News last update:6 Aug 2012

NZ: People ate horse meat intended for pet food

An investigation is taking place which targets market vendors and a pet food abattoir in Auckland, New Zealand. The investigation by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority comes due to the sale of horse meat that may be have been processed to the lower standards of pet food. Mangere and Otahuhu markets are where the sale of the horse meat occurred.

According New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) director of compliance and investigation Geoff Allen, pet food is made to different standards and despite the fact that humans may be able to eat it; there is a larger risk of food poisoning, because there may be increased levels of parasites and bacteria.

Further reports state that the markets had been investigated two months ago and it there had been no violations found at the time, Allen said.

Vendors telling consumers - meat is fit for consumption
However, reports state that currently there is footage by a television investigation (by TVNZ) that market vendors were conveying to customers, and possibly falsely reassuring them that the horse meat was fit to be eaten by humans.New Zealand Food Safety Authority leapt into the investigation following the television news investigation uncovering the illegally sale of horse meat for human consumption.

"What we couldn't really do was listen in on the conversations, what the people that were selling this stuff were saying to the customers," said Allen. The NZFSA is currently waiting on footage from TVNZ to start the investigation. Concerns are looming over the industry's reputation; therefore The Petfood Manufacturers Association will assist in the investigation. Allen has stated that anyone falling ill after eating the meat has not come to light as yet.

[Source: NZherald.co.nz]

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