The meat producers Tonnies and Wiesenhof are said to have used so-called mechanically separated meat from leftover meat or connective tissue when processing poultry sausage. The products should not have been marked accordingly. Evidence of this had on Thursday NDR and Spiegel made public.
Both companies deny the allegations. Foodwatch consumer advocates are calling on retailers to recall the affected products.
Foodwatch speaks of possible fraud
A food watchspokesman stated: “If the test results are reliable, that would be cheating.” Products with mechanically separated meat are to be labeled, otherwise their sale is prohibited.
Above all, the companies criticized the investigation methods. When asked by MDR, Foodwatch explained that courts would have to decide whether the evidence was valid be.
This is mechanically separated meat
In order to produce mechanically separated meat, machines press animal carcasses or coarsely chopped bones with meat residues through perforated discs. Bones and cartilage get stuck, soft parts such as muscles, fat, connective tissue or even the spinal cord are squeezed. This creates a mushy mass.
Many samples positive
NDR and Spiegel submitted a total of 30 samples of poultry sausage and meat to a laboratory in Bremerhaven. Around half of the 20 sausage samples were positive. Products from Tönnies, Wiesenhof and their subsidiaries were also affected.
Wiesenhof: The method has no solid basis
Wiesenhof explained to the MDR request that it can be ruled out with certainty that mechanically separated meat is used in the products. The company refers to a corresponding affidavit, which is also said to be available to NDR and Spiegel.
Wiesenhof described the method of the Bremerhaven laboratory as “a new scientific approach to the possible detection of mechanically separated meat, which is still being developed, but has not yet been used in practice, has not been tested in practice and is not solid due to possible susceptibility to errors base is”.
Tönnies describes reports as false claims
Tönnies also rejects the allegations. The company describes the report as a “false claim”. Mechanically separated meat is not used. The subsidiaries have issued a corresponding statement.
Tönnies operates a large slaughterhouse in Weißenfels, Wiesenhof in Möckern in Saxony-Anhalt. Company spokesmen stated that no poultry meat was processed in the two locations in Saxony-Anhalt.