Q. When is a sausage not a sausage?

Posted on 20 Mar 2011 in Avoid Processed, Think Welfare | 2 comments

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A. When it’s a banger

Sausage and mash….. mmmmmmmmmmmm! It’s one of the top 7 meals most made in British family kitchens and a bit of a classic.

But it turns out there’s a big difference between a good sausage and an old banger!

A good nutritious sausage contains over 80% meat and a handful of herbs & spices to make it even more naturally tasty. By law a sausage needs to contain 32% meat to be called a sausage… so what’s in the other 68% then? Well the answer is unpleasant: it’s mostly waste bits of animals & fat that’s gets ground through an industrial compressor to reduce all the chewy and crunchy bits to a kind of pink paste. The paste contains no goodness whatsoever and gets bulked out water and artificial flavourings to make the sausage weigh more and taste nice.

The best explanation I’ve ever seen of this is still the one by the hilarious Alex Riley. In his BBC documentary in 2009 he set out to find Britain’s crappest food and ended up making his own bangers to see what he could get away with putting into them. Check out his video here.

So next time you are saussie shopping, have a quick check on the back of the pack to know what you’re buying… and watch out for the ones that say bangers on the label. That’s what some food producers end up calling sausages that contain less than 32% meat and are therefore not legally allowed to be called sausages at all.


Royalty-free stock photo from fotalia.com

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  1. Joe / March 21st, 2011 16:15

    I had no idea about the ones that are labelled ‘banger’ and shocked that the minimum meat is so low anyway! I’ll certainly be checking next time I go shopping for my fry up!


    • Amy / March 22nd, 2011 11:27

      Yep – cheeky eh? Keep reading those ingredients lists, they hide all sorts of crazy stuff in there that we won’t know if we don’t look!


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