Wait! What kind of bacon is this?

30 November 2018 - 07:47
A shopper has taken to social media after purchasing "bacon rashers" that contain pork, chicken and mechanically recovered meat.
A shopper has taken to social media after purchasing "bacon rashers" that contain pork, chicken and mechanically recovered meat.
Image: Chloe Hoffmann/Facebook

Should a product made from a mixture of pork, chicken - including mechanically recovered meat - and milk be described as “bacon rashers”?

Chloe Hoffmann is not the only one who thinks not.

“The pack was marked bacon and I shopped in a hurry, then came home and opened the packet to cook it for us, and was like whaaaaat is this?” she posted on Facebook.

“You are selling us polony and calling it bacon - not cool, even if it (is) within legal guidelines,” said Andy Kerr.

The product’s ingredient list, printed on the back of the pack, reads: “Pork, Chicken, Mechanically Recovered Meat (chicken), water spices, spice extracts ... contains cow’s milk.”

Mechanically recovered meat is a paste-like product made by forcing pureed or ground chicken under high pressure through a sieve-type device to separate the bone from the edible meat tissue.

“It’s false advertising,” Hoffmann said.

A Cape Town-based dietician, who asked not to be named, said the South African National Standard for Processed Meat (SANS 885) defines the compositional standards for bacon as whole muscle.

“There is also a class for ‘Reformed bacon products’, with specific compositional standards,” she said. “So this product would, therefore, be better classified as ‘reformed bacon rashers’, provided it complies with this standard.”

On the back of the pack, the list of ingredients.
On the back of the pack, the list of ingredients.
Image: Chloe Hoffmann/Facebook

SANS is a voluntary standard - in other words, food manufacturers are not legally compelled to adhere to it.

Responding, a Spar spokesman said Spar Brands had complied with the SANS “Reformed Product” classification, which allowed for 15% protein to be added to the product. “The Spar Brand team has decided that although legally compliant, the word ‘bacon’ will be removed from the Breakfast Fry Rashers to avoid any further issues.”

That will happen within three weeks, she said.


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