Horse meat found in Spanish burgers; tainted Irish beef tied to Poland

A wild horse roundup in Nevada.
(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

Horse meat has been discovered in some hamburgers in Spain, weeks after equine DNA was found mixed into beef sold in Britain and Ireland.

Tests by Spain’s Organization of Consumers Unions, found that out of 20 samples of fresh, packaged burgers in supermarkets, two contained horse meat.

The affected samples were sold by Spanish grocery chains Ahorramas and Eroski, according to the group, which said the results aren’t a sign of a food-safety issue, but “consumer deception.”


As if burgers with a side of stallion weren’t bad enough, the group said much of the meat it tested also had other problems. Six products were poorly labeled, and many were excessively fatty or pumped with additives such as dyes and sulfites, it said.

On Monday, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland said in a statement that meat imported from Poland tested positive for equine DNA.

The raw product from Poland was used to make burgers by Silvercrest, a food supplier at the center of the controversy. Last week, Burger King cut ties with the company after Irish regulators discovered traces of horse meat in beef from Silvercrest’s facilities.

The Irish food safety agency said it has notified Polish authorities.


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