Supermarket Mince Labels Misleading Consumers

Supermarket shoppers are being misled by labels on packets of minced beef, new research has revealed.
Local Trading Standards and Environmental Health Officers analysed more than 500 packs of mince and found that so-called lean mince packets have up to 10 times the amount of fat than ordinary mince.
The fat content of lean mince packs varied considerably, with some containing 26 per cent fat and others just 2.5 per cent. Even packets of extra lean mince varied between 2.9 per cent and 23.1 per cent fat.
The overall fat content of minced beef varied from 1.8 per cent to 33.6 per cent.
The research, which was commissioned for the Local Government Regulation body, also showed that mince from supermarkets contained an average 67 per cent more fat than that from a butcher’s shop, while frozen mince had 41 per cent more fat and 24 per cent more gristle than fresh mince.
Commenting on the findings, Paul Bettison, chairman of LG Regulation, said: “When it comes to labelling minced beef, confusion reigns supreme. For a consumer to try to purchase a product with a specific fat content, the chances of them getting what they want are a bit of a lottery.”
“Minced meat is one of the country’s most popular food products, yet the millions of people who eat it every week would no doubt be shocked to learn that a packet of lean steak mince may contain more fat than steak mince.”
He added: “Potentially millions of shoppers are being let down by a lack of consistency in product descriptions and a lack of accuracy in labelling information.”
“People have every right to expect that if they buy a packet labelled lean minced beef then that is exactly what should be inside. Lean should mean lean.”