• Sweden edition
 
'Nothing wrong' with sausages boasting 125 percent meat

'Nothing wrong' with sausages boasting 125 percent meat

Published: 09 Nov 2011 14:52 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Nov 2011 14:52 GMT+01:00

“To make 100 grammes of sausage, we use 104 grammes of meat,” Åke Thuresson, head of sales at Trångsvikens Chark AB in northern Sweden, told The Local.

The charcuterie offers several specialty sausages, including “Wild Elk” (Älg Vilde) and “Wild Reindeer” (Ren Vilde), which bear labels showing that the products contain 104 percent meat.

The “104 percent meat” label prompted one man to file a complaint with the Swedish Consumer Agency (Konsumentverket) earlier this year.

“Personally I can’t accept that anything contains over 100 percent. And this sausage couldn’t possibly contain more than 100 percent meat as there are other ingredients stated on the label,” the man wrote in his complaint.

But according to Thuresson, the seemingly impossible labeling is required by law.

“If we say there is less than 104 percent meat, we wouldn't be following established regulations, which require us to use percentages," he explained.

He added that Trångsvikens Chark had other sausage varieties which contained up to 125 percent meat and that his company is not alone when it comes to Swedish sausage makers who don't hold back on the amount of meat used in their products.

“There are other sausages out there that have up to 150 percent meat,” he said

“Regular sausages often have water added, but these are made by basically putting straight mince meat into the machine, after which it's dried and smoked, which reduces their weight.”

Thuresson said he couldn't understand all the fuss as labels are based on percentages, not weight.

“I'd understand if it said there was 104 grammes of meat,” he said.

But Gunnar Wikström, a lawyer with the Consumer Agency, contested Thuresson's reasoning, telling the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper that “mathematics and common sense say that nothing can contain more than 100 percent because 100 percent is everything”.

Nevertheless, Trångsvikens Chark said the agency has assured the company that their labels are produced in accordance with existing guidelines and that no changes are needed.

In the meantime, the charcuterie is enjoying all the free publicity.

“It's been really good marketing. There's nothing wrong with it at all,” said Thuresson, who maintained that the surge in interest by the Swedish media over the company's meaty sausages was not part of an elaborate public relations ploy.

“No, not at all,” he said.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

15:42 November 9, 2011 by Svensksmith
Tamoko, you are 125% correct.
15:58 November 9, 2011 by DaveN
The rules state that the percentages of meat have to be calculated on the 'wet' weight. As meat is 50% water, once dried it's weight is reduced by 50%. So a sausage can be made with 200% meat, which when dried and put in a sausage, gives 100% meat by content and finished weight.

Blame the EU food regulations, not the guy making the sausages, he's just following the rules.
17:19 November 9, 2011 by Åskar
Northern Sweden? Trångsviken is about as in the middle of Sweden as you can get.
18:40 November 9, 2011 by canuk
anything above stockholm is considered north to swedes.
18:49 November 9, 2011 by eppie
I doubt the label says it CONTAINS 104% meat. I guess it is an ingredient list which is something completely different.

Check your beer; do you see hops and barley floating in it? No there is not. But these ingredients were used to make the beer......and that is why they are in the ingredient list.
06:23 November 10, 2011 by MarkinBoston
I'd tell the government that I'd paid 125% of my taxes and demand a refund.
09:13 November 10, 2011 by Frobobbles
I'm 115% positive that we would not even call the contents 'meat'.
09:36 November 10, 2011 by Pont-y-garreg
"Charcuterie" is a generic term for the products traditionally sold by charcutiers (pork butchers).

In other words, charcuterie is the wrong word. It refers to the food, not the shop.
09:48 November 10, 2011 by teslar
@DaveN

I buy the argument that the percentages are supposed to be wet weight, but that still doesn't justify percentage values over 100%. What should be stated is the percentage of meat amongst all the ingredients that you use to make a sausage.

In other words: put everything that you need to make one sausage on a table (before processing any ingredients). How much of what's on the table is meat?

