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Office of Competition and Consumer Protection

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Meat examined by trade inspection authority

< previous | next > 12.12.2017

Meat examined by trade inspection authority
  • Pork in beef steak tartare, E- food additives in white sausage which should not be there.
  • The Trade Inspection Authority examined raw meat and products from it.
  • Inspectors questioned products sold at 70 stores out of 168 controlled.

At the request of UOKiK, the Trade Inspection Authority controlled the quality and labelling of raw meat and products from it (e.g. white sausage, steak tartare, mett).

Control of meat

The inspectors controlled 168 stores and warehouses throughout Poland, and questioned the products sold at 70 (41.7%) of them. The places were chosen at random or selected on the basis of the negative results of the previous inspections. Objections were expressed in the case of 218 batches of meat (22.7%) out of 962 batches controlled by the Trade Inspection Authority. In most cases, meat was incorrectly labelled.

Irregularities

Numerous products included ingredients they should not include. Laboratory tests indicated that, e.g. ready-to-serve pork included 60% of turkey meat, whereas beef steak tartare or hamburger included pork.

Furthermore, labels of frozen lamb sausages informed that the manufacturer added to them preservative E-250, i.e. sodium nitrite, even though it can be added only to raw white sausage, mett raw sausage, beef steak tartare and corned pork knuckle. Additives were found in white sausage: taste enhancer E-621 as well as anti-caking agents E-551 and E-535, which must not be added to white sausage.

According to law, the list of additives to raw meat preparations is very limited as compared to the list of additives allowed in processed meat products, e.g. cooked meats.

Furthermore, it happened that pork meat packaging did not include the obligatory information on the country or place of the meat’s origin. In addition, manufacturers use “Polish product” graphic signs, but they do not comply with the model set out in the regulations.

Fines

The Trade Inspection Authority’s inspectors issued 38 decisions: concerning adulteration or improper quality (33 decisions) and withdrawal of meat past its sell-by date (5). The total fines amount to nearly PLN 30 thousand.

Should you have any doubts as to labelling or quality of meat, get in touch with Trade Inspection Authority.

Consumer advice

In stores we will find:

  • “fresh meat” - i.e. meat which has not undergone any other process apart from cooling or freezing, including vacuum-packaged meat. It must not contain spices and additives.
  • “raw meat preparations” - mean meat to which the manufacturer added foodstuffs, spices or additives, or which have undergone a process which is insufficient to modify the meat structure (e.g. it was not steamed or cooked).

What information will we find on packaged meat and meat bought loose/by weight?

Packaged raw meat – obligatory information:

  • name,
  • place of rearing, place of slaughter and the batch code identifying the meat,
  • in the case of minced meat: name “... meat” and the name/s of the animal species from which it originates, “fat percentage content below...” and “collagen/protein ratio under ...”,
  • best before date,
  • net amount,
  • storage conditions,
  • name and address of the entity responsible for the product, 
  • date of freezing.

Packaged raw meat preparations – obligatory information:

  • name,
  • list of ingredients,
  • information on the water added, if it exceeds 5% of the product weight,
  • net amount,
  • best before date,
  • storage conditions,
  • name and address of the entity responsible for the product, 
  • date of freezing.

Polish product – voluntary labelling. Manufacturers may place it on products in whose manufacturing they used ingredients from Poland (e.g. meat from animals born, reared and slaughtered in Poland). Regulations lay down what “Polish product” graphic sign has to look like.

Raw meat bought loose/by weight: on the label, the seller must place only the name of meat and its manufacturer, and in the case of raw meat preparations also the list of ingredients.

Additional information for the media:

UOKiK Press Office 
Pl. Powstańców Warszawy 1, 00-950 Warsaw
Phone: 695 902 088
E-mail: [SCODE]Yml1cm9wcmFzb3dlQHVva2lrLmdvdi5wbA==[ECODE]

Twitter: @UOKiKgovPL

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