Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

National and World

March 1, 2013

Q&A: Chances of a horse meat scandal in the US?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The horse meat scandal that is hitting Europe has yet to spread to the United States, allowing American consumers to rest easier when buying ground beef or sitting down for a plate of meatballs at Ikea.

The United States has rigorous meat inspections and horse meat isn't readily available. So, while it's certainly possible that small amounts of hidden horse meat has made its way into the United States, it's unlikely to become a larger problem.

Some questions and answers about the problem:

Q: What's happening in Europe?

A: Horse meat has recently been found mixed into beef dishes sold across Europe, including in frozen supermarket meals. It also has been found in meals served at restaurants, schools and hospitals. Furniture giant Ikea this week withdrew its famous meatballs from stores in 21 European countries and in Hong Kong, Thailand and the Dominican Republic after Czech food inspectors found traces of horse meat in them. Stores in the United States and Canada weren't affected because they use a U.S. supplier.

Q: Is horse meat safe to eat?

A: What is at issue is fraudulent labeling, not a health risk. Horse meat is usually safe to eat, but it's generally not consumed in the United States, mostly for cultural and ethical reasons. However, it's considered a delicacy in some countries.

Q: Are horses even slaughtered in the U.S.?

A: Not right now. Three horse slaughter plants were shuttered five years ago after court action. Those plants produced meat that was mostly sold overseas.

Q: But horses are slaughtered in Mexico and Canada. Companies could import that meat and use it as a cheap substitute for beef, right?

A: Probably not. No horse meat is imported to the United States, so it would be hard for U.S. companies to obtain it in large quantities.

Text Only
National and World
Local News
AP Video
Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing Raw: Blast at Tennessee Ammunition Plant Kills 1 Raw: Urinator Causes Portland to Flush Reservoir Hoax Bomb Raises Anxiety in Boston New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Ex-California City Leader Gets 12 Year Sentence Obama, Biden Announce $600M for Job Grants Miley Cyrus Still in Hospital, Cancels 2nd Show New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Boston Officials: No Bags at Marathon Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing
Sister Newspapers' News