If you follow European news....horse meat stories have popped up over the last two or three weeks. Basically....you've got one butcher shop (based on reports, it's only been identified to one)....that screwed up, and mixed horse-meat with the beef, and let go out the front door.
Generally, this is coming from an American who has observed this.....a butcher in Germany is usually a butcher who generally does a lot of different butchering jobs (pork, beef, chicken, etc), but horse butchers have a unique shop and they stay separate.
My first introduction to such a deal was the Kaiserslautern city fair....where I discovered that one single butcher trailer was set up at the end of the whole operation.....with a funny smell. My wife kind of explained this to me, and I simply observed from the distance.
Growing up in the American south.....you just don't come across horse meat too often, and generally would turn it down quickly. Yeah, we'd accept goat, ostrich, and even gator-meat.....but horses just aren't an acceptable thing there either.
How many Germans get into it? I'd make a guess that every community has a couple of folks, but it's likely in the range of three Germans out of a hundred (my humble numbers)....maybe even less than three. You'd always see a few folks at the fair trailer....making purchases, but it wasn't a significant crowd.
This scandal? Well...for around three months....this butcher company pumped out meat that was mixed up with regular beef, and it went to various production companies that made different meals. German authorities are all over this and really want to ensure the 'purity' of their market items. I'm guessing that the sooner they feel sure the problem is ended....the quicker you will see this story disappear from the press.
The butcher company at fault? From past episodes in Bavaria where bad meat was sent out and the press got into the whole mess....the companies tended to fold up or be bought out quickly. Once you get a bad reputation for anything in the marketplace....it's hard to operate from that point on. Your reputation....as a German business...is always at stake, and you rarely see screw-ups like this. Note: this was a Luxembourg company....not a Germany company.
So if you ever hang out at a big-town fair and you sense this funny smell in the air....you can take a fair guess what it is and just make a 360-degree circle to find the trailer with the horse-meat.