Horsemeat Burger
© Rainer Zenz
Vaud - Just when you thought the whole horse meat scandal was over, two Swiss restaurants have been caught using horse meat instead of beef in their steak tartare dishes.

The scandal was uncovered by "A Bon Entendeur", a consumer affairs program aired on Tuesday by the French language Swiss broadcaster, RTS.

Both restaurants are in the canton of Jura and the consumer affairs program tested 15 of the raw meat meals from restaurants in western Switzerland. A chemist who analyzed the phoney steak tartare said,

"One can properly talk of obvious and blatant deceit."

However, there is not just deceit involved in the incident, as apparently only four meals tested were found to be free of elevated levels of bacteria. Bearing in mind that the meat in the dish is served raw, one can only imagine the dangers.

In restaurants in the canton of Vaud, two plates of steak tartare were found to be particularly infected, and exceeded the acceptable levels for bacteria many times over.

According to (French language) the owner of one of the restaurants was "very surprised" and said they "have always bought beef", he said he immediately contacted his usual butcher, "who did not give me an explanation," stating that he would turn against the supplier and implement control measures.

When the horse meat fraud scandal hit Europe in February, the Swiss federal government immediately tightened regulations, in order to improve traceability of food stuffs and where they came from. Their goal is to be able to document all stages of food production, transformation and distribution, according to the ATS news agency.

However, ATS added that Swiss law makers have stopped short of making public lists of restaurants with questionable hygiene. Apparently the senate rejected the idea and opposed a proposal that would allow customers to check the official "certificate of conformity" of a restaurant.

Probably best to avoid the steak tartare, at least, when visiting Switzerland.