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Panorama
The Responses
Water being squeezed out of a chicken fillet
Panorama approached all of the chicken processing companies and the brands whose products tested positive for beef or pork DNA, giving them the results of the tests carried out on the chicken meat.

Here are the responses we received back:

Kappers: "We have guarantees from our suppliers and their suppliers of ingredients that we do not use any non-chicken protein in our mixes. Variations in meat content do occur in individual fillets but we are convinced that on average the meat content on the labels of the chicken we sell are correct."

Sainsbury's: "The meat in our Blue Parrot Café chicken nuggets is 100% chicken sourced from approved suppliers. We have done our own independent tests and found no pork or beef DNA."

Note: the nuggets Panorama tested were produced using chicken that could have come from Holland

Brake Bros: Following Panorama's investigation Brakes tested the chicken they sell from Slegtenhorst. They found no beef DNA but were very concerned to discover that the meat content was 55% compared to the stated 70% on the box. They said they did not sell much of it but have now withdrawn it from sale, issued a recall notice and collected all the boxes they could find.

We have tested chicken from each of our three suppliers and all three have shown negative results to beef DNA

Bernard Matthews
T Lelie: Denies that they put beef proteins in their chicken and says they have conducted their own independent tests to support this. "Our chicken has no foreign DNA in it and this is guaranteed by the suppliers of our additives and shown by our own tests."

Slegtenhorst: Refused to comment on our tests but said they do not use hydrolysed proteins and suggested contamination as a possible explanation for the beef DNA in our tests. They said they have nothing to do with beef.

milk protein added to the product will itself give a positive result to bovine DNA

Kraft
Kraft: (manufacturers of Dairylea) "Only whole chicken breast meat, curing salts and other minor ingredients including milk protein are used to produce the cooked, cured chicken breast slices in the product.

"No beef, pork or beef and pork ingredients are added...Detection of the beef DNA may be explained by the fact that the milk protein added to the product will itself give a positive result to bovine DNA.

The spokesman added that pork DNA may be explained by the fact that their suppliers prepare cured chicken meat in the same premises as ham products and that although the supplier maintains high hygeine standards, it is difficult to entirely eliminate all traces of pork DNA."

Tesco: We are not surprised that Panorama tests found beef DNA in our nuggets as they contained skimmed milk powder which comes from a cow. This would clearly produce a positive beef DNA result."

asein is a milk protein and is legally and regularly used within the food industry

Lamex
Lamex: "Sun Brand has added water to aid succulence of the product. In order to maintain this quality we use casein.

"Casein is a milk protein and is legally and regularly used within the food industry. As a milk protein and milke being derivative from cow, testing for DNA will produce a positive result for beef."

Vriesekoop: said they perform regular tests on their products and have never found beef or pork DNA. They said they use hydrolised protein derived from chicken skin.

They added that meat content can vary because not every fillet can take the injected brine in the same way, although they do try and stick to the rule which says you can have a 5 per cent deviation on the labelling.

Jozef Hassan: said they do not use animal proteins and tests they have carried out as well as independent tests have proved negative."

The Chicken Run

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