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Horses for courses

Ikea joins the horse-meat ranks

Horse meat scandal's latest victim: Ikea Meatballs

February 25, 2013 6:16 by

The horse meat scandal started in Ireland and ended in…well, that’s just the problem isn’t it? If health regulators, government officials and food standards agencies can’t predict where this ‘horsing around’ with our beef will end how can you expect Kipp to?

In fact, before I began typing this I considered making a colourful little slideshow of retailers, food chains and suppliers that have – so far – been contaminated and subsequently shamed by their lack of attentiveness. The only problem we’re facing is that there’s a new name added to the list almost every other day so we might as well just watch that list grow; with a big bucket of horse-flavoured popcorn.

Just when you thought the public were getting over the Findus Lasagne sham, Tesco’s frozen burgers and Silvercrest, the likes of Nestle, Iceland and Burger King joined the ranks. Today’s latest: Ikea and their now infamous meatballs.

Inspectors detected horse DNA in one-kilogram packs of the retailer’s meatballs in the Czech Republic. Three quarters of a tonne’s worth have been stopped from reaching the country but naturally, inspectors were unable to confirm whether the meatballs had reached other parts of Europe. The furniture giant said it stopped the deliver out of “potential worries among our customers” and stores in the UK have taken them ‘off the shelves’.

Where will this scandal end, do you think? More importantly, is it our job to worry about it? According to a report by The Guardian, an environment secretary by the name of Owen Paterson is just one of many ministers across the European Union fighting for speedier action against inadequate (clearly) food labeling. They’re having a big meeting about it soon and working on releasing a European Commission report on tougher rules. Of course, The Guardian says that’s not expected until the end of 2013.

I suppose we should let the politicians fight it out but what we can do in the mean time is really reflect and revise what we should and shouldn’t be eating and raising awareness so retailers can pull their socks up and adopt a better screening process. We know it can’t be easy, like finding a needle in a hay stack; but the lack of transparency in the food industry needs to be addressed. The alternative is that we all come to terms with eating horse meat.

For those of you reading this in the Middle East, you have a lot less to worry about. You should still reflect on your diet and whether you’re making the right choices but as far as we’ve been told; your diet is quite horse-free. Unless you’ve chosen to willingly eat horse, of course.

Colette Shannon, Communications Manager at Spinneys (Fine Fare Foods) told Kipp they’re committed to the health and well being of their customers and only sell safe, quality food.

“We source our beef as fresh chilled from family farms in Australia and New Zealand, which is 100% traceable. Our buying team visit and inspect the farms regularly and the farms are certified to the highest food safety and quality standards in their respective countries,” she said.

Burger King Middle East also told us something similar, so it’s looking pretty good for us so far.

Alright, Kippers we better be galloping off now.

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