Horse and Beaver Found In Specialty Ground Meats New Studies Show

According to two new studies, a whopping twenty percent of ground meat products contain some amount of beaver or horse.

Did you know? A recent study concluded nearly all ground beef products in America to be contaminated with feces. It’s shocking, and you can read it here. But shortly before that news made headlines, another study quietly slipped past mainstream media determining a number of ‘specialty meat’ products to be contaminated with horse and beaver.

Yep. The study, conducted by Chapman University’s Food Science Program tested commercial ground meat, such as bison and lamb, and discovered some surprising results. In two separate studies, it was found that a whopping twenty percent of ground meat products contain some amount of beaver or horse. 

Some of the products put to the test were found to be mislabeled while others included horse – a product illegal in the commercial market in the United States – beaver meat, and other unusual species.

As one might expect, the finding raised a number of ethical and health concerns.

The studies conducted by Chapman University are the first meat surveys to be carried out since 1995! For the first study, 48 different samples of mixed frozen and fresh specialty ground meats from online retailers were tested. Of the 48, ten were found to be mislabeled, containing a mixture of different species. Two of the 48 contained horse meat.

A mixture of various meats being sold in one packaged indicates the likelihood of unmonitored processing (as horse meat is NOT USDA regulated) and increases the risk for cross contamination. On a positive note, ground beef tested came back as 100% ground beef.

The second study focused on higher-priced specialty game meat and included 54 samples from online retailers. Similar to the first study, ten of the 54 samples were mislabeled. Specialty meats such as bison, yak, pheasant and bear actually contained pieces of cattle, guineafowl, and the rarely eaten American beaver.

This study raises concern on the safety of the food most people consume, as well as the integrity of many meat manufacturing companies. Transparency must be honored, for it is every consumer’s right to know what they are purchasing and what values they are supporting with their dollar.