There is No Horse Meat in Ground Beef

In some countries around the world, horse meat may be considered a delicacy. If you are concerned that horse meat may be in your meat, rest assured there is no horse meat in your beef.

In the United States, strict oversight and labeling laws ensure all ground beef sold is 100% beef. With a number of safeguards in place, the ground beef you know and love, does not contain meat from other animals.

A food safety expert discusses beef safety and quality in a processing plant

All U.S. beef is inspected and complies with labeling laws

Inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) must be present at each federally-inspected plant throughout the country to ensure proper food safety and strict labeling requirements.

Additionally, countries that export beef to the U.S. are required to follow equivalent meat inspection programs and comply with labeling laws and it is illegal to import horse meat into the U.S. for human consumption. All of these policies are in place to ensure a safe beef supply. The Food Safety and Inspection Service has even enhanced safeguards by species testing meats to prevent fraudulently labeled products from entering the country.

You can be confident that strict oversight and labeling laws prevent any other type of meat from entering the beef supply. The bottom line is, your beef is 100% beef!


  1. thank you for updating on the system. why did they implement species testing? and when did they do this?

  2. Sue carter says:

    The US Exported Over 80k backyard ponies, Show,jumpers,trail,rodeo and Race horses to Mexico last year according to AMS USDA figures.

    Most had recieved a lifetime of powerful Equine Drugs labeled NOT FOR USE IN FOOD ANIMALS by FDA.
    The recent Chapman Study quoted a supporting study that in Mexico 39% of Ground beef in Mexico contains horsemeat. With the recent removal of COOL labeling, it is a matter of time that it will be found that horsemeat, is indeed in Ground beef here.
    You can be confident that USDA is allowing the export of horses to Mexico for human consumption.

    • FactsAboutBeef says:

      Thank you for your comment – does not represent USDA’s policies and strives to busts myths about beef. If you have concerns or questions about horse slaughter, please contact USDA directly.

  3. Marilyn Wilson says:

    Odd that testing by Chapman University, CA. food program found horse DNA in 2 samples of meat here in the USA. Our USDA should contact them.

  4. Tanya Sullivan says:

    Of course the Beef Association will say this….. Horsemeat has already been found mixed in the ground beef in the US. Can’t cover that up with words…..That’s why I don’t eat it anymore.

  5. Not true. Testing HAS shown horse meat in beef. e.g. Chapman U tests run about 12 months ago. Also traceability breaks down out of country . That’s why horse meat showed up. Best way to ensure no horse meat contamination is to know the producer. Then you only need to deal with cardiovascular disease and certain cancers — that’s better than the drugs from horse meat contamination.

  6. Carol Lambe says:

    Independent labs have proven that horse DNA has been found in Hamburger – maybe not in the use – but now with Congress’s passing of legislation that the origin of foods does not have to be labeled – there is no way that the US Beef industry can keep horse meet out of the US food stream.

  7. A recent study quoted in the Chapman Study indicates that 39% of Mexican ground beef contains horsemeat. Given the US import of ground beef from Mexico and the absence of COOL labeling, we can be sure horse will find its way into American Ground beef, without a doubt.

  8. Is your group funded by the cattle grazing association?

    • The Beef Checkoff is funded by American cattle farmers and ranchers. Checkoff funds are appropriated and managed by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board are strictly used for beef promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications. To learn more about the beef checkoff you can visit

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