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Porky Lights and Slimming World row keeps sizzling
Published:  21 April, 2017

The battle between sausage manufacturer Porky Whites and Slimming World over the fat content of Porky Lights rumbles on despite trading standards and BBC’s The One Show getting involved. 

Last month, Slimming World, following tests on Porky Lights’ fat content, revised the number of Syn points allocated to the product from half a Syn point to 4.5, that of a regular pork sausage.

The row received national attention and BBC’S The One Show commissioned independent experts to test the fat content of Porky Lights. It found the fat content to be between 4.5% and 5.5% on uncooked sausages, with the tester recommending that Porky Whites