In the last few days there has been a lot of news about an Irish firm that has supplied Tesco with beef burgers that are 29% horse meat. There has been an outcry about this and I must admit I would not have been happy if I had eaten some of these burgers. Tesco has taken all the burgers off its shelves and apologised in full page newspaper ads.
This joke video is going viral on YouTube and shows a pantomime horse mourning the loss of his family.
However, I think it is worth pointing out that horse meat is not illegal in the UK so no food regulations have been broken. I believe that the only regulation broken is that the burgers were described as beef but were clearly not beef. This story has made the headlines because in the UK horses are considered as pets rather than food.
In Europe horse meat is eaten regularly and can be found on restaurant menus. I have never (knowingly) eaten horse meat but I must admit that when travelling I sometimes take a gamble and just pick something at random and see what comes so it is possible that I have eaten horse meat.
I was on a training course in Belgium and in the restaurant in the evening all my English colleagues decided to try horse meat. I ordered a beef main course but I had no problem with everybody else trying horse meat. It is ironic that overnight I suffered from food poisoning and had to miss the next day of the training course. All my horse meat eating colleagues were OK so clearly the beef meal that I had was bad.
I would not eat horse meat but I have absolutely no problem with other people knowingly eating horse meat. My only concern is that the burgers were no labelled as containing horse meat so consumers were unknowingly eating horse meat.