A federally funded study has found that 20 per cent of sausages sampled from grocery stores across Canada contained meats that weren’t on the label.
The study, published this week in the journal Food Control, was conducted by researchers at the University of Guelph and commissioned by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
It examined 100 sausages that were labelled as containing just one ingredient — beef, pork, chicken or turkey.
Seven of 27 beef sausages examined in the study contained pork. One of 38 supposedly pure pork sausages contained horse meat. Of 20 chicken sausages, four also contained turkey and one also had beef.
Five of the 15 turkey sausages studied contained no turkey at all — they were entirely chicken.
None of the sausages examined contained more than one other type of meat in addition to the meat the sausage was meant to contain,said Robert Hanner, lead author of the study and an associate professor with the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario at the University of Guelph, noting, however that researchers were only testing for turkey, chicken, pork, beef and horse.
The undeclared meats found weren’t trace levels.
“The levels we’re seeing aren’t because the blades on a grinder aren’t perfectly clean,” he said, adding that many of the
undeclared ingredients found in the sausages were recorded in the one-to-five per cent range.
The CFIA investigated all 20 cases of mislabelled sausages and in the case of the chicken labelled as turkey, it was able to find issues with a manufacturer’s “traceability program” — incoming meat and production records were not properly maintained, said Aline Dimitri, the executive director of food safety science with the CFIA.
That problem was fixed, she said, but the CFIA is keeping tabs on the company. The horse meat found in one sausage couldn’t be investigated because the company had voluntarily ceased operations.
The CFIA is now considering a broader study on the issue.
Story and picture: http://www.cbc.ca