|Horse meat for sale illustration|
The horse meat scandal across Europe continues to widen.
At first, other meats were found to contain horse meat and now horse meat was found to be laced with an illegal and dangerous drug, according to press reports in the Czech Republic.
The Czech Republic Veterinary Authority announced that horse meat imported from Poland tested positive for phenylbutazone, a drug given to the horse that is extremely dangerous to humans.
The horse meat from animals treated with this drug was prohibited from being sold in the European Union.
A spokesperson for the Czech Republic veterinary authority said that so far 650 pounds of tainted horse meat was found on store shelves. The spokesperson also said that all horse meat will be tested for the drug.
“After this latest scandal with horse meat consumers will probably stay away from the meat market in general in the near future until the situation clears up,” Ron Dupree, 40, a commodity analyst in the Czech Republic told YourJewishNews.com.
In other horse meat related news, Burger King has become the latest company to be involved in the horse meat selling scandal. Their burgers were tested and found to contain horse meat.
For two weeks, Burger King has denied the allegations that their burgers contain horse meat, but now, they have admitted that after further testing, horse meat was found in its burgers, in the United Kingdom.
The fast food chain, which has more than 500 restaurants in the U.K., had given a series of "absolute guarantees” that its products were not involved in the horse meat scandal. However, new testing has revealed that these guarantees were incorrect in a revelation that threatens to destroy the confidence of its customers.
It also raises serious questions about whether the food company, which sells about a million burgers a week, has an idea of what goes into their products.
The contaminated hamburgers were made by the processing company called Silvercrest, which is based in Ireland, and is part of ABP Foods Group.
After one of its suppliers was being investigated for the sale of beef products potentially contaminated by horse meat, Burger King, concluded that none of its products were affected. But two weeks later they announced that their product did in fact contain horse meat.
Burger king, said it has stopped buying its burgers from Silvercrest, as a result, some menu items from Burger King were "temporarily unavailable", the chain said, apologizing to customers for the inconvenience.
"While the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, has stated that this is not a food safety issue, we are deeply concerned by the results of our investigation and apologize to our customers who trust us to serve the highest quality 100 percent beef burgers," Diego Beamonte, Burger King global vice president of quality, said in a statement. “Our supplier has failed us and in turn we have failed you. We are committed to ensuring that this never happens again," he added.
Several other major food retailers allegedly bought meat from Silvercrest.
Earlier this month, the supermarket giant Tesco, has apologized to customers after learning that some of their beef products contained horse meat. Tesco took all affected meat off the shelf and offered a full refund to customers.