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USDA Warns Pittsburgh Restaurant That Served Horse Meat

PITTSBURGH (AP/KDKA) - 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.

An inspection determined there were no other horse products brought in by the restaurant or on its menu. The warning letter carries no penalties, but means the restaurant could criminally prosecuted if it serves horse again.

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The USDA says Congress has banned the inspection of horses for human consumption since fiscal year 2005.

Horse welfare advocate Joy Braunstein said her main concern is the large amount of toxins they carry.

"They're given an awful lot of medication from wormers to antibiotics to fly spray. What we apply to our horses is all toxic for human consumption," Braunstein said.

A petition was launched calling for no horse meat to be served in restaurants across Pennsylvania. It has nearly 1,500 signatures.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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