UK meat-recovery technique banned by Europe

Image of sausages

A decision by the European Commission has put paid to an industrial technique of removing meat from bones used in the UK – and with it the era of cheap pies, beefburgers and sausages.

The Food Standards Agency has agreed to stop companies using the appetising-sounding “Desinewed Meat” (DSM) technique to collect beef and lamb for value-range products and some fast foods, although it said it was used by only a “very small part” of the industry.

DSM uses low pressure to strip meat from the bones of slaughtered animals. It has been used in the UK since the mid-1990s and is not considered to be a public health concern.

However the European ruling in effect places it in the same bracket as that used to extract MSM – mechanically separated meat – a high-pressure technique that has been linked to diseases such as BSE and banned for beef and lamb.

The DSM technique can still be used for pigs and poultry, but the product must be labelled “Mechanically Separated Meat” rather than simply “meat”.

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