AuthorsO'Mahony, P J
AffiliationFood Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI)
Local subject classificationFOOD FRAUD
Consumer Product Safety
MetadataShow full item record
CitationO'Mahony PJ. Finding horse meat in beef products--a global problem. QJM. 2013, 106 (6):595-7
JournalQJM : monthly journal of the Association of Physicians
AbstractThe Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) oversees the implementation of food safety controls in Ireland which are set out in EU and Irish law. The FSAI, a science-based consumer protection organization, has nurtured a close relationship with the scientific community allowing it to utilize the best scientific advice available to underpin risk assessments. In early 2013, a 2-month long investigation in to the authenticity of beef products culminated in the publication of results that demonstrated the presence of horse meat in a frozen burger produced in Ireland. The events that followed revealed a pan-European food fraud which will likely result in significant changes in the way this small section of the meat industry will be regulated in the future in the EU. Although revelations of implicated products and food businesses have relented, the EU-wide investigation is continuing in an effort to determine how a food fraud of this scale could have occurred in such a highly regulated industry and who was involved. The FSAI initially received some criticism after publication of the results, but was also commended for its scientific approach as well as its openness and transparency. The end result of this incident is likely to be that the complexity of the food chain will be addressed again and DNA-based or similar methods will become a regular feature in verifying the authenticity of meat-based foods.
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