The purpose of this article is to reflect on consumer victimization processes in Germany: how criminal acts are trivialized in the food sector and how a reversal of the fault occurs. In 2013 traces of horsemeat were identified in many ready-meal products that were labelled 100% beef which was one of the biggest economically motivated frauds in recent decades in Europe. Typical victimization processes in the food sector are illustrated and public lines of arguments in Germany are discussed using the example of the horsemeat scandal. Although residues of the veterinary drug phenylbutazone were detected in the horsemeat, the advantages of consuming the meat were highlighted in the German media. The victims were not only viewed as perpetrators but also condemned them-selves as such. The illegal food scandal transformed into a phenomenon in which neither the fraud nor the enormous financial gain of the offenders were recognized nor criticized. This could be seen as an explanation as to why there is little legal awareness as well as victimological interest in this field of fraudulent behaviour.
Keywords: Horsemeat scandal, victimization, legal awareness, economically motivated food crime