How much meat is in meat? Surprising results of inspections

What kind of meat do we buy? This was checked by the Trade Inspection, which found irregularities in every second shop. In most cases, the objections concerned incorrect labelling. More than 37 percent. (474) of the checked batches were mislabelled. Most violations in this scope had meat products sold by weight (58 percent). About 13 percent of batches of meat and meat products, which were examined in laboratories of the Office of Trade Inspection, also raised objections in terms of quality.

- Many traders have problems with providing information, very important from the consumer's point of view, about the list of ingredients of cold meat, which is offered by weight. There were many irregularities in this respect - says Dariusz Łomowski from the Trade Inspection Department of UOKiK, and adds. - Other irregularities include frivolous names that entrepreneurs give to cold meats. If a sausage is called home-made, homemade or country-style, it should not contain monosodium glutamate or various preservatives.

The Trade Inspection has inspected 165 shops and wholesalers operating in Poland, checking a total of 1279 batches of products. Inspectors found irregularities in 83 facilities (over 50 percent), questioning 516 (over 40 percent) batches of products.

The Trade Inspectorate controlled products selected on the basis of complaints received by the Provincial Inspectorates and due to their too low price in relation to the quality suggested by the name (e.g. kiełbasa jałowcowa with venison at an exceptionally low price for this type of product).

Meat content

Over 37 percent. More than 37 percent (474) of inspected batches were improperly labeled (lack of or inaccurate information about the product), the largest number of deficiencies in this scope had meat products sold by weight (58 percent). About 13 percent of batches of meat and meat products that were examined in laboratories of the Office of Trade Inspection also raised objections in terms of quality.

During the inspection the Trade Inspection questioned i.a. understated or overstated amount of fat - e.g. the producer declared on the package 10% of fat, but in reality it was 6.6%. Doubts were also raised by the presence in the products of meat other than declared - e.g. pork in poultry sausages with veal.

Moreover, producers did not inform about the content of phosphorus compounds which were added to the products. In many cases (especially in case of products sold "loose") there was no information about e.g. substances causing allergies, addition of water, storage conditions after opening and producer's mark. Incorrect names of products were also given - e.g. the use of the term rural despite the use of substances characteristic for industrial production in the product.
Actions taken by the Trade Inspection

As a result of the control, the Trade Inspection issued 9 decisions on withdrawal of out-of-date products from the market. It has also imposed fines and pecuniary penalties for selling food products which do not meet commercial quality standards and are adulterated (of a total value of PLN 82.6 thousand), and in 61 cases it has sent information to sanitary and veterinary supervision bodies and to voivodeship IJHARS.


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