15 Feb 2013

The Horsemeat Scandal: where did it come from and where does it usually go?

William Taylor
Meat Photo: Morguefile.com


Since traces of horse DNA were found in Tesco Value beef burgers the flood gates seem to have opened with the FSA surfacing many other products as contaminated. This has not been constrained to supermarket own brands but fast food chains and well known ready meal producers have also been affected, with some containing as much as 100% horse meat!
Traditionally in the UK we do not often eat horsemeat, and while the main concern is about food labelling, this does raise the question “where has this horse meat come from”?
This visualisation is an attempt to scratch the surface of this. Using data published by The Guardian on 13th Feb 2013 and European population figures, the dashboard shows the imports and exports from Jan 2011 – Dec 2011 or from Jan 2012 – Nov 2012 for 26 countries in Europe (including the UK). From this it seems that those from Luxembourg and Belgium are most partial to equine cuisine... But have a look for yourself!

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Data source: The Guardian and Eurostat.