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Major retailers certain their meats are fine

Some food retailers say they are sure their meats are 100 percent tested and labelled correctly.

Some food retailers say they are sure their meats are 100 percent tested and labelled correctly.

CAPE TOWN - A number of supermarket retailers on Wednesday said they trust the meat products on their shelves are what they are said to be.

Following two separate studies it has emerged that many meat products contain up to four different species of animal, including donkey.

This has raised concerns over the labelling of such products.

Spar's Western Cape Marketing Director Colin Patterson said their stores were managed by their owners and they had to adhere to selling meat that was not tainted with strange animal by-products.

"We've communicated to all our retailers. Everyone has signed up in terms of their commitment and showing what has been advertised and said on the label is indeed exactly what it is."

But Patterson said he would not put his head on a block and say that all store owners were sticking to their agreements.

He said Spar had never detected a problem with any of their meat products.

"You must remember that our stores are owner-managed and while everyone has committed and signed up to the agreed standards it is still very difficult to say I can guarantee 100 percent that there is absolutely no problems with the mince or whatever."

Meanwhile, Pick 'n Pay's Peter Arnold said their meat has been scrutinised for strange animal products and nothing odd has been detected.

"We've tested about 700 products and we're happy to say that we've not found any trace of horse or donkey or buffalo or anything in any of our meat selection. We're very proud of that fact."

Earlier this week officials from the Trade & Industry and Health departments met with experts in Parliament to discuss a plan to ensure meats are labelled correctly.