DAccording to a media report, German manufacturers of poultry sausage are said to have used mechanically separated meat – i.e. comminuted slaughterhouse residues – in poultry sausage and other poultry meat products without labeling this as required. Laboratory tests “provided evidence” for this, reported NDR and “Spiegel” on Thursday.
The accused companies of the slaughter group Tönnies denied the allegations. A joint statement by Franz Wiltmann GmbH & Co. KG and the Zur Mühlen Group states: “These statements in the reports are clearly wrong. Mechanically separated meat is not used in any of the products mentioned. On the contrary: The use of mechanically separated meat in the products mentioned is expressly excluded by the definition of the raw materials and the production process.”
They also questioned the examination method, which, according to the statement, did not provide any reliable information about the use of MSM: “The editors know that the MSM markers you allegedly discovered are also found in other meat components that are expressly not MSM. There are expert statements that expressly warn against misinterpreting the method used.”
New procedure for the detection of mechanically separated meat
NDR and “Spiegel” had 30 poultry sausage and poultry meat samples from various manufacturers examined by Bremerhaven university professor Stefan Wittke. The media reported that he had developed a new method to detect MSM in sausage products. So far this has hardly been possible.
Mechanically separated meat is produced by machines pressing animal carcasses or coarsely chopped bones with leftover meat through perforated discs. Bone splinters and pieces of cartilage get caught, all soft parts such as muscles, fat and connective tissue or even the spinal cord are squeezed off. This creates a mushy mass that costs only pennies per kilogram.
Spokespersons for the companies named in the report told NDR and “Spiegel” that the new examination method at Bremerhaven University was merely a new scientific approach to possible evidence that “was not a solid basis”. Regular in-house tests based on recognized methods proved the opposite.