Current Events

Does Aldi Beef Contain Horsemeat?

This graphic began circulating in November 2013 along with outdated warnings regarding Aldi beef.
Does Aldi Beef Contain Horsemeat?

Has Aldi USA “confirmed” 100% horsemeat in their beef products?

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This assertion is both false and outdated. There was a horsemeat scandal which affected Aldi (and many other outlets including Tesco and Burger King) back in February, but it never affected beef in the US.

A post circulating on social media in November 2013 states, “**BREAKING NEWS**: Grocery store chain ALDI USA, has confirmed that there is up to 100% HORSE meat in their beef products. Please read & share”

History

In January 2013, controversy arose when horsemeat was found in Burger King beef in the UK. After initially denying the allegations, Burger King finally admitted that one of their suppliers had received beef tainted with horsemeat from a non-approved supplier.

As the Burger King horsemeat scandal widened to stores such as Tesco, it was discovered that Aldi – a worldwide supermarket chain with over 8000 stores – also had horsemeat in their beef. They traced the problem back to the French beef supplier Comigel. Random tests by Aldi confirmed that beef contained 30% to 100% horsemeat.

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A spokesman for Aldi stated that the affected products had been withdrawn, and lashed out at their supplier. “This is completely unacceptable and like other affected companies, we feel angry and let down by our supplier. If the label says beef, our customers expect it to be beef. Suppliers are absolutely clear that they are required to meet our stringent specifications and that we do not tolerate any failure to do so.”

Veterinary Drug

One concern regarding unregulated horsemeat in beef products is the possible presence of the veterinary drug phenylbutazone (aka “bute”), which can cause a serious blood disorder in humans in rare cases.

Aldi and its supplier began checking their beef products for horsemeat and bute.

Aldi Response

In November 2013, amid renewed accusations that Aldi was currently selling horsemeat in the US, the company responded on their Facebook page:

The product you referenced is not sold in the US, and no ALDI US products were affected by the UK product withdrawal that occurred in February. We believe a recirculated news story from February has caused some confusion among our US customers, so we’re glad you asked. As an ALDI fan, please feel free to help us clear up this misunderstanding by sharing this information with your friends.

Bottom Line

Aldi, among many other outlets, was affected by the presence of horsemeat in a scandal which broke in early 2013. This did not affect Aldi US, and steps have since been taken to test for and screen beef products for the presence of horsemeat.

Sources

  • Aldi confirms up to 100% horsemeat in beef products (The Guardian: February 9, 2013)
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  • dgrimes

    It Was only UK and Ireland that ever sold horse meat and it was because of the merchandieser not because of ALDI.

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