I think that it’s not acceptable for food companies to say they are using one ingredient but actually use another. Similar things like this have happened before, like they were using one type of fish but saying it was another. I always try to buy food which isn’t very processed so that I can tell what it is.
However, lots of people eat horse all the time (not so much in the UK but in other countries they do) so I don’t think it was dangerous for our health really, just that it was wrong for the companies to mislead people about the type of meat that they were using.
I don’t believe for one minute that this was unknown to the big supermarkets.
But I think people can eat whatever they want, but they should at least know what they are eating, but given that some of the foods stuff is the cheap ‘n nasty sort you can’t really expect it to be of any quality or really know exactly what is in it for sure.
Its a bit scary to think that you are eating something and it says it is beef, but it could actually be anything and you wouldn’t know! And it has come half way across Europe as well. I much prefer to know what I am eating, so normally I buy directly from a farm – that way I know where my meal has come from, and that it is what i think it is!!
There are also some potential health problems – the horse meat used was never supposed to be eaten by people, so the horses were probably treated with drugs which are really strong, and could be dangerous for people.
Finally, if there was an outbreak of food poisoning due to the foods, it did seem to take quite a long time to trace the source, so that has impacts on how well we would be able to control an outbreak of disease. We;d have to wait to find out exactly where it came from, what part was infected, then withdraw any other foods containing the same food.