What is the quality of the meat in Serbia?

In Serbia, the meat used to make ćevapi (kebabs) and pljeskavice (burgers) often contain pieces of cartilage, tallow, flour, soy, ice and water. “According to current regulations, they should contain only minced meat and salt, with no additives,” points out Tamara Bošković from the Veterinary Administration.

“Pljeskavica always has animal meat and other parts of the animal, nothing else, except maybe for traces of soya. Producers are often prone to putting additives in, which are not dangerous but simply do not contribute to the quality we expect and pay for,” Bošković adds.

She also says that there have been reports of customers complaining about foreign bodies and parasites in the meat and the unpleasant smell of meat, although, as she says, these are rare cases. Although there are not enough inspectors to regularly check the quality of meat, Bošković says that risk assessment is done, while the big supermarket chains have their own self-control systems.

The most important criteria for distinguishing meat that contains the recommended amount of fat from meat that contains soy or potato meal are texture, colour and odour. “The meat must be grainy. If it looks like pate, it means it is ground and has flour in it. Good meat should be blood red in colour. If meat is lighter in colour, that means it has additives,” warns Milan Stojanović, adding that the colour can also be deceptive because sometimes colour is injected in meat.

“The basic parameters to assess the quality of meat are the protein and amino acid composition of the meat,” says Professor Vitomir Vidović, PhD, from the Faculty of Agriculture in Novi Sad, adding that frozen meat changes its microbiological value and negatively affects human health.

He explains how to recognise which meat has been thawed and put on sale: “Such meat oxidises quickly. Frozen meat changes its microbiological composition and value. If it is thawed, it can stay in the display cabinets for a day and then has to be sent quickly for processing, i.e. to be made into meat products of lesser quality such as salami, hot dogs, sausages, hamburgers, etc.”

(Vecernje Novosti, 03.11.2021)



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