Survey Asks How Much Meat In Meat

UK - Food Standards Agency guidance to manufacturers on the calculation and declaration of meat content in products, such as pies and sausages, is delivering results, according to a new survey by the FSA.
calendar icon 1 November 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

The survey, which involved 26 local authorities, set out to determine whether the meat content claims for a variety of sausages, burgers, pies and kebabs were accurate. Recipes and ingredients of 191 raw and ready-to-eat meat products were collected from 146 different manufacturers. In only 3% (6 out of 191) of the products sampled did the manufacturers overstate meat content and only a further 3% did not declare how much meat the product contained. All other products met the requirements.

Stricter rules on what can be described as meat have changed the way meat content is calculated. The Agency has recommended a practical way of calculating content and designed guidance to help manufacturers navigate the new laws on meat content descriptions.

Dr Mark Woolfe, Head of Food Authenticity Branch at the FSA, said: 'The amount of meat in a meat product is an important piece of information for consumers in deciding which product to buy and it's important that they're not short changed. Amendments to labelling rules have changed the way meat is declared and how the meat content is calculated. Guidance developed by the FSA to assist businesses to understand the changes and calculate meat content appears to be working well.'

In cases where there was no statement of the meat content or the meat content was 'over declared', corrective action has been taken by local authorities. The label of products with over declared meat contents have been subsequently revised.

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