New Zealand poultry sector refutes added-water claims
Commerce Commission receives complaint that so much water came out of chicken it was ‘almost impossible’ to cook in a pan
Allegations that poultry companies are pumping water into raw chicken products in order to make it heavier are not true, Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand (PIANZ) Executive Director Michael Brooks said.
The allegations were made in the form of a complaint to New Zealand’s Commerce Commission from home cook Andrew Simpson. Simpson claims that excessive amounts of water came from some chicken he recently purchased, and because of that, the chicken was “almost impossible” to cook in a pan.
Brooks said that most meat naturally contained a lot of water, so some excess liquid is to be expected. He also pointed out that if water is added, it is in the form of a marinade or prime solution. Those additions are required to be labeled as an ingredient on the packaging.
According to the PIANZ website, the organization represents the interest of more than 99 percent of poultry meat producers in New Zealand. Among its roles are ensuring that producers meet exacting standards in animal welfare, stockmanship and food safety.
Tegel Foods is New Zealand’s largest poultry producer, with 50 percent of the market share, according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database. Australia-based Inghams Enterprises is also a major poultry producer in New Zealand.
Poultry suppliers quash claim of added water
The poultry industry is adamant suppliers are not pumping raw chicken with water to make it heavier.