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Well before Pacific quest, castaway drank turtle blood

Well before his incredible tale of survival in a 13-month Pacific odyssey, Jose Salvador Alvarenga consumed raw fish and turtle blood in his Mexican fishing village -- the very things that saved him at sea. Fellow fishermen in Chocohuital, a village nestled on a lagoon in the southern state of Chiapas, remember Alvarenga as a good man with a quirky diet that they say gives credence to his amazing story. The burly man they knew as "La Chancha," the Spanish word for a sow, would gobble up anything, including dog food.

Dutch find horse in 690 tonnes of abattoir meat

The Dutch health watchdog said Wednesday it had halted distribution of 690 tonnes of meat from an abattoir after a probe found traces of horse in products marked as beef. "During a criminal investigation... horse DNA was discovered in four samples of beef from the wholesaler," the food safety authority NVWA said in statement. The investigation also found that the abattoir and wholesaler situated in the central town of Dodewaard "bought more horses than its book indicated were slaughtered."

Dutch block shipments from slaughterhouse after detecting horse meat in beef products

AMSTERDAM - The Dutch Foods and Wares Authority says it has "preventatively" blocked all shipments from a Dutch slaughterhouse after investigators found horse meat in four shipments labeled as beef products. The agency did not identify the slaughterhouse, other than saying it was in the eastern province of Gelderland. It also said it could not tell from the slaughterhouse's records where the products containing horse meat may have been shipped.

Canada threatens court fight, import tariffs in dispute over U.S. food labelling

OTTAWA - Canada's agriculture minister says he's hoping to avoid an all-out trade war with the United States over food labelling. But Gerry Ritz warns that, if there is a war, he's prepared to fight it. Ritz has launched a last-minute appeal to American lawmakers to change U.S. food labelling rules through a 950-page farm bill that could come to a first vote as early as Wednesday. "I'm hoping that cooler minds will prevail, that the pressure that the American industry is bringing to bear in the next day or two will cause some legislators to step back," said Ritz.

Spain protects prize cured ham, jamon iberico

Spain's government acted Friday to protect the global reputation of its prize cured ham, the exquisite ruby-red "jamon iberico", by simplifying labels and tightening quality. Among the most sought-after hams in the world, the best quality Spanish cured ham is made from a pig of the purebred, black-hoofed indigenous 'iberico' race, which has been fattened on acorns as it wanders the meadows. Once slaughtered, cured, and expertly sliced into nearly transparent slices, it is at the apex of international cuisine.

French restaurant's 'no Pakistani' rule lands chef in soup

With coarse-grained pork sausages, blood pudding and fine wine on his menu, Philippe Lafforgue thought he had cooked up the perfect recipe for expats in Pakistan's capital Islamabad. But the Frenchman's refusal to serve Pakistanis unless they were accompanied by a foreigner has landed him in the soup in this deeply conservative country home to some of the most dangerous Islamist militants on the planet.

Meat pumped with pond water in south China: state TV

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China has held seven people in southern Guangdong province for injecting dirty pond water into lamb meat to swell its weight and raise its price, state television reported in the latest food scandal to hit the world's second largest economy. The suspects slaughtered up to 100 sheep per day at an illegal warehouse, pumping bacteria-ridden water into the meat before it was sold at markets, food stalls and restaurants in major cities such as Guangzhou and Foshan, China Central Television (CCTV) said in a three-minute report.

Berlin 'doggy deli' sparks howls of 'decadence'

Germany's first restaurant for dogs and cats opened in Berlin over the festive holidays, drawing charges the luxury eatery for furry friends is "decadent". "Does Berlin really need a gourmet restaurant for dogs?" asked the top-selling Bild daily. Pets Deli offers its tasty treats for domestic animals in the upscale neighbourhood of Grunewald, with meals priced from three to six euros (about $4-6), and treats like cupcakes for four euros.

Horsemeat linked to new food scandal seized in Belgium

Belgium health authorities on Friday reported the seizure of 16.8 tonnes of horsemeat, part of it linked to a fresh food scandal in France involving meat not supposed to wind up on people's plates. France informed Belgium last week of the delivery to a Belgian firm of 17.5 tonnes of falsely-labelled meat from horses that were used by scientists to help produce anti-rabies and other serums.

Report finds contamination in most chicken sold in US

Almost all of the raw chicken sold in the US contains potentially harmful bacteria such as salmonella and E.coli, according to an analysis by Consumer Reports published Thursday. The magazine tested 316 raw chicken breasts in 26 states and "found potentially harmful bacteria lurking in almost all of the chicken, including organic brands," it said.
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