Thyroid UK
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Horse burgers?

Horse burgers?

Well, what do we think of this latest food 'scare'?

In the UK we've had a few.....

I remember Mum taking the tins of salmon off the pantry shelf - salmonella scare

Eggs with Edwina (only imported of course) - btw they get wet in the fridge, better out.

BSE and dodgy worn-out old cows in the food chain - then security was upped with animal passports, (Yep we put our hands up here in UK - while other countries kept schtum).

Now horses for main courses?

Hubby was a butcher, none of this came through the butchers or UK Abbatoirs- it's only supermarkets buying in cheap stuff (from the cheapest supplier - i.e. not from the UK - it's just not allowed!) Apparently upping the protein level with 'supplement protein powder' of unknown origin is fine.

No wonder folks think a vegetarian lifestyle is safe, no wonder us carnivores are poorly too.

'Food scandal for vegetarians: radish found to be up to 100% horseradish'

Thoughts? J :D

26 Replies

I remember eating horse meat in France on a school trip even then they told us it was steak.In all reality if people knew some people would choose to eat it and some wouldn't but not knowing is the issue really.

If we all knew what was in our food we wouldn't eat at all.I'm not going to fret too much unless you source you're own food you never know and sometimes ignorance is bliss.

I was put right off haribo after watching diet doctors they ruined it for me and my boys :)


As a horse-lover I would not knowingly choose to eat it, but in France I talked to a fellow camper who said he, and daughter, liked the 'Cheval burgers'. I just suggested he looked the word Cheval up. :D


I agree vanessab, it's not that horse meat is unsafe, if anything it's very safe and in many countries it is a 'delicacy' and costs a lot more than beef/pork/chicken.

However I do agree, they should only tell the truth on those labels, people need to know what they put in their mouths.


I remember during the second world war, my mum bying horsemeat sold openly by the local was cheap and as kids we eat it in stews & pies, we were just happy to have meat, , it didnt give us sleepless nights in those days.


Going thru my freezer for something quick to eat I found a Findus beef lasagne, prepared it with "chargrilled mediterranean veg" and extra cheese, not bad in an emergency. Then an hour later I heard the breaking news that I'd (probably) eaten horse :o Use-by date was Jan 2014.

Of course I'm not worried for myself, health-wise (one of the benefits of getting old), but isn't this just another example of the corruption in food production that is encouraged by our unwillingness to pay for decently produced food, and to spend time preparing it? The family budget prioritises smartphones, "designer" clothes, foreign holidays, etc etc... :-(


In our little thyroid world, we keep mentioning antibodies, and specifically Thyroid Peroxidase antibodies. Well, Thyroid Peroxidase in an enzyme which adds the iodine to tyrosine.

In horseradish, there is also an enzyme, called Horseradish Peroxidase, which is not entirely dissimilar. Further, the HP is used very widely in biochemistry and, especially, in various forms of biological testing.

So actually very relevant to thyroid sufferers. :-)


Horseradish! lol! xx


What gets me is that we are supposed to accept that the system has allowed untold numbers of horses into our food - but somehow miraculously ensures that specified bovine offal (or whatever the terms are these days) are scrupulously excluded? And also that thyroids are always removed!

If a company is making one big animal's worth of lasagne, don't they have to hold up the passport? So wouldn't there be a mismatch between one bovine going in and three million lasagnes coming out?

In Compendium of Materia Medica, a pharmaceutical text published in 1596, Li Shizhen wrote "To relieve toxin caused by eating horse meat, one can drink carrot juice and eat almond."

PS It was botulism with salmon many years ago. :-)



oops salmonella in eggs then, (but also in salmon!) :D

as for botulism - how come botox is not only used for cosmetic but pain management reasons too? I find the idea of purposely introducing this stuff is scary - and know of folks with strange reactions to it - no blummin' wonder! J :D


I don't trust botox at all.

Fair enough using it for serious ends, such as certain muscle spasms, but not at the botox-party end of the scale.


The big herd of elephants in the room seems to be being totally ignored... Look at it overall first, then I will point out the bleeding obvious!:

Horse meat from a valid source is purely a moral issue... one of whether or not you agree or disagree with eating it. Personally I would rather not, but if it it safe, quality horse meat, no-one is going to be harmed by it.

