USDA warns Lawrenceville restaurant for serving horse meat

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

The meal in question is horse tartare — in other words, raw horse meat.

According to the Associated Press, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service says Cure chef and co-owner Justin Severino received a warning letter for illegally bringing horse meat into the country. An inspection determined there were no other horse products brought in by the restaurant or on its menu.

Severino says the meat came from a sustainable farm in Canada and isn’t part of the regular menu.

The warning letter carries no penalties, but means the restaurant could criminally prosecuted if it serves horse again. Congress has banned the inspection of horse meat for human consumption.

Angry comments began flooding Cure’s Facebook page shortly after a photo of a limited-time menu, including the horse tartare, went up last Monday.

The raw horse is featured in a special called “Le Cheval.”

Though the post did generate some positive comments from people excited to try the horse tartare, critical comments by far outweighed the supportive ones.

Pittsburgh Magazine reports Severino, explained the dish was created and prepared by Canadian chefs. In Canada, horse meat is regularly included in meals. Severino says the chef’s wanted to serve a dish representative of their home.