Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website www.lenoreskomal.net.   Read more about this blog.
Posted: January 25th, 2013
Horse meat in your burgers

My mother’s warning has come true. Way back in the Stone Age when I was about 10, the first McDonald’s appeared in the town I grew up in. My mother forbade us to eat there, claiming that the burgers were made of horse meat. We were the few children in America who grew up never eating a McDonald’s hamburger, or sampling the famous fries or enjoying a deep-fried apple pie. My mother never even bought pre-made hamburger patties from the grocery store because she was wary that somewhere in the mix, there was equine DNA. I think that is why not one of us is a fan of fast food to this day. My mother’s marketing worked.

Not that I ever really believed her. But lo’ and behold. Just last week the discovery of horse and even pig DNA in hamburger meat manufactured in Ireland led Britain-based Burger King to drop its supplier. The manufacturer actually shut down its production line and recalled 10 million burgers from supermarkets in Britain and Ireland.

Of course, the jokes abound, but some aren’t laughing. Irish food officials say an ingredient imported from an unspecified European country and used as filler in cheap burgers is the likely source of the horsemeat contamination.

My question is if it happened there, can it happen here?

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