Sausages are one of the most popular backyard BBQ foods in America. But are they filled with the kind of meat you think they are? A shocking study coming out of Canada reveals that the meat in sausages might be more mystery than beef. In the study, about 20 percent of sausages tested contained a different kind of meat than what was listed on the package. The degree of off-label ingredients has alarmed scientists and researchers. They couldn’t believe that the entire country had been eating mystery meat sausages. Learn more about mystery meat and what is really inside the sausages you buy.
The Canadian government funded a study that found one out of five sausages sold in grocery stores contained a different kind of meat than what was listed on the label. The study was published in the journal Food Control and was conducted by researchers at the University of Guelph and it was commissioned by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. And the results shocked everyone involved.
After examining more than 100 sausages that were labeled as containing one kind of meat – either beef, pork, chicken or turkey – they found that the labels often lied.
“About one in five of the sausages we tested had some off-label ingredients in them, which is alarming,” the leader author of the study, Robert Hanner, said. He is the associate professor with the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario at the University of Guelph.
Did you know that sausages were so tainted?
The study was conducted after the European horse meat scandal swept across the world. Canada worried that their sausage providers were slipping horse meat into their beef sausages.
Hanner’s study aimed to examine the methods and regulatory practices to ensure that a horse meat problem did not occur in North America.
However, seven out of the 27 beef sausages examined in Hanner’s study contained more than just beef. Although they didn’t have any horse, the seven were loaded with pork.
On the other hand, pork sausages were found to contain horsemeat. One of the 38 pork sausages tested had the dreaded horsemeat in it. Four of the 20 chicken sausages that were tested also contained turkey. And one chicken sausage also contained beef.
Perhaps, the most shocking sausages were the turkey ones. Five of 15 turkey sausages studied contained no turkey at all – they were simply chicken meat.
Although no sausage contained more than one foreign meat, Hanner admits that his study was limited. He was only testing for turkey, chicken, pork, beef and horse. Other meats like dog, cats, and more could have gotten through undetected.
“The good news is that typically beef sausages predominantly contain beef, but some of them also contain pork, so for our kosher and halal consumers, that is a bit disconcerting,” Hanner said.
The undeclared meats came through only at trace levels.
“The levels we’re seeing aren’t because the blades on a grinder aren’t perfectly clean,” Hanner said.
Are you shocked to learn the truth about sausages?
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