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Poultry Council Quells Concerns over Added Water in Chicken Products

09 December 2013

UK - The British Poultry Council has hit back a criticism in a UK newspaper of the practice of tumbling chicken portions during processing and the practice of adding water to chicken breast fillets.

The article in The Guardian newspaper said that because action at the European level to restrict the procedure of adding water and proteins to chicken products brke down it is legal to continue the practice.

The article says: “The industrial practice of tumbling chicken fillets in large cement-mixer-like machines so that they take up water is widespread. In some cases chicken meat undergoes a further process in which more water is injected into it.”

It adds: “The UK authorities called for an EU limit on how much water could be added to chicken, but no action was agreed in Brussels. It remains legal to add water and additives to bind it in, even protein of other species, so long are they are declared on the label.

“There is no evidence that supermarket frozen chicken makes use of added animal proteins, but the technology of adding water and other additives has spread to the high street.”

However, the British Poultry Council has stepped in to reassure consumers of the wholesome nature of British chicken.

"It is important that consumers know where their chicken comes from, how it has been reared, and what sort of preparation has taken place before it reaches the supermarket shelves. Labelling should be clear, informative, and comprehensive on packs,” the poultry council said.

British producers work closely with retailers to ensure high standards across a short supply chain from farm to fork. Consumers can rest assured that British chicken has been raised with welfare as a priority. It is high-quality, nutritious and affordable and has not undergone any unnecessary processing."

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