What’s in your sausage?

A recent report in the United States found that sausage labels weren’t as trustworthy as one hopes, with some samples even found to contain human DNA.

When you buy processed meats you are placing a great deal of trust in the manufacturers, and as this report has revealed, in the United States this trust is often misplaced.

The report had some truly alarming findings including:

  • two per cent of sausages were found to contain human DNA
  • 10 per cent of vegetarian sausages contained meat
  • some vegetarian products exaggerated protein content by up to 2.5 times.

Some have dismissed the report for its lack of transparency while others are reeling with disgust. With processed meats recently being placed on The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Group 1 carcinogen list, it might be time to revaluate how often you eat sausages, or which ones you purchase.

When it comes to labelling sausages in Australia, if you see ‘meat’ on the ingredients list, the product may contain “the whole or part of the carcass of any buffalo, camel, cattle, deer, goat, hare, pig, poultry, rabbit or sheep, slaughtered other than in a wild state”. Butchers are often exempt from labelling the ingredients in their products but must supply the information when requested.

Choice performed a study in 2013 that is well worth a read if you don’t want to have to choose between your health and your beloved snags.

In the study, Dieticians Association of Australia spokesperson, Pip Golley, recommended that when choosing a healthier sausage, look for one with:

  • less than 5g saturated fat,
  • less than 450mg sodium per 100g, and
  • as few processed ingredients as possible.

If you find yourself turned off by the amount of fat a sausage leaves behind in the pan, you may be surprised to learn that the sausages that don’t leave any fat behind are usually the ones of which to be wary.

George Papanicolaou, from Dulwich Hill Gourmet Meats in Sydney stated the following to Choice: “Don’t be scared of a little fat in the pan when you cook the sausage. A sausage that releases no fat when you cook it can mean it has too many binders, and this can mean all the fat is held in the sausage. The more fat in your pan, the less fat you end up eating.”

How often do you eat sausages? Have recent reports made you reconsider how frequently you eat them?

Read the Clear Food Hot Dog Report.

Written by ryanbo



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