Horsemeat-Filled Beef Burgers Will Be Used for Fuel
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Following the horse and pig meat DNA scandal, 7 major British supermarkets are withdrawing beef products
As BBC rocked the food world by announcing that a number of beef products in Tesco have been found with horse and pig DNA, seven major British retailers are now withdrawing a number of beef products.
Retailers Aldi, Iceland, Lidl, and Tesco were all selling products which were shown to have horse DNA; at least 10,000 frozen burger patties (the main suspect) have been withdrawn.
Iceland retailers will be using the waste animal tissue for fuel, converting the tissue through a rendering process.
The meat will either be steamed or boiled to make fat rise to the surface, or dehydrated to release the organic materials for energy.
Guardian reports that up to 10 million burger patty products may be recalled, leaving suppliers unsure what to do with their leftover meat. While Iceland is converting the meat into fuel, Tesco is awaiting instructions from the Food Standards Agency on how to dispose of the frozen burger products; they will not, however, "re-enter the food chain," a representative says.
Burger scandal: new tests at factory reveal more horse DNA
More traces of horse DNA have been found in burgers and ingredients at one of the plants involved in the adulterated food scandal, the Irish government has announced.
Tests instituted on Tuesday, the day before contamination of products was revealed, showed equine DNA in products manufactured there this month.
Nine of 13 finished burgers tested from the Silvercrest plant in County Monaghan, Ireland in the latest checks were contaminated, while equine DNA was also found in one in seven raw ingredients. This came from another EU country. No ingredients originating in Ireland had traces of horse.
The Guardian understands attention is being paid to ingredients derived from horse rather than fresh meat. Major retailers in Britain were told earlier this week to give the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) full lists of the sources of meat and other ingredients used in their burgers by Friday afternoon.
Tesco, which was implicated in previous test results published this week, with up to 29% of meat content having horse DNA in samples, is among high street names affected by a shutdown of the Silvercrest plant along with Asda, the Co-op and Burger King. Supermarkets had already withdrawn from sale burger lines made at all three processors involved in the original tests. Several took such action even though their products had not been tested.
On Thursday, Burger King said it had its own dedicated production line at the Silvercrest plant and was confident its burgers had not been affected. The plant, owned by the ABP Food group, had already stopped work and no products made this week have left the factory.
ABP said on Friday it was acting responsibly in "temporarily closing down the entire plant for purposes of expediency" and reiterated that there was no evidence of any contamination of raw material used for the manufacture of any Burger King products.
"We anticipate that the facility will be closed for several days to complete the sanitation process," it said. "During this time, all staff will continue to be paid, and we will be working with the relevant authorities, management and supervisory team to complete our investigation."
The company said its own investigations had centred on two third-party continental suppliers. As a result of the latest test results, "we believe that we have established the source of the contaminated material to one of these two suppliers".
Supermarkets are thought to be using alternative suppliers during the crisis. The Co-op said it had no problems with stock levels, as it had a number of branded frozen beefburger lines from other suppliers.
The focus of ongoing investigations by Irish and UK authorities now centres on a common ingredient used at Silvercrest, Liffey Meats in Ireland and Dalepak Hambleton in North Yorkshire. Iceland, which was implicated in earlier test results, and Sainsbury's are among companies using the British plant. They too have withdrawn lines made there from stores.
The first tests were conducted by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) in November and December but were made public only this week. On Thursday night Simon Coveney, the Irish minister of agriculture and food, said samples of burgers and ingredients taken by his department on Tuesday had revealed further horse contamination.
Seven samples of raw ingredients were tested, one of which, sourced from another EU country, tested positive, a department statement said. All ingredients in the production of burgers sourced from Irish suppliers tested negative for equine DNA. Thirteen samples of finished burgers were tested for the presence of equine DNA. Nine had traces of equine DNA and another four were negative. No companies' products were named as having been involved in this week's tests.
Coveney and the FSAI have arranged to have all the positive samples further analysed in Germany to quantify the percentages of equine DNA.
These tests and further examination of all raw ingredients used in the affected products by Irish authorities should give "greater clarity to the source of the original problem", said the statement. It repeated earlier assurances that there was no danger to consumers.
The focus of the investigation was now to establish a common ingredient used in the manufacture of burgers in all three plants and from where it was sourced, said the Irish statement. Earlier this week Irish authorities suggested the problems might have originated in the Netherlands or Spain.
The Guardian has been told efforts to trace the source of adulteration in the Tesco economy burgers are focusing on additives used in the manufacturing process. ABP has pointed the finger at suppliers of the "beef ingredient products" it uses to make cheap burgers. The Tesco burgers were only 63% meat and 37% other ingredients. Economy burgers are typically bulked out with additive mixes of concentrated proteins extracted from animal carcasses and offcuts. Industry sources said the 29% horse DNA was more likely to have originated with these high-protein powders from rendered horses rather than any fresh horse meat. ABP declined to comment on its ingredients or on the companies it uses for additive mixes but they are believed to be in the Netherlands and Spain.
Tesco said it could not comment on the source of the horse DNA while it was investigating with its supplier and the authorities.
The FSA in the UK is negotiating with local authorities to test samples of beef products from retailers around the country for the presence of DNA from other species, including horse and pig, because it does not have the capacity to sample and test nationwide. However, some local authorities have had to cut their budgets for food standards testing drastically as their finances have been squeezed. The FSA is expected to announce it will make some DNA checks on meat.
