Horse meat disguised as beef seized in supermarkets across Brazil

Authorities in southeastern Brazil have seized more than 13 tons of horse meat disguised as beef sold in supermarkets. The meat was labeled as being from horses owned by people in the southern city of Recife but the people were actually police, U.S. authorities said.

Brazilian officials said they also found another 67,000 pounds of horse meat wrapped in raw meat labeled as beef sold in a butcher shop in the city of Alagoas, near the border with Argentina.

Authorities said that at least 100 more cartons of horse meat could be found in dozens of shops throughout the country.

In a statement, the Brazil’s Food Safety Agency said it received a tip that buyers of horse meat from the southern state of Bahia in the Northeast were not sure what it was.

The agency said they called in Recife’s police on Oct. 25 to verify that the horse meat was beef and had in fact been sold under the pretense of horse meat at supermarkets in Recife.

The agency said that after inspecting the warehouses, they found almost 10 tons of horse meat in cartons marked as beef at the home of police.

That followed another takedown of 130 horse carcasses from the same police officer that were stored in a warehouse in Recife, the statement said.

It was not immediately clear if the horse meat seized in two operations were all the horse meat police had arrested or if more were detained and not yet identified.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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