Some raw meat being sold in leading UK supermarkets has been injected with water and additives without adequately warning consumers of the adulteration, according to a report in Food Production Daily.
Shropshire County Council's trading standards service found that raw pork with added water is being sold alongside genuine uncooked pork, often at a premium price. Tesco has confirmed that it injects its "Finest" pork: "The water isnt injected to add weight or dupe customers," spokesman Steve Gracey said. "It is added to improve eating quality."
The Trading Standards Institute (TSI) has pressed the Food Standards Agency to intervene in the matter.
Tesco has signed a joint venture deal with China's largest food company, Ting Hsin, representing the first move into China by Britain's biggest supermarket chain. Tesco is to buy 50% of Ting Hsin's hypermarket division (Hymall) for £140 million.
Tesco currently has a presence in 12 countries, including Hungary, Poland, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. "China is one of the largest economies in the world with tremendous forecast growth," said Tesco's Sir Terry Leahy.
New consumer research, commissioned by the National Farmers' Retail & Markets Association (FARMA), has found that almost 90 per cent of households would buy from farm shops and farmers' markets if they could. This is three times the current level of regular purchasing from farm shop or farmers' markets.