So... the clearest issue we are all aware of is one of fraud/criminality... it's not what we think it is, so we are being conned and ripped off - in which case even the Government is doing it's best to avoid admitting the fact that they and their predecessors (so not a party political issue only!) have done their best to remove the safety and security checking of ALL food inspections and sampling over the years, and it makes it easy for these frauds to occur. Bear in mind too that Ireland has been the centre of all sorts of meat-related crime in the past, you would think that meat from there would be subject to MORE sampling, not less!

Things can only get worse in this respect as Food inspections of all types (FSA and Local Authorities) are in the process of being cut savagely, like most other safety and health related enforcement currently.

Even the way animals are legally slaughtered, in EC countries such as our own, the standard of handling is vastly different in export-authorised slaughterhouses compared to meat for domestic use, so at it's very best it's going to be of a lower hygiene standard.

BUT, issues of morality and fraud apart, even ignoring the dismantling of public services - horse meat - that is the proper premium product as eaten across many parts of Europe is HUGELY EXPENSIVE, generally more expensive than the equivalent beef product, so why would anyone substitute it for a cheaper beef product if it wasn't a very substandard version of that product that could not be sold at that premium price in the first place? I mean, you wouldn't substitute Lobster meat for prawns, so why would you substitute good horse for good beef?

SO... it's horse sure enough, but one thing for certain, it's NOT going to be the same stuff that's on the racks of horse butcher's shops in France Italy or Belgium, it is going to be stuff such as knacker-meat, at best it's going to be grades that would only sell for pet food; or worse, it's going to be from illegally slaughtered sources, or sourced from other countries which have appalling standards of hygiene; or it's going to be from horses that have been drug treated and should never have been for human consumption even in their original country of origin - whatever, it is, it is going to be just RUBBISH, or they simply wouldn't bother, there is a high price market for the good stuff already!


Oh no! Not elephant burgers... Not just as David Attenborough has that desperately sad film of a baby elephant.

In sources I have been reading that issue has been shouted from the roof-tops. The government and industry spokespeople might have been ignoring it, but not many ordinary people who are well aware.

What I find difficult to understand is why there are passports for bovines but not, it appears for horses. Surely every major animal that ends up in food chain should have a passport - totally disregarding species. And those passports should be inspected/copied/whatever at each and every significant transfer. E.g from slaughterhouse to wholesaler, to factory, to distribution, to supermarket. And if passports are not available or quantities do not make sense, then investigate.


Well said Picton.

That is precisely my concern. Not the fact that it's horsemeat, but rather is it fit for human consumption at all?!?


It was first discovered in Ireland supermarkets, suggesting some degree of food monitoring over here, but it comes from Poland! ;)

And yes, I totally agree with you, these poor nags have been mistreated and slaughtered, with probably no regulation of any sort. If we must eat meat, we all would prefer 'happy meat', which has at least, had an 'humane' killing.

We, who talk about our cortisol levels, should be aware, that meat which has experienced an unhappy death surely must contain stress-hormones?!! Here, have a cortisol-burger........



I wonder if the dna tests would pick up rat, cat, dog, eyes and bottoms, s*it and rubbish etc. People are sometimes put off eating pork scratchings when they can identify nipples and things like that. If its all minced up how do you reject it? I can imagine most people on this site dont buy this sort of product or burger king, and so doesnt affect them too much. Enjoy your Sunday lunch.


It clearly contravenes the Trades descriptions Act if food is advertised as beef when it is not, so why are the courts not getting involved and prosecuting the manufacturers? Its unrealistic if they think that the people who make the things don't know what kind of meat they are buying!!


I am sure our colleagues in various local authority Trading Standards departments are very busy at the moment gathering evidence to prepare prosecution files. I don't think that Tesco or Findus will hinder their efforts this time.


I think it's typical of certain businesses that they'd use cheap anything to bulk out inferior food, and the horsemeat must be cheap and inferior for it to be used, but I don't understand people buying that sort of food in the first place. Burgers are full of unidentifiable bits and pieces, the price shows that and unless you've seen them being made you'll never know what they really are, likewise sausages, meatballs, some makes of ready meals etc. The fact that the manufacturers are getting away with this shows how corrupt the food making industry is.

People expressing horror in the papers and on the news about eating horses seems odd, it's just as horrible to eat a friendly wide-eyed cow or a gambolling little lamb, and it does seem to me that the people who are upset in that emotional way are those who haven't grasped the fact that this is rubbish food to start with.


