43% of consumers doubt meat authenticity according to recent study

43% of consumers doubt meat authenticity according to recent study

A recent study by Leatherhead Food Research has revealed that up to 43% of consumers are not confident that processed meat products contain the labelled species.

In a survey in which respondents were asked to rank their confidence that the food they buy actually contains the species indicated on a scale of one to ten, where ten represents ‘completely confident’, meat-based chilled and frozen ready meals were among the worst performers in the survey with an average confidence score of 5.6. Other processed meat from supermarkets, such as sausages and burgers, were ranked at 6.8 whereas processed meat from local butchers scored 7.9.

Consumer trust in unprocessed meat was higher. Whole meat from supermarkets and farmers markets scored 7.5 and 7.7, respectively. Local butchers performed best overall, with a confidence rating of 8.6.

Leatherhead believes that the horsemeat scandal of 2013 could be the root cause of the disparity in confidence between different product and retailer types. It is now urging meat traders and retailers to talk more openly about their food fraud prevention strategies to boost consumer confidence.

Leatherhead has also published a White Paper, ‘Detecting and Deterring Meat and Fish Adulteration’, exploring the issue and considering how the industry can seek to rebuild consumer trust.

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