It's still cheating in a sense, since you probably have a higher meat content pre-processing than post-processing. But at least it's now a consistent measure.
10:00 November 10, 2011 by Åskar
@Pont-y-garreg

Definition of CHARCUTERIE

: a delicatessen specializing in dressed meats and meat dishes; also : the products sold in such a shop

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/charcuterie
21:11 November 17, 2011 by R5S
Clearly the butcher is wrong and missleading consumers. The Consumer Agency person who accepted this grossly missleading labelling (if true) is a typical civil servant nincompoop. The butcher mixed up the weight of ingredients before and after preparation.

The National Food Agency (http://www.slv.se/sv/grupp1/Markning-av-mat/Sa-marks-maten/Vad-ar-varan-tillverkad-av/) states that: - the ingredients should be listed in order of decreasing order of the weight during preparation. - the amount is to be given in percent.

So if the the sausage in question used 104g of meat plus say 96g of other ingredients, then the total 200g would contain 52% meat, even if the amount of finished sausage was only 100g due to evaporation. According to comments on Dagens Nyheter website, the new sausage labels have been modified to read "104g meat for 100g sausage". The labels on the butcher's website have not yet been changed (no doubt he benefits from all the attention).

That the butcher got away with this for even one day, proves the lack basic math knowledge of too many people.
13:18 November 18, 2011 by Åskar
No, RSS. It's you who don't understand the regulation, but you can feel free to provide a method of dissecting a sausage after it is ready in order to find out the relative percentages of the different ingredients.
09:21 November 19, 2011 by Icarusty
Pathetic, posting lies about your products.
11:10 November 30, 2011 by BrittInSweden
Percentages have nothing to do with weight.

So a 104 grammes worth of meat in a 100 gramme sausage does not translate into a percentage.

Percentages of sausages would be based on all the ingredients. 97% meat, 1% sausage casing, 1% water, 1% herbs or something.
Today's headlines
National
Northern Swedes wake up to September snow

Northern Swedes wake up to September snow

Summer has come to a definite end in Kiruna as residents of the northern town were greeted with a blanket of snow on Sunday morning. READ  

Elections 2014
Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden is falling apart
Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson. Photo: Leo Sellén/TT

Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden is falling apart

Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson has said that the election success of the Sweden Democrats is a "slap" in the face for the Stockholm establishment. READ  

National
Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis
Somali nationals taking part in a demonstration against deportations in Stockholm. File photo:Björn Larsson Ask/SvD/ TT

Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis

Three young men in southern Sweden suspected of attacking Somali refugees with stones and screaming "sieg heil" have been indicted on charges of racial agitation. READ  

National
Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Sweden is set to buck the European trend of rising air prices with fares expected to drop next year according to a new report. READ  

National
Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune
Eric Westerberg's homemade submarine Isabelle. Photo: PS.nu

Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune

A Swedish submarine enthusiast who spent over 3,500 hours making his own vessel has sold his prized possession for 705,000 kronor ($98,500) in an online auction. READ  

National
Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Police in northern Sweden have been reported to the Equality Ombudsman for describing a wanted suspect as having a "Roma appearance." READ  

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes
A political career for Zlatan? Some fans seem to want to see that. Photo: Peter Dejong/TT

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes

The Bilderberg Group, the Satanic Initiative and Adolf Hitler all received votes in Sweden’s general election, according to a list released by the country’s electoral authority. READ  

Sport
Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games
The Swedish team in action. Photo: TT

Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games

Sweden's capital has missed out on a chance to host any Euro 2020 games, with Copenhagen the only Scandinavian city among the thirteen winning locations. READ  

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests
Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of Uppsala, is the first woman to head the Swedish church. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests

A Swedish priest has been fired after telling his congregation that people who support female priests would be rejected by God - despite the fact that his own church is led by a woman. READ  

Analysis
Women set to dominate top post-election jobs
Margot Wallström (right) could become Stefan Löfven's new Minister of Foreign Affairs. Photo: TT

Women set to dominate top post-election jobs

Sweden could soon get a female Foreign Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt's ousted Moderate Party is preparing for its first woman leader and the grandmother of actor Hugh Grant's son is being tipped as Parliament's next Speaker. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Blog updates

20 September

How a Frog Can Save the Environment (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What we do we imagine when we think of children enjoying nature? Perhaps it’s fishing, marveling at lightning bugs on a muggy July day or blowing on the wispy petals of a dandelion to make a special wish. But perhaps most iconic of the playful innocence in childhood is hopping after and trying to catch..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

867
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN