Horse Meat Allergy Test
Latin name: Equus spp.
Source material: Raw meat.
Horse meat is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Horse Meat Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Horse meat is thought to have been an important food source for human populations in the paleolithic era. Horses were initially hunted in the wild and later domesticated and raised for their meat, milk and as beasts of burden.
Today, while horse meat is commonly eaten in many countries in Europe and Asia, it is seen as taboo in many English speaking countries, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, the United States, and English Canada, as well as Brazil, and among the Romani and Jewish peoples.
The countries which consume the most horse meat are China, Mexico, Kazakhstan, Russia and Italy. Production and butchering is similar to that of beef, with the meat being aged for some time prior to consumption to improve it’s tenderness and texture. Horse meat is described as a cross between beef and venison, with a slightly sweet taste.
As with beef, horse meat is prepared in a variety of ways including grilling (as steaks), roasting (for large joints), barbecuing, stewing and boiling. Meat from younger horses tends to be lighter in color, while older horses produce richer color and flavor, as with most mammals.
In Spain, cecina is a cured meat made from the meat of a foal, and is considered a delicacy. Smoked, cured horse meat is widely available in Sweden. Horse sausage is popular in Switzerland, as well as Poland, Slovenia and Hungary.
In Iceland, horse meat is eaten minced and as steak, and is also used in stews and fondue. In the Netherlands, smoked horse meat is sold in delicatessens and usually served thinly sliced on bread. In Chile, it is used in charqui, a dried, salted meat product similar to jerky (although alpaca, llama or beef may be used).
Horse meat has on several occasions been discovered as an undeclared ingredient in meat products, or served in restaurants, either as a supplement to or replacement for beef, and in this sense may be considered as a potential hidden allergen.
Horse Meat Allergy Test: Allergen Description
No specific allergens present in horse meat have been fully characterised to date, although a number of proteins have been identified.
Horse Meat Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
Cross reactivity has been demonstrated to beef.
Horse Meat Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Horse meat is a food which may uncommonly result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals. In a study of beef skin test positive atopic children six out of 12 children were also positive to horse meat.
Allergy to red meat is rare in adults and the general understanding is that reactions to food are not delayed beyond one hour.
Research has revealed a previously not recognized clinical syndrome where skin
symptoms, but most importantly anaphylaxis, occur several hours after the ingestion of red
meat, although most cases occur after eating beef, pork or lamb. Sensitization is strongly associated with a history of tick bites.