Painkillers Found in Burgers and Meatballs in Portugal
The Portugal's consumer protection agency, DECO announced that it found traces of an animal painkiller in the same meat products that were contaminated with horsemeat. After testing the meats imported from the French retailer, Auchan, the association stated that traces of an anti-inflammatory drug were present in burger meat and meatballs. Although the drugs can be harmful to humans, the levels were so low that the association does not consider the contamination to be life threatening for those who might have consumed these products
The contamination was also found in the brand Polegar, which is Auchan's more affordable meat brand. The traces of the painkiller drugs were not present in all meat products that were contained horsemeat.
"Phenylbutazone was detected in samples of Auchan hamburger and in Polegar meatballs, which according to an initial analysis, contained horse DNA," DECO said in a statement.
Auchan's meat was not the only one with traces of horsemeat. DECO stated that the lasagnas bought from the Spanish El Corte Ingles group also had traces of horsemeat. The initial testing of unlabeled meat and products with meat in it occurred on Feb 20. On Feb 22, these meat products were removed from the shelves. The association stated that a total of 70 tons of meat and products with meat in them without any proper labels have been seized already within the nation.
Although horsemeat is not necessarily dangerous, drugs used to kill them or treat these animals before they die can pose a threat. However, fortunately, the amounts in the meat this time were too low to pose a threat to consumers' health.