Meat scandal: 'I didn't target major retailers'

Spar, Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Shoprite and Fruit & Veg City have been implicated in the meat saga.

Spar, Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Shoprite and Fruit & Veg City have all been implicated in the meat scandal. Picture: Stock.xchng

JOHANNESBURG - Stellenbosch University's Professor Louw Hoffman on Sunday said his intention was not to name and shame supermarkets implicated in the scandal.

_City Press _released the names of the supermarkets identified as stocking incorrectly labelled meat products.

The stores include Pick n Pay, Shoprite, Fruit and Veg City, Woolworths and Spar.

Hoffman said the experiment was not designed to test which supermarkets complied with the labelling act.

He said it was to prove that the mislabelling of processed meat was common place in South Africa.

"I didn't want to name and shame. It was never a forensic study.

"If I was going to name and shame, I would have designed the experimental outline totally differently."

Hoffman's study found that nearly 60 percent of 139 products tested contained ingredients which were not listed on their labels.

Other meats added to the products included horse, donkey, water buffalo, goat and pork.

Just last month a number of supermarket retailers said they trusted the meat products on their shelves as what they are said to be.

At the time 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 had 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."