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HERTFORD, United Kingdom -- A leading UK consumer watchdog here has condemned grocery retailers for adding ingredients such as water, starch, and salt to the chicken found in pre-packed sandwiches, and not disclosing the additives on labels.
Which?, which also publishes a magazine by the same name, said a study of 26 ready-packed sandwiches it conducted found that only one of the products tested contained 100 percent pure chicken meat, while seven contained oils added for moisture. Other sandwiches contained a combination of water, starch, preservatives and artificial flavorings. It chalked the findings up to a "resistance to labeling honestly," and called for the retailers that were studied -- including Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Boots, Sainsbury's, BhS, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Somerfield -- to amend labeling so that shoppers understand exactly what the products contain.
Asda's Good for You roast chicken sandwich was the only sample to contain chicken that was 100 percent meat, Which? said. All stores except Sainsbury's revealed the meat content of the chicken they used in sandwiches when asked by Which? researchers. This ranged between 94 percent and 99 percent.
"It was impossible to tell from most sandwich labels exactly how much chicken was meat and how much was made up of unappetizing ingredients," the group said.