Where does the chicken come from in nuggets and the beef in the Bolognese sauce ? Three years after the lasagnas scandal because of the horsemeat, the meat source used in the ready-made meals stays mysterious in France. According to a study made public by UFC-Que Choisir, the main consumer association in France, only one sticker out of two transformed meals specifies the meat origin.
The UFC-Que Choisir consumer association examined stickers on 244 transformed products of 20 brands, the report is overpowering. In total, 54 % transformed products made with meat (pork-butchery, raviolis, sauce courses) misses the meat origin. Only a quarter of the products made with chicken make mention of the root country, it is half of the products made with pork.
Products made with beef limit the damage, we know the origin in 70 % of the cases, even if, concerning Bolognese sauces, we do not know where the meat comes from for half of them. When the origin is indicated, about 93 % of the French meat, a sales argument for brands. In case of no indication, there are good reasons to think that the chicken comes from Thailand, or the beef from Germany.
Industrials explain that it represents for them an overcost according to the packaging management. The UFC-Que Choisir suggests more transparency. About the meat as ingredient of a ready-made meal, there is no European legislation yet. France put the pressure on the European Commission, which only ordered a report, well conscious about the information needs from consumers after the last year scandals, as the one of the lasagnas made with horsemeat.