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Donkey meat, bufallo found in sausages

PRETORIA — Donkey, water buffalo and goat meat have been sold as burgers and sausages in South Africa, a study says.

A study published by the local Stellenbosch University found that 99 of 139 samples contained species not declared in the product label.

It found soya and gluten were not labelled in 28 per cent of products tested, undeclared pork in 37 per cent and chicken in 23 per cent.

This was mostly in sausages, burger patties and deli meats, it said.

The disclosure comes at a time of a growing scandal in Europe about horsemeat being sold as beef.

On Monday, Swedish company Ikea withdrew meatballs from sale in 14 European countries after tests in the Czech Republic found traces of horsemeat in a batch made in Sweden.

Leading supermarkets in the UK, including Tesco and Sainsbury, have also withdrawn beef products from shelves after they were found to contain horsemeat.

“There’s a fair share of fraudulent meat products on the South African market, according to a new study by meat scientists from Stellenbosch University,” the university reports on its news blog.

“The study found that anything from soya, donkey, goat and water buffalo were to be found in up to 68 per cent of the 139 minced meats, burger patties, deli meats, sausages and dried meats that were tested. In other cases, even undeclared plant matter was detected.”

Police in Kenya say they know donkey meat has been sold to butchers and they are hunting the gangs responsible.

Some residents of the town of Naivasha, where the trade is allegedly based, say they are now only eating white meat, such as chicken or fish.

Donkey owner Raban Mutahi told the BBC that thieves had stolen his animal.

“Eventually we found the donkey tied somewhere and some men were there with their knives,” he said, adding that the thieves escaped.

The head of Naivasha’s donkey owners association, Joseph Thendu, said there were 58 known cases of donkeys being stolen and slaughtered in the town last year. But, worryingly for the population, no-one knows who ate them.

These ingredients were not declared on the products’ packaging labels, it said. (BBC)

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