, from trusted suppliers!
( We do )

DeeDee99 said...

A few sackings at the top might be in order, but they will never happen.

Just like Staffordshire Hospital we will be told that the problems are systemic and require another Quango at EU level to sort them out ..... move along, nothing to see here.

If the authorities and food processing businesses don't even know what product they are dealing with, how can they possibly know that it hasn't been contaminated. Yet Owen Paterson tells us we cannot block imports from the EU because it is an EU competence.

Actually, we can. But it requires a Minister to work in the intersts of the British people not the EU, but even Owen Paterson isn't prepared to do that.

Anonymous said...


I agree with much of what you say.

As for Owen Patterson, he will get his orders from 'above' and carry them out, irrespective of what he might actually want to do.

This situation more highlights how far we have fallen as a supposed sovereign nation into a vassal of the Establishment, EU and corporate hierarchy.

Anonymous said...

What we should do (but won't) is:
(a) ban meat imports from the rest of the EU, and impose a requirement that every consignment is DNA tested here (when the ban is lifted).
(b) use EU arrest warrants to extradite the managing and other directors from firms with proven lapses in food standards.
What would happen is that there would be an EU outcry about (a) and a national government 'Non' about (b), and that would belp us 'Outers' with our campaign.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

@G.Tingey: "Which are probably, of themselves, safe" How would you know that, and why assume it? Criminal are unlikely to care where the meat comes from and whether it's technically fit for human consumption. Much more likely it will be diseased and full of illegal growth promoters, antibiotics, etc etc.

Sackings at the top? Pull the other one. Stafford Hospital killed 1200 and nobody has even been disciplined.

hatfield girl said...

I might eat horsemeat in Modena or Mantova where they do and there is a properly sourced and monitored supply chain but eating it in the UK is a horrible idea.

Your kitchen, Raedwald, from its occasional appearances in the blog, seems a workshop of delicious culinary experiences. Being snowed-in at the moment time-consuming but warming food suggestions would be taken-up (perhaps not horse dishes though).

Anonymous said...

We can't ban imports from other EU countries.
Everyone who has worked in the meat "trade" has been aware for many decades of the adulteration of mince by offal, and not even offal of the same animal.
there is, literally, nothing new here for me. That it is for others is an alarming thought.

G. Tingey said...

I take your point - if criminal now, then why should they bother about the rest?
Nonetheless, I still maintaion that the "1%" bit is the more dangerous, if only because much more widespread, & therefore more likely to be the cause of something rally nasty.

Demetrius said...

Years and years ago I made jokes about Vintage Irish Meat, but was never believed, indeed told it was in bad taste. So where did all those Irish horses of yore get to?

Anonymous said...

And the connection between this scandal and the banking scandal?

Lots and lots and lots of paperwork.. All saying everything fine..

While the reality is decidedly different..

Again...shitty bureaucracy - costs us loads, achieves fuck all

Anon 2 said...

Hmmm. For years we've been joking about whatever tptb might be "putting in the water" to keep us proles dumb, happy, and non-revolutionary. Now the possibility arises that they could put drugs in the food. Brave New World (Huxley) might have been a warning for us, but they use it as a handbook.

And let's not forget the hints out there that Mafia type criminals are bound to be involved in this vast corruption of the corporate network.

Anonymous said...

So , there's horse - meat in beef - burgers ; are the consumers being taken for a ride ?

Bill Quango MP said...

I will eat supermarket mince.Not too fussed if it tastes alright. Tesco the poorest. {There might be others that are worse, but I don't yet venture into the Aldi-Lidl world}
M+S seem ok.

Generally mince comes from the butchers which we are extremely lucky enough to still have in the village.

But father-in-law, checks every packet to see which farm its from.
If he can't identify , he won't buy.

That's because of his 5 year stint in an Irish abattoir.

John M said...

Someone in our office was saying today that this was possibly predictable.

Apparently the Romanians passed a law last year banning the horse and cart from use on public roads. Suddenly millions of Romanians found themselves with a useless and costly horse.

What do you think the inevitable consequences of that were?

Blue Eyes said...

I read somewhere that fresh horsemeat greys very quickly so it's unlikely you have bought it if you buy uncooked "beef" products. It's only easy to hide in pre-cooked products. Apparently.

Anonymous said...

I club together with some other people in the village and we buy (depending on numbers involved) either half or a full dressed carcass of beef which has been slaughtered by the farmer. Our local butcher will do the business of cutting it up into recognisable joints (taking one or two bits in lieu of payment) and we all freeze the bits that we've previously agreed on.
There's a similar arrangement ongoing with a pig farmer. Like all other livestock raisers he can slaughter for his own personal use. He says that his family are greedy so-and-so's because they can get through three porker carcasses in a week!
Join the rural population and have nothing to do with the crap served up to city dwellers!

Raedwald said...

HG - Not sure about the time consuming; most dishes just need oven-time, ideal for long casual aperitifs; 3 hours for a goulash, 2hrs on the stove-top for braised red cabbage, 2.1/2 hrs in the oven for a hotpot so the potatoes achieve a gradation from gum-chewy to crisp, a couple of hours for a baked gammon (yes, pics are all mine own food)

Dave said...

Radders - why are you serving caramel with toad-in-the-hole? Haven't you heard of gravy?

Anonymous said...

"And even though I've bought fresh supermarket mince to date"

I don't think I have bought supermarket minced 'meat' in twenty years.

I remember I used to cook with it once, but on the last occasion noticed a pink scum floating on the surface.

Put me off processed 'meat' for eva.

On the other hand, I have walked along Wood Green road and caught a butcher spraying the carcass in his shop with fly spray!!!

What to do?

G. Tingey said...


Even the duck we had for Sunday (still eating it, of course) ...
Peel home-grown spuds, plonk duck in self-bast casserole, add 4 garlic (h-g again) cloves, lime (h-g) rind to innards, sprinkle with caraway seeds, a little olive oil.
Gas Mk 4 for 2+ hrs.

hatfield girl said...

Thank you R. Hot pot first I think. I'm all for gravy thick as caramel; they can't do proper gravy here - keep turning out wine-laden pan juices.