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Restaurant serves 'substitute' game meat

A DNA expert has tested a V&A Waterfront restaurant's meat and found some interesting results...

10 Dec 2012

- Cape Town, V&A Waterfront -

According to The Star online, The City Grill situated in the touristy Waterfront, has been substituting meat that is being flaunted as authentic South African game cuisine on their menus.

After Consumer Watch was tipped off that the restaurant was offering exotic meat (with prices to match) on their menu, but substituting it with other meat, the site launched their own investigation.

A DNA expert from The University of Stellenbosch was sent in undercover to test the meat being served to customers, mostly tourists.

DNA tested

According to The Star the DNA expert joined a party of four and between them they ordered one starter – smoked springbok carpaccio – and six main meals: ostrich fillet steak (R195); warthog (R169); crocodile (R179); kudu (R175); springbok (R175) and the giant grilled mixed venison skewer, comprising crocodile, ostrich, warthog, kudu and venison sausage (R295).

They took small pieces of each meat, labeled them and later DNA-tested them in a lab.

Tests revealed that while the ostrich and crocodile dishes were in fact ostrich and crocodile, the following six substitutions had taken place:

-    The smoked springbok carpaccio was identified as common ostrich;
-    The kudu was black wildebeest;
-    The springbok was identified as fallow deer;
-    The warthog (from the grilled mixed venison skewer) was pig; and
-    The warthog was a pig;
-    The kudu (from the grilled mixed venison skewer) was identified as black wildebeest.

Asked to respond regarding the serious ethical and financial implications of passing off one meat species as another, City Grill general manager Barry Nieuwoudt said while the restaurant management was “aware of rumours surrounding meat substitution in the industry”, they were unaware some of their dishes “may have been affected”.

“Your findings have certainly shaken us up and we intend to be proactive in preventing something like this happening again,” he said.

“We have taken all affected dishes off our menu".

“Only once we are completely satisfied that the meat we have been supplied with is what is described on our menu will we reintroduce these dishes".

“As your tests show, the only way to really know the difference in packaged game meat is to conduct DNA testing.”

Nieuwoudt said the restaurant intended to adopt more stringent means to ensure they got what they ordered.

To read the full story on IOL click here.

Wow, we think the restaurant should know the difference between pig and warthog and ostrich and springbok. Shouldn't they?

What do you think? Is the supplier at fault? Or the restaurant management?


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