Major supermarket chains in the U.K. and Ireland were forced to remove a boatload of beef products from their shelves this week after the Irish food safety authorities (FSAI) found that beef burgers and other supposedly all-beef products were found to contain significant amounts of horsemeat and pig DNA.
The tainted products were traced to two industrial processing facilities in Ireland, and one in the U.K.
So far, no one is claiming there is any risk to public health. But the Chief Executive of FSAI said:
"In Ireland, it is not in our culture to eat horsemeat and therefore, we do not expect to find it in a burger," Prof Reilly added.
"Likewise, for some religious groups or people who abstain from eating pig meat, the presence of traces of pig DNA is unacceptable."
Because, you know, that's the most alarming part about this whole story. Not that, you know, there was horsemeat in a beef burger and no one got caught putting it there...
Of the 27 products tested overseas, 10 were found to contain horse DNA, and 23 had pig DNA.
Aside from beef burgers, the tainted meat turned up in lasagne, beef curry pie, and cottage pie.
So could it happen here in the U.S.?
Well, a majority of Americans certainly believe that's a possibility. Right now only 35 percent of Americans express strong confidence in the safety of the food we eat.
And the FDA isn't exactly working overtime to draft new food-safety rules mandated by Congress.