The turkey sausage… turkey

News 5 August, 2017
  • Photo Martin Alarie
    Alexandre Cusson hope that people will still trust the small producers, who rely above all on the quality.

    Marie-Eve Dumont

    Friday, August 4, 2017 11:50

    Friday, August 4, 2017 22:50

    Look at this article

    The canadian authorities are working with manufacturers of sausages and support consumers after a company has sold the sausage to the turkey… the turkey.

    “This is the first time we do these tests, then we will be able to subsequently reflect on how we can work with the industry to pay more attention and how to help consumers ask the right questions “, explains Aline Dimitri, deputy head of the food safety Agency canadian food inspection agency (CFIA).

    The federal organization came after having commissioned researchers from the University of Guelph in Ontario to conduct tests on 100 samples of sausage, excluding the sausages, hot dog, sold in Canada, including the label indicated not to contain a single meat.

    Human error

    On the batch that is analyzed, 40 % of these samples came from grocery stores in montreal. The rest was purchased in Toronto and Calgary. A sausage out of five contained more than 1 % of those meats that were not declared on the label.

    “I think that one can not say that it is accidental, a chopper badly washed, for example. There is a human error, a problem in the production, or the product has been deliberately added “, writes the author of the report, Robert Hanner.

    A canadian company, that the agency did not want to name because she wishes that the whole industry is mobilized, had sold the sausage to the turkey, which does, in fact, contained chicken.

    “Our inspectors are aware that there was a deficiency in the internal control system, which had allowed a human error. Fixes have now been made “, has certified Ms. Dimitri, who adds that other samples of this company will be re-tested in a second phase of the study.


    Another sausage being tested by the team of the University of Guelph has led to the identification of the horse meat, which could not be intended for human consumption, according to Mr. Hanner.

    “It was a surprise, it’s not part of our customs and what we produce at home. This is not something that can be found on the canadian market, ” insists Ms. Dimitri.

    When the CFIA has wanted to intervene with the company that sold this product, it had already closed its doors. ll is therefore impossible to know where it could come from this meat.

    The bison, sheep, lamb and goat are also tested in a second phase, and some of this meat have been found in products, confirmed Mr. Hanner.

    The CFIA has indicated that it will intervene also in these cases, but she wants to focus the tests on the four meats used, as well as on the horse.

    In spite of the 20 % of non-compliance, Canada is doing much better than Europe, for example, where studies showed that there were products not reported in 70% of the samples.


    The meat undeclared found

    • 7 sausages of beef, also contained pork.
    • 4 sausages of chicken also contained turkey, and another, beef.
    • 5 turkey sausage did not have turkey, but chicken.
    • 2 pork sausages also contain beef.
    • 1 pork sausage containing horse.


    Bad for the image of the industry and producers

    “Dishonesty in labeling” is harmful to the reputation of the sausage and all the businesses that make, complains the owner of the sausage maker William J. Walter.

    “My father spent 30 years working to restore its letters of nobility to the sausage and it is a little square with stories like that. It really is a shame “, drops Alexandre Cusson.

    Mr. Cusson has strongly reacted to the results of a study conducted by the University of Guelph reports that a sausage on five in canadian grocery stores contain a meat that is not listed on the label. (see another text)

    “The dishonesty in labeling gives a bad name to the sausage, which affects especially the small producers who are trying to stand out by the quality “, insists Mr. Cusson, who had even discussed with its employees to answer consumer questions.


    The entrepreneur does not understand how companies can do not realize that they incorporate other ingredients to their products.

    “When one receives a shoulder of pork, it is seen that this is not beef. I have a lot of difficulty imagining that we can add another meat without being aware of it, ” insists Mr. Cusson.

    The latter also believes that, since consumers want to know what they are eating and where the food comes from, the food companies must therefore be more transparent than ever before.

    The company Olymel has indicated to the Journal that it ensures the traceability of all its products, that she makes it a point of honour and that it will take knowledge of the whole study.

    Lafleur and Maple Leaf foods have not been recalled by The Newspaper.