As Europe continues to spiral into horsemeat contamination pandemonium, it can be kinda easy to feel smug, sitting pretty over here in the United States with our horse-free burgers. But lest ye forget that there are other food dangers out there, it’s good to remind ourselves that grossness can strike in other, hooveless forms.
Popular Science offers up a helpful and well-timed reminder that there are other threats out there and none of them are pleasant. Below, a few other unsavory food invaders no one wants served up.
Remember pink slime?: Yeah, that thing with the ammonia-treated meat product? That wasn’t so pretty. Finely textured lean beef caused quite an uproar last year after various news reports called public attention to its presence in ground beef around the country.
Poop: Fecal matter has a long history of finding its way into the consumer food chain, despite the Food & Drug Administration’s yearly tests. E. Coli is perhaps the worst bacterium carried by poop, which makes it kinda grody that inspectors found about 2/3 of ground beef samples contained the stuff between 2002 and 2011. E. Coli caused quite a stir in the 1993 Jack in the Box outbreak that sickened more than 400 people nationwide and killed three kids.
Eating thousands of animals in one burger: Due to the ground-up nature of hamburger meat, it’s impossible to look at it and know what everything in it is, or how many animals contributed to its makeup. Throw in a cut from this cow, another from that cow, and so on and so forth. That makes it tougher to trace back say, a salmonella outbreak to its exact animal source. Having the butcher grind your choice of beef in front of you might be the only way to know that only a few cows are involved.
Are any of these worse than dining on Mr. Ed? We’ll leave that to you.
6 Things Grosser Than Horse Meat In Your Burger [Popular Science]