Cure in Pittsburgh. Bill Addison.

USDA warns Pennsylvania restaurant that serving horse meat violates federal law

PITTSBURG, Pa. — We have been following the story of the Pittsburgh area restaurant serving steak tartare made with horse meat. Because it was making national headlines we figured you have been following it too.

We write about it now that the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has stepped in. It is interesting how FSIS handled it pointing out their concern — it is illegal to import horse meat into the U.S.

CBS News Pittsburgh reported:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has warned a Pittsburgh restaurant to not serve horse meat again.

KDKA-TV first reported that Cure Restaurant hosted a special dinner with Canadian chefs on May 8 that included horse tartare*.

Cure released this statement from chef/co-owner Justin Severino:

“On Monday night we hosted a collaborative dinner with chefs from Canada, a Québécois feast. One of the courses included horse tartare, which is traditional Québécois. It was sourced from a sustainable horse farm in Alberta, Canada. This dish was available for one night only and it is not part of the Cure menu.”

A USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service spokesperson says Severino received a warning letter for illegally bringing horsemeat into the country.

So to clarify, it is illegal to import or export horse meat according to FSIS.

SustainableTable.com defines sustainable farming as:

“In simplest terms, sustainable agriculture is the production of food, fiber, or other plant or animal products using farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, human communities, and animal welfare.”

How can the meat from any horse other than one raised in a vacuum be made fit for human consumption?

Horses bred and raised in modern day societies are given a myriad of drugs throughout their lifetimes containing known carcinogens prohibiting their meat from entering the human food chain. This is an established fact.

Inspections necessary to export horse meat from the United States are not taking place because the U.S. government chose not to pay for them again in this year’s fiscal budget.

Interestingly, the USDA shows in their move against the Cure restaurant that it is equally illegal to import horse meat into the U.S. and it’s not just a matter of taste for which the average American has little to no appetite.

Eater.com reported that:

The dish did not sit well with animal welfare advocates who have launched a Change.org petition calling on Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf to make a public statement declaring the practice of serving horse meat illegal. It’s since received more than 1,600 signatures.

H.R. 113

Take action. Contact your U.S. Representatives and ask them to co-sponsor and use their influence to pass the SAFE Act — H.R. 113 — that bans horse slaughter and closes the live export of horses for slaughter loophole. Here’s how »

H.R. 113 currently has 119 co-sponsors.

Let’s work hard to get a majority of the U.S. House to co-sponsor H.R. 113 — 218** — useful leverage in busting this bill out of all the Committees and Subcommittees it has been assigned to. Tough, but together we can do it.


Steak tartare is a meat dish made from finely chopped or minced raw beef or horsemeat. It is often served with onions, capers and seasonings (the latter typically incorporating fresh ground pepper and Worcestershire sauce), sometimes with a raw egg yolk, and often on rye bread.

** The number of voting representatives in the House is fixed by law at no more than 435, proportionally representing the population of the 50 states.

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Cure in Pittsburgh. Bill Addison. Eater.com.

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