Too much water in Dutch chicken meat
Apparently 63,000 tonnes of imported chicken is being
served in the UK that has been pumped up with water and proteins to make it
appear heavier and bigger.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is looking into poultry that is being
imported from the Netherlands which contains as much as 35% water. This meat,
however, was described as having a meat content of 80%.
It is not illegal or unhealthy to add water or animal protein to chicken,
however, under EU regulations, consumers must be informed about what has been
added. This is often the case in supermarkets, however, it is very seldom that
restaurant and canteen menus provide such information.
The FSA is discussing whether to step-up inspection of chicken products at
ports and to order a wider survey of chicken on sale to the catering
The agency will raise the issue with the Dutch authorities and is also
expected to report its concerns to the European Commission.
"As part of a routine survey work we are currently investigating a small
number of possible cases of mislabelled chicken from the Netherlands being sold
in the UK. The cases concern the levels of water and protein added to the
chicken," said the FSA. "The product in question was destined for the catering
trade and there is no suggestion it was unfit for public consumption. We will be
talking to the Dutch authorities and will take appropriate action as necessary
once our inquiries are complete."
A spokesman for the FSA stressed it was not a health issue. "It is about
labelling," said the spokesman.
David Pickering, a spokesman for the Trading Standards Institute, said: "If
someone is selling chicken with added water as chicken, that is fraud because
people are paying chicken prices for water and a product that does not taste any
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