Food company denies claims on meat-mixing

Food company denies claims on meat-mixing

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Food company denies claims on meat-mixing

Sausage products like these seen in the photo could contain poultry, pig, donkey and horse meat, according to the study carried out by the Agriculture Ministry.

Pınar, one of a number of major Turkish food companies alleged to have added horse, donkey, pig and poultry meat to products labeled as beef, yesterday denied claims that it had used anything but 100-percent beef.

“Pınar produces all of its products in line with our labels. None of our products contain imitation or inauthentic elements,” read a press release from the company.

Pınar’s press realease specifically addressed allegations that its “long casing-free sausage” contained poultry, citing the Bornova Veterinary Control Institute’s laboratory analysis report, which shows that the sausage in question contains only 100 percent beef. In the press release, Pınar also added that the company would be taking legal action to defend itself from the false allegations.

Other claims

The media reported on June 5 that Pınar and other major Turkish food producers had produced products that contained ingredients other than those stated on their labels. The Turkish Food, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry Ministry had announced that some sausages were found to contain horse and donkey meat. Similarly the ministry found instances in which butter products contained vegetable oils, Turkish tulum cheese contained yeast, and pide, a savory food item similar to pizza, had been made with pork, which is forbidden by Islam.

Many firms that were previously accused of such activities had earlier rejected the claims, saying that their production facilities encompassed both beef and poultry production under the same roof, using equipment which may not have been washed properly between uses. These firms argued that mixing of beef and poultry products may have taken place, but that it could only have been accidental. They also argued that the ministry’s tests were only able to discern whether a particular product contained poultry, but were unable to pinpoint specific amounts of contamination. The firms demand that the ministry disclose the amount of poultry found in their products.

Pınar was excluded last month from a government tender for purchasing milk to be distributed to school children. The tender board said the reason was the lack of documentation.