New horse scare: 55,000 tons of meat recalled Europe-wide by Dutch authorities

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NBC WORLD NEWS

By Gilbert Kreijger and Thomas Escritt, Reuters
Employees at Willy Selten Meat Wholesale in Oss, Netherlands, work on Feb. 15 after Dutch officials raided the factory believed to be mixing horse and beef and selling it as pure beef. On Wednesday, the Dutch government ordered it and another company to withdraw 55,000 tons of meat from the market.

Employees at Willy Selten Meat Wholesale in Oss, Netherlands, work on Feb. 15 after Dutch officials raided the factory believed to be mixing horse and beef and selling it as pure beef. On Wednesday, the Dutch government ordered it and another company to withdraw 55,000 tons of meat from the market.

AMSTERDAM — Dutch food safety authorities have ordered the Europe-wide withdrawal of 55,000 tons of beef from sale over concerns that it might contain horse.

The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority said in a statement on Wednesday it had told more than 130 Dutch processing firms to trace the meat, all of which had come from two Dutch wholesalers, and withdraw it.

The wholesalers involved were Wiljo Import and Export and Willy Selten Meat Wholesale.

“It might contain traces of horse meat, but we don’t know for certain at the moment if this is the case,” said a spokeswoman for the authority.

Inspectors examining Willy Selten’s records had found that the origin of the meat it supplied was unclear, the authority said.

The authority said that meant it was impossible to confirm that slaughterhouses had been acting according to procedure. It said it did not know where the meat had ended up, but it could have been used in frozen products.

“The buyers have probably already processed the meat and sold it on,” it said in a statement.

“They, in turn, are obliged to inform their own customers.”

About 370 companies in other European countries have bought the meat, and the Dutch food authority has warned foreign counterparts about the recall via a European rapid alert system, it said.

It said there was no immediate suggestion of any danger to human health.

In January, tests in Ireland revealed that some beef products contained horse, triggering recalls of ready-made meals in several countries and damaging confidence in Europe’s vast and complex food industry.

AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
4 Comments
  • Daryl

    so how long has this been happing? And what have we been eating and how far has it gone?
    Who is the blame of this, the meat buyers? Did thye not do their job? Or did they knw it ?
    Questions, questions???????

    April 10, 2013
  • kumadee

    55,000 tons — trying to image the thousands of horses that suffered and were slaughtered for NOTHING! What a tragedy.
    So I guess we can now all agree that horse slaughter is not about “humane euthanasia” but the money some greedy bastards can shove in their pockets while they break the law and taint the food supply.

    April 10, 2013
  • elizabeth dana

    Once horse slaughter is banned ithis contamination from the United States.

    April 10, 2013
  • janwindsong

    So tell me, if people are so happy to horsemeat and there is no danger of consuming their meat which may contain the residue of bute responding remarks are “so so” and no problem – why is there a continuing stream of meat recalled because it does?

    Face it – we need to forever BAN the slaughter of horses for human consumption. They are not food animals! Gosh, I hate to say this but FDA was wise inrefusing to classify horses as livestock.

    Call your DC reps and demand the ban!

    April 10, 2013