Foodservice chicken might contain pork and beef

Restaurants across Britain may have been unwittingly serving chicken pumped with beef and pork proteins.

A Food Standards Agency (FSA) study into the injection powders used to retain water in chicken breast products for the catering trade revealed that some powders claiming to only contain chicken protein also had traces of pork and beef.

This means that thousands of restaurants, including ethnic outlets, could have bought and served chicken injected with these powers without realising that it contained traces of beef and pork. The news has shocked and horrified British Muslims, Jews and Hindus who avoid pork and beef for religious reasons.

Bharti Tailor secretary general of the Hindu Forum of Britain said: “The findings in this report are shocking and potentially very distressing for the Hindu community.

“The fact that Hindus will have been eating beef contaminated chickens will be mentally agonising. Many will feel that they have broken their religious code of conduct.”

Whilst it is legal for hydrolysed pork and beef proteins to be used as water retaining agents in chicken, the FSA said that they should be properly labelled.

“Use of these proteins does not make chicken products unsafe, but it is important that people are given accurate information about their food,” said the FSA.

The Agency has recommended that those who wish to avoid pork and beef for religious regions should “ avoid chicken that contains hydrolysed animal proteins”.

The FSA discovered the truth behind the proteins using a new analysis approach developed under the Agency’s authenticity programme. The project was commissioned in the wake of studies in 2001 and 2003, which revealed that undeclared water-retaining pork and beef proteins were being used in tumbled and injected chicken breast products.

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