Three men charged over UK horsemeat scandal


It has taken the authorities four years to track down the culprits, but it sounds as if the investigation was thorough.

The details of the charge are that between 1 January 2012 and 31 October 2012, Ostler-Beech, Nielsen and Sideras conspired together, and with others, to defraud purchasers of goods that contained, wholly or in part, a mixture of beef and horsemeat, by dishonestly arranging for beef and horsemeat to be combined for sale as beef.

The charges follow an international criminal investigation that saw the City of London police, which is the National Policing Lead for Fraud, work with law enforcement agencies from across the UK and Europe.

I remember the horsemeat scandal. It seem to extend over most of western Europe. Are the guys arrested in the UK the only culprits in that country? Have there been previous arrests?


I don’t recall any other individual arrests, but it’s a few years ago now. What I did find funny (as someone who almost certainly unknowingly ate products containing horsemeat) is that we’re all quite OK. However, that doesn’t excuse the criminality, and like most Brits I would never choose to eat horse.

As you know, horsemeat is sold and eaten openly in other European countries. I often see it on the butchers’ counters in Italy.




A butcher who was selling rabbit meat was finally forced to admit that he’d been mixing in horse.

“How much of your product was horse meat?” the magistrate asked.

“Uh: Fifty percent?”

“What do you mean by that?”

“One rabbit and one horse.”

(Sorry, couldn’t resist!)



Horse is also not a common food item in most of NA. However, it is not illegal, and there is a place locally that serves horse tacos (popular in some Mexican states).




You might be able to eat horsemeat in the US, but can horsemeat be sold in the US? One 2015 scientific article (granted, not the best source for legal information) said that it wasn’t. However, perhaps more interesting, the researcher also detected horse DNA in meat sold in the US, even though the meat was not labelled as horse.

Of the 48 samples analyzed in this study, 38 were labeled correctly and 10 were found to be mislabeled. Nine of the mislabeled samples were found to contain additional meat species based on real-time PCR, and one sample was mislabeled in its entirety. Interestingly, meat samples ordered from online specialty meat distributors had a higher rate of being mislabeled (35%) compared to samples purchased from a local butcher (18%) and samples purchased at local supermarkets (5.8%). Horsemeat, which is illegal to sell on the U.S. commercial market, was detected in two of the samples acquired from online specialty meat distributors. Overall, the mislabeling detected in this study appears to be due to either intentional mixing of lower-cost meat species into higher cost products or unintentional mixing of meat species due to cross-contamination during processing.

Horses can not be commercially slaughtered in the US. Legally, some states allow it. However, the US Congress has blocked any money to pay for USDA inspection of horse slaughter. With that in mind, I am guessing that the mixing of ground beef with horse is intentional, not accidental cross-contamination.


Most definitely a case of* cross-greeding*.

@ GEddie and PaulfromIowa : lol

Up here, they sell ground horsemeat in a couple of the major grocery chains. . . looks a lot more lean than the beef, and it is in the meat section right next to the ground beef . . .almost bought it by mistake one time thinking it was extra-lean beef. . . . now I read the label carefully. :ehh:


:smiley: Mr Ed!! Echoes of my childhood.

The problem with the horsemeat scandal in the UK is that (apart from the deception) there was no evidence that the meat was from horses reared for human consumption. I think we all fear that we have eaten bits of some old nag from a filthy slaughterhouse.

The products affected were mostly microwave ready-meals which were supposed to contain only minced beef. One of them was a lasagne which I often used to buy. :eek:


I’d imagine that if a business is advertising horse tacos, they’ve some means of acquiring the meat legally.

If it cannot be sold in a legal manner in this country, my guess is it’s being imported through the nearby Mexican crossing.



Or perhaps worse, a glue factory reject.


My mom has RAI on her cable line up. One day I was following a cooking show featuring a stew being prepared. I followed along until I realized it wasn’t beef. :eek:

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