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Food Forensics
 
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Horrors of brine and additives in chicken products

21 May 2012, 09:26

At the outset let me apologise for grammar errors and caps font that occur in this longish yet probable informative follow up article on the matter. Especially for Chicken Consumers.

Just when ALL  you unsuspecting customers and consumers of RAW and FROZEN and IQF frozen chicken pieces/cut’s thought and believed this most serious, horrendous, despicable, abusive and fraudulent matter, regarding  Brine,Liquids and Additives injected into Chicken Products. Had/Has received extremely urgent interventions, by the various Food Regulating Authorities in South Africa post the public outrage about this in 2010.

The Government and Regulating Authorities have really done DONE NOTHING! Notwithstanding the complaints and challenges lodged on the Government and Government Departments, to prohibit or highly regulate this process long prior to 2010 continue unabated as at May 2012.

The Department of Health (DoH), Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), Department of Trade and Industr y(DTI) and the National Council for Regulatory Specifications (NCRS) are still at loggerheads with each other as to whom is to take ownership and control and enforcement of regulation on this matter.  Whether old or new or that which will implemented at a unknown time. Again,This as at May 2012.

Even though the 4 Departments met at Parliament in March 2011. ONLY in March 2011?? When it is a admitted fact the products have been brine/liquid/additive injected for 20 to 25 years and the PUBLIC need to be protected etc. This is like trying to close the barn door, after the horse has bolted. ITS TOO LATE!

A mere one link in support of the above that people need to peruse in full is afforded, for ease of reference. http://www.pmg.org.za/report/20110322-department-agriculture-department-trade-industry-poultry-brine-inject

However, what quantity and type of brine/liquid and additives have been injected /inserted is UNKNOWN remains unknown.

The recent  farcical Food and Beverage Food labelling Legislation aka R146 implemented in March 2012, does however indicate that the actual meat content, brine- liquid and other additives must be indicated on packaging in percentage terms from March 2012. Again, what TRUTH and HONESTY is there in this declaration?

Worthy to add the declaration is in tiny print, towards the lower part of the main front panel and in instances,also on the rear panel. Why tiny and at the bottom of the package?

Attempts to obtain information as to who has approved these declarations regarding the percentages of meat and brine, etc  from the various Regulating Authorities has met with a Deathly Silence. Are the Regulating Authorities continuously monitoring for compliance to this labelling?

One example of how a label is now marked is.  2KG chicken portions.  70% meat.  30% Brine of which 29% is water. What the other 1% actually is, whose knows!

 Therefore in real terms. What you have purchased is ONLY 1,4 KG OF ACTUAL CHICKEN AND 600 GRAMS of some unknown liquid substance. YET YOU PAID FOR 2KG OF CHICKEN! That’s IF what was declared was actually truthful and honest.

What about all the other sized packaging and types of Frozen chicken available?

So now it is expected of unsuspecting citizens to carry a calculator with them so as to ascertain what quantity of chicken you purchasing. What percentage of the population, even understand how to calculate this?

IS THIS FAIR ON THE POPULATION? TO SAY THE LEAST.

WHY IS THE GROSS AND NETT WEIGHT NOT marked on the packages. Just as is done with many other products that contain brine? Why the double standards?

What is even more serious: According to past and current information available, DAFF has NOT been affording ANY attention to IQF products whatsoever/howsoever.

Yet please take note of this link and what it says. Yet DAFF say they NOT involved. http://www.info.gov.za/speech/DynamicAction?pageid=461&sid=16127&tid=27933

 DAFF are NOT involved?  Don’t lose sight of the fact that this was done in March 2011.

Alas, DAFF have recently indicated the current labelling of the IQF products is a DoH matter.  So they must deal with it. What does this tell you? So much for what is indicated in the2 links above.

AGAIN WHY IS IT ONLY DECLARED AFTER 20 TO 25 YEARS, WHEN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE REGULATING AUTHORITIES NEW THE UNSUSPECTING CUSTOMER AND CONSUMER WERE BEING SO HORRENDOUSLY ABUSED AND DEFRAUDED BUT NOT LIMITED TO THESE MERE REASONS.

THE ANSWER IS GLARINGLY OBVIOUS. FINANCIAL GREED AND PROPERITY FOR THE CHOSEN FEW, AT THE EXPENSE OF UNSUSPECTING CUSTOMERS AND CONSUMERS! WHEN DOES THE PREMEDITATED ABUSE AND FRAUD STOP?

When one considers the Astronomical, quantity of chicken products consumed in South Africa DAILY!

So even if farcical DoH  March 2012 Legislation in place regarding the percentages. Do NOT purchase a product that does NOT have this declaration. It’s ONEWAY of getting back at the heinous Industry to say the least.

NOTE:  Regarding whole frozen chicken.  The current DAFF legislation states a minimum of 92% meat content with a water pick up of 8%. Only chicken Breasts may be injected with brine/liquid.  Whether this Legislation has been and isbeing adhered to continuously and implicitly is again UNKNOWN and DAFF are maintaining a deathly silence once again.

So to ALL persons that consume FROZEN Chicken Products PLEASE BE AWARE of what you believe you are purchasing at all times. Make informed and educated decisions. Its your Legal right. Your Money and your HEALTH at stake.

 The same can be said for RAW chicken products(never frozen). There is NO such thing as “FRESH” and DO NOT be lead to believe there is anything such as FREE RANGE or ORGANIC Chicken at this time.

There is NO official Governmental legislation or regulation on these products. Irrespective that a label may indicate “certified”. Certified by whom and who certified the so called “certifier”?

 In closing,  I do consider the above assists you as much I haven’t even touched on the subject of “reworked” chicken processes, but this is also being addressed extremely urgently.

Watch this space

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