14% of Canadian sausage contains 'undeclared species': study

Feb 14 2019, 8:39 pm

Turns out that the running joke about hotdogs being made from mystery meat might not be too far off.

Except we’re looking at sausages here, and the issue at hand is “undeclared species.”

According to a recent study by the University of Guelph, 14% of sausage samples tested contained undeclared species.

And on the flip-side, 97% contained declared species. Which means that 3% of sausage cases don’t contain any of the meat that they claim to.

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An initial study that was conducted the previous year, in collaboration with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, showed 20% mislabelling rate in sausage meats. The study tested for beef, pork, chicken, turkey and horse in products purchased in Canada using DNA barcoding and digital PCR (digital polymerase chain reaction).

This more recent study includes an additional 100 “single species” sausage products that were collected from Canadian retail markets.

This series of testing sought new target species (sheep and goat), in addition to the original beef, pork, chicken, turkey and horse.

Results revealed that five beef samples, three chicken samples and two turkey samples contained undeclared species. They also showed the presence of undeclared sheep in five samples.

So while the numbers are down from the first study conducted, it’s clear that there are still plenty of mislabelled sausages sitting on Canadian shelves.

And that’s something to chew on.