Powerful Drug companies and food companies are in the business of making profit, They do not care what shit we put in our bodies sadly. Time to go back growing our own salad and veg and buying meat from local butchers but checking out where they source their meat. And if you can afford it buy organic. Us thyroidy people are probably more aware how badly substances we put in our mouth affects us! Sadly this news does not surprise me and it will be crap bits of horse put in the food chain not good healthy parts! C'est la vie!


I wonder how many of us food 'aware' roidies still buy cheap burgers and ready meals?

OK maybe on a long journey, I will succumb to a 'burger king' on the motorway - all my family know this as 'dirty food' - also well marketed by pot noodles!

My point being - although UK have such robust procedures in place to ensure accountability - the supermarkets take no notice & buy in the unknown, - and a lasagne that has an 'eat by' date of at least a year is obviously suspect! as for Irish 'meat' sorry but hubby worked for a certain company..........and quit.

I'm hoping they will keep all ready-made crap off the shelves for ever! sadly it won't happen, meanwhile mum thought my sunday roast was lovely, and I knew exactly what was in it as local sourced. Jane :D


Well said! We've just had a roast bought from a local butcher who sources local meat, and it'll serve us for at least one more meal. Food is about the most important thing to spend money on (after somewhere to live I suppose) and thankfully I've got that through to my children. In the case of organic fruit and veg I found a list of tainted and untainted foods which I've often looked at to see if I always need to pay more for organic or not, especially when everything but income is going up. It's from the US but probably not so different here:


I produce pork, and make sausages and burgers for sale on a small scale - no rusk so gluten free too. I am constantly checked by the Environmental Health, the Food Safety, Trading standards and Weights and Measures. I grow all the pork here, but even so the paperwork is huge. Traceability is supposed to be foolproof!

Horsemeat is trading cheaper than beef on the European market at the moment. All horses in Britain HAVE to have a passport and any horse given bute is never allowed in the food chain. We do not know what drugs these horses may have been given prior to slaughter and that is a worry,

There are also strict rules about what parts of an animal can go into a sausage, and from the head, only the cheeks are allowed to be used. The a*** end is cut out at the abbatoir to make removal of the guts easy. So you can rest assured that those bits commonly said to go into a sausage do not.

So if you want good quality sausages, meat balls etc, get them from your local butcher or Farmers Market,

They also always remove the thyroid from pigs, as I was going to start drying it and grinding it down, such is my desparation to feel better! Boo!


I absolutely agree about sourcing locally and I'm lucky to have a couple of excellent butchers near me who know where their meat has come from. And I'm thankful for our rules even though they sound a bit OTT at times.

What is horrifying me about the latest news on the horsemeat is how meat is transported around Europe from one dealer to another with little apparent traceability until it's insisted upon. My son works in Romania and says there are still horse drawn carts on some of the roads, they've recently banned them with effect from some time soon so all those horses will soon have no job to do. I doubt they've been given much in the way of drugs, many of the people are still too poor to afford them but I may be wrong there, but these are hard-working horses from poor areas, being sold off by desperate people and probably having a grim death. Then they're turned into mince and driven in refrigerated vans across Europe from one place to the next until they end up in some unscrupulous factory and are turned into some ghastly 'food'. I hope a few companies go under from this and I really hope that people like you and the food you produce become so popular that it's the norm to buy proper, nutritious meat. I don't understand why so many people here have such a low opinion of what they should eat.


When I said 'people here' I don't mean the people posting here, I mean the people in this country and other countries who buy cheap, low-nutrition food as a matter of course.


Well , horses that have bute in their systems are not MEANT to be in the food chain...

The point isnt that it is horse meat. The point is that it is illegal meat - so could be anything - diseased, other drugs, condemned meat - anything BUT "fit for human consumption".


I wouldn't eat it myself personally, certainly not if I knew it was in there. I avoid horse meat like the plague. I was brought up in an environment where horse meat is more a taboo than the norm, so I compare eating horse to eating dog or cat.

Of course I'm not going to go jumping off the rafters and taking away all the meat out of my freezer, but we as a family don't buy ready made meals anyway. That stopped with a little bit of study of what was actually in the stuff. You just don't know what some of the other ingredients are that they hide in there. Some of it which might affect my thyroid and auto-immune system.

We as family started buying as local as possible years ago from the butchers. This started just after finding out that they plump up my chicken breasts with salt water, put red dyes in my beef to make it look more appetizing, and various other things into my food that just don't belong, let alone horse meat. I know where it is sourced from then so I can buy with confidence.