One big difference is that charcoal produces more smoke from the combustion of organic molecules which yields a more diverse range of flavor molecules. Gas creates carbon dioxide and water which has no flavor. You’ll notice a lot of smoke generated as the fat drippings from the meat hit the hot coals below. This adds that characteristic barbecue taste and this gets even more concentrated when cooking foods like ribs for a longer period of time.
15 Creative Burger Ideas
Our beloved hamburger has been around for more than 100 years. According to The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, by John Mariani, one of the first known mentions of a "hamburg steak" in print was in 1884 in the "Boston Evening Journal." The term "hamburger" appeared on a New York Delmonico's restaurant menu which was believed to have been printed in 1834. In Mrs. Rorer's New Cook Book (1902), the hamburg steak is described as beef put twice through a meat grinder and mixed with onion and pepper.
By 1912, ground meat patties were being served in buns, and according to "The American Dictionary of American Slang", the suffix "burger" came to mean "any hot sandwich served on a bun, often toasted, with many condiments. "
White Castle opened their first "hamburger stand" in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas, and the popularity of the hamburger grew as Americans began to travel by car. In the 1950s the McDonald's chain began, creating more competitors.
Also according to "The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink", Americans eat three hamburgers per week per person! That's about 38 billion annually, or 59 percent of all sandwiches consumed.
Figgy Fuel Bar
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Here’s a fiber-packed, joyful, fruity bar. Figgy Fuels are modeled on Lärabars, which we like because they don’t contain ingredients that we can’t pronounce. The label on the Pecan Pie bar lists dates, pecans, almonds—that’s it. We took out the pecans and added dried figs for more chewiness, and brown rice cereal for good crispy fun. Vanilla, cinnamon, and orange zest keep us running back for more.
What to buy: Crispy brown rice cereal can be found at most health food and grocery stores.
Nutritional information: Serving Size 1 Bar (1.6 oz/45g), Calories 252, Total Fat 8.9g, Saturated Fat 0.7g, Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 86.2mg, Total Carb 35.9g, Fiber 5.3g, Sugars 26.2g, Protein 4.6g. (Nutritional information was calculated via SparkRecipes’ Recipe Calculator.)
This recipe was featured as part of our Superpower Energy Bars for School Days and Work Days project.
6. Wild Mushroom Wagyu Cheeseburger
The Capital Grille
Of all the burgers on the list, this one might be the most exactly cooked. The trick: a patty as tall as an NBA player, which allows the exterior to crisp up while the inside remains juicy and red. It would be perfect even without the slice of Havarti and the cluster of mushrooms (sautéed until soft, but still possessing some chew), but those elements add some dazzle, as does a drizzle of 15-year-old balsamic vinegar. At $18, this is the most expensive burger we rated. And it’s worth every penny.
The Hob Nob's classic cheeseburger.
The Hob Nob
Nothing creative here—just simple drive-in nostalgia, served lightning-quick in a red plastic basket lined with greasy wax paper. The Hob Nob’s smallish patties are thin, topped with gooey American cheese, rounds of crisp white onion, slabs of lettuce and a slice of tomato that’s actually red, all of it enclosed in a crisped bun daubed with mayo. It doesn’t sound like anything special, but the combination is off the charts, delivering a rush that will have you recalling sock hops you never attended and jalopy rides you never went on.
Warning: not all burgers are great for a muscle-building diet. Your typical fast food burger that is drowning in grease won’t do you any favors. However, this spicy lamb burger straddles the line of being both delicious and nutritious.
LAMB BURGER: Serving Size 4 oz
Recipe by Chef Mark Fuller, Ma’ono (Seattle)
Open Nature Grass Fed 85/15 Angus Beef
Nutrition (⅓-pound patty): 320 calories, 23 g fat (9 g saturated fat, 1.5 g trans fat), 100 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 28 g protein
Appearance & Consistency: Uncooked, this patty was the lightest-colored of the bunch, which struck us as odd. So light, in fact, that when we picked up the package at the grocery store, we thought we might have accidentally grabbed a turkey or chicken patty by mistake. As for the consistency? The meat pieces are very tiny—similar to what you'd find in a Slim Jim that's made from mechanically-separated meat. That odd texture wasn't pleasant to eat. Plus, it didn't give this patty the same mouthfeel as what you've come to expect with a burger.
Taste: Very gross. One person spat it out. Despite only being made from "Grass Fed Angus Beef," there's some odd taste in there that makes it taste very processed. It's off-putting and by far the worst-tasting of the burgers we tried.
Eat This, Not That! Verdict:
Eat This, Not That!
Safeway's Open Nature brand is their all-natural offering. The "Grass-Fed" (raised in Australia) label should not sway you to believe this beef is organic or of superior quality. The FDA does not regulate the term "Grass-Fed." Plus, Open Nature does not provide any information about how much grass the cattle are fed. Regardless of the semantics of the packaging, the point here is that the burger just doesn't taste good. And that's all you need to know.
Serving the Swine Life’s Prime Rib Style Burger
The Swine Life’s Prime Rib Style Burger is ideal for lunch, parties, dinners and any other time you want a great burger. Just don’t be surprised if this becomes your go-to recipe for hamburgers. You can even make it keto-friendly by serving it up without the bun. This recipe is ideal for a cookout or outdoor event, too, because while it takes just a little extra care on the grill, it makes you look like the star you are.
Don’t forget all the fixings, too! This burger is delicious on its own, but it also pairs beautifully with just about any side dish, including sweet potato salad, corn on the cob, chips or fries, mushrooms and onions or even mac and cheese. We also have you covered for all the accessories and the grills you need to make the best burgers and other recipes.