Monday, 27 January 2014

Say No To Thai Chicken!

OK, so I’ve mentioned before how fed up I am that so many chicken products are made using poultry that isn’t British. (Read the most recent of these rants here) But I struggle to understand why so much chicken from sources such as Thailand and Brazil is still used in food manufacture.

Supermarkets rallied a little following last year’s horsemeat scandal. The amount of fresh meat sourced from the UK rose, be it somewhat slowly in some stores, and many beef products, such as lasagne and pies started to be made using British Beef.

However, many chicken dishes sold in supermarkets are still not produced using British chicken, or even chicken sourced within the EU. Sainsburys’ fresh kievs, goujons etc are all made from British chicken, which is clearly stated on the label. However their frozen ready meals use chicken from Thailand (even their roast dinners that include a whole chicken breast) and Tesco frozen ready meals also use chicken from Thailand and Brazil.

Of course, you wouldn’t notice this at a glance. The chances are that you have been buying these products without even realising the source of the chicken, as the finished meals are actually produced in the UK. To check what you are buying you have to read the small print on the back of the box, where the country of origin is stated.

But at least supermarket own brands are honest and state their sources, even if not in the most obvious place. Some of the big brand names that manufacture frozen meals and meat products do not state the country of origin at all. I have studied boxes produced by Sharwoods, Heinz Weightwatchers and the like, but can find no mention of where their chicken has been sourced. In order for us to make an informed choice as shoppers, we have a right to be provided with all this information, and I therefore believe that it should be law to clearly state the origin of a product’s main ingredients.

In the meantime if I read that the chicken in a product is from Thailand or Brazil, then I don’t buy it. If a product does not state its country of origin, then I still don’t buy it. I want to know that all meat and poultry that I buy in any way, shape or form is British, not only so that it conforms with food safety standards, but I don’t feel we should be importing such items from halfway across the world. Think of the global footprint!

What do you think?

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