Is there donkey in that wors?

2012-12-15 00:00

A RECENT study by the University of Stellenbosch has shown that the most undeclared types of meat — such as donkey meat — are found in wors that people buy daily, but boerewors experts insist that their wors is clean.

Dr Donna Cawthorn analysed 139 cuts of meat from different meat traders in four provinces to see whether what is written on the packaging is actually in the pack.

Only 32% of the meat cuts were correctly labelled.

Some of the types of meat found in wors, but not indicated on the packaging, included water buffalo meat, mutton, goat meat and donkey meat.

South African Meat Industry Company (Samic) CEO Rudi van der Westhuizen referred to regulation 2718 of 1990, which specifies how boerewors has to be made.

According to Van der Westhuizen, no specific regulations exist for braaiwors. This means that there is no standard for the fat content and the kind of meat that has to be used.

Van der Westhuizen says these types of wors are usually also cheaper than boerewors.

Boerewors is not usually sold for less than R60 a kilogram, except in the case of specials.

Even though there is no act regulating braaiwors, an act does exist that provides that a wors manufacturer cannot use just any meat.

“There are regulations that say no one may sell any meat other than beef, pork, mutton, goat meat and chicken without mentioning it.”

Van der Westhuizen says the onus is on the environmental health practitioners of municipal councils to investigate whether butcheries are complying with regulations relating to, among other things, boerewors and the use of specific types of meat.

Jaco Groot, who has worked at Rembrandt Butchery in Linden, Johannesburg, for nearly 10 years, says they work strictly according to the “boerewors act”, and make between two and two-and-a-half tons of boerewors a week. During this time of the year that figure nearly doubles.

Groot says it is not necessarily a bad thing that there are no specific criteria for braaiwors, since places like theirs, which produce real boerewors according to the prescribed standards, fare well precisely because people trust what is in their wors.

Eddie van Niekerk, owner of Groenkloof Butchery in Pretoria, says he makes about a ton of boerewors on a Saturday morning.

“I make 100 kg in 23 minutes,” he boasts.

The boerewors is produced under his supervision and he ensures that the meats used are pure beef and pork.

Johannesburg dietician Olga Rossouw says one of the things that make people gain weight over the holiday season is an excess of saturated fat such as that found in boerewors.

“If you are going to braai every day, make sure you alternate the red meat with fish or chicken.

“If you eat boerewors every evening, you will get fat.”

REGULATION 2718 of 1990 of the Health Act says:

• Boerewors may be made only from the meat of a cow, sheep, pig or goat (“boerbok”).

• It must have at least 90% meat content.

• It may not contain more than 30% fat.

• It may not contain offal.

• It may not contain any meat obtained by mechanical means, such as meat separated from the bone by sieving it under high pressure.

• It may contain only 0,02 g of calcium per 100 g of meat.

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