It was reported by Reuters on March 1, 2013 that Britain’s Food Safety Agency (FSA) tested Taco Bell ground meat in the UK found traces of horse meat.
Yum Brand Inc. announced on Monday, that they would stop using more than 1,000 poultry slaughterhouses in China because of a scare over contaminated chicken from KFC restaurant in one of their top market areas.
Taco Bell was quick to inform customers that the horse meat scandal was isolated to the UK market, where they only have three fast food restaurants.
Taco Bell tested the meat at its UK stores as soon as the news of horse meat contamination became known. The spokesman for Taco Bell UK Christopher Fuller said “based on the testing we learned the meat supplied to us, from the supplier in Europe tested positive for horsemeat.”
We immediately withdrew it from sale, discontinued purchase of that meat and contacted Food Safety Agency (FSA) with this information Fuller said.
In a statement Yum Brands Inc. said: “We apologize to our customers and take this matter very seriously as food quality is our highest priority.”
Over the last seven days FSA has conducted 1,797 tests, and 99 percent of the readings came back negative for horsemeat levels at or above one percent. However four tests were positive for Taco Bell ground beef.
Since mid-January Europe has erupted with this horse meat scare that started in the UK and Ireland with Burger King being the first company on the forefront that was affected.
The real problem is not so much horse meat it is the mislabeling of meat. Consumers are not really aware of the meat they are purchasing at the grocery store, or the fast food chains.
Consumers have a right to know that if what they are purchasing is exactly what they are getting and stated on the label.
The suppliers have been dishonest to the companies, that believe they are purchasing beef for their menus; but instead they are getting another form of meat as fillers, this is where the real problem starts.
Horse meat is not considered dangerous to eat, and is a delicacy in France. However if the horse being slaughtered had been given a veterinary medicine phenylbutazone (bute) this would be dangerous to humans as it has been banned from most medical use in humans for safety reasons.