Horsemeat may have made its way to Danish restaurants

A Jutland slaughterhouse is suspected of mixing beef with horsemeat; meanwhile a poll shows most Danes have no qualms about eating horse

(photo: Stephen Wright)
February 15th, 2013 7:21 pm| by admin
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A small slaughterhouse in Jutland may be mixing horsemeat with beef and supplying it to restaurants in the area.

The food minister, Mette Gjerskov (Socialdemokraterne), said that the nation's food authorities, Fødevarestyrelsen, are investigating.

”Fødevarestyrlesen is looking at Danish slaughterhouses to see if there could have been a blending of meat, “Gjerskov told DR News. “Everyone in the food industry needs to examine their suppliers.”

Samples from the suspected slaughterhouse are being examined and the results are expected next week. The slaughterhouse in question reportedly handles both horse and beef, and the food authority is investigating whether its customers were aware that the slaughterhouse’s mince was a combination product consisting of horsemeat and ground beef.

The first arrests in connection with the ongoing European horsemeat saga were made last Sunday when two English slaughterhouse owners and an as yet unidentified person were picked up by police in England. The scandal first came to light on January 16 when the Irish Food Board announced that horse DNA had been found in some hamburgers.

Gjerskov said the Jutland case could also become a matter for the police if customers were unaware that they had been sold and were eating horsemeat.

In the wake of the controversy, a new poll revealed that a majority of Danes have no problem eating equine protein, provided that they know in advance what they are sinking their carnivorous teeth into.

A slight majority of 55 percent of those polled by Epinion for DR News said they would eat horsemeat, and a full 70 percent disagreed that it was unethical to lunch on the cowboy’s best friend.

Two-thirds of the men surveyed said they would have no problem with eating horse, while slightly less than half of the women thought they would partake of a ‘mane meal’.

Only 25 percent of the Danes surveyed completely rejected the idea of eating horse.

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