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Phew! Those burgers are 100 per cent beef


Horses are seen on a field in Poroschia village, south of Bucharest. Romania's prime minister Victor Ponta said on Monday any fraud over horsemeat sold as beef had not happened in his country and he was angered by suggestions it might have been. (Bogdan Cristel/Reuters) 

Troubling information on food safety has recently gripped Europe with the news that horsemeat, maybe even donkey, has infiltrated the frozen food industry.

While Brits pull thousands of packages of frozen lasagna, found contaminated with horsemeat, from the shelves, and wait for other "beef" products to be tested, those of us in Ontario can breathe a sigh of relief.

Food safety experts from the University of Guelph just completed a random DNA test on burgers from Burger King, McDonald's, Harvey's, Wendy's, A & W and Dairy Queen. Samples of burgers from all six restaurants contained 100 per cent beef, Guelph reported on Monday.

And that isn't all. They also looked at uncooked hamburger meat in frozen patties from Schneiders, Loblaws, Lick's, M & M Meat Shops, Webers and Food Basics. Turns out, they are also 100 per cent beef.

The testing was done at the Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding at the University of Guelph's Biodiversity Institute of Ontario. Guelph pioneered DNA barcoding - a molecular technique that matches DNA sequences from specimens.

"This testing is something all Canadians should be proud of knowing the hamburger meat they are buying is beef with no substitutes detected or additions," Paul Hebert, a Guelph professor and director of the institute, said in a release.

Tanya Talaga is the Star's Global Economics Reporter. Follow her on Twitter @tanyatalaga


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