Psst! That's Horse You're Eating, Tel Aviv Waiter Admits

Turkiz serves horse regularly but didn't mention it in the dish description; waiter tells the couple what the menu didn't.

The upscale Tel Aviv restaurant Turkiz served horsemeat to diners - without telling them.

A week ago Saturday, one customer, L., was dining with her husband at the north Tel Aviv beanchside restaurant. They ordered a daily special priced at NIS 130 that was billed as chicken and seafood paella, which was served in the middle of the table.

"My husband stood up to taste some of the dish, but suddenly he realized that there were pieces of something that tasted and smelled very strange," L. recounted. "We called over the waiter and asked him if there was meat in the dish despite the fact that it was not mentioned in the description. The waiter said there was indeed meat in the dish. We asked, 'Is it pork?' and the waiter replied, 'Not exactly.' At this point we got upset and asked 'What do you mean by not exactly? Is it pork or not?' And then the waiter said it was horsemeat."

"We were in shock," L. said. "A moment later the shift manager came over and apologized. We asked her how it was possible to serve horsemeat when it was not mentioned on the menu. She apologized again and said she had nothing to say other than to apologize.

Turkiz did not charge the couple for their meal and in response to the incident, the restaurant attributed the incident to a mistake. "Due to an error, it was not noted [on the menu] that the dish contained horsemeat sausage. It's sausage imported from Hungary," the restaurant management said.

It should be noted that horsemeat is regularly featured as a daily special on the restaurant's menu and labeled as such.

At the beginning of the year in Britain, there was a storm of public protest when traces of horsemeat were found in meat sold as beef for hamburgers. Initially one retailer was implicated but then it was found that meat being sold as beef in a number of countries contained horsemeat.

Although consumption of horsemeat is not considered dangerous, in countries were it is not commonly consumed, the disclosure was the subject of indignation. British law enforcement authorities made arrests and, as part of their investigation, some of the meat was found to contain traces of a painkiller that is only administered to horses.