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February 26th, 2013
11:32 AM ET

Could horse meat show up in American meat products? – Dr. David Acheson weighs in

IKEA is currently pulling its famous Swedish meatballs from stores in 14 European countries after horse meat was found in them. As a result the retail company reached out to American customers in order to reassure them that the horse meat will not be an issue in the U.S. This however is the latest in the tainted meat scandal sweeping Europe. But many Americans are still wondering if they should be worried about the horse meat making its way into the U.S. meat supply. This morning the Managing Director, Food and Safety Import Practice at Leavitt Partners, Dr. David Acheson weighs in.

Acheson says the chances that horse meat could be in the U.S. meat supply are low because of the “strict controls with the vast majority of our meat.” He also says that U.S. “inspection strategies and the robustness of our U.S. meat system” also serve as contributing factors.

Acheson who also served as the Fmr. Associate Commissioner of Foods of the FDA says while it is possible that horse meat has slipped into the U.S. food supply he still believes “the vast majority of beef that we’re consuming is beef.”

Regarding drug residues, Acheson says “if you take a low likelihood it's in [horse meat] anyway … and then the possibility that that horsemeat contains some cancer causing drug at some low level – let's put this in perspective of risk to the public and recognize that the safety side is low.”

Filed under: Food safety • Horse