Donkey Meat, Water Buffalo, and All Sorts of Undiscovered Joys in South African Hamburger Meat

Europe isn't the only place dealing with mislabeling meat
Staff Writer

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Apparently horsemeat isn't the only intrusive meat making its way into your faux 100-percent beef burger patties; researchers from the University of Stellenbosch have found that 68 percent of 139 samples in South African retail outlets have unlisted ingredients.

According to the study, published in the journal Food Control, 28 percent of the products contained soy and gluten, common allergens that were not listed on the packaging. In terms of meat, unlisted pork was in 37 percent of the items (surprise!) and chicken in 23 percent.

"Our study confirms that the mislabeling of processed meats is commonplace in South Africa and not only violates food labeling regulations, but also poses economic, religious, ethical and health impacts," co-author Louw Hoffman said in a press release. Other unexpected food products? Goat, donkey, water buffalo, and something identified as "undeclared plant matter." Yum.

In general, the major players in mislabeling were sausages, burger patties, and deli meats. We're going to go learn how to butcher our own meat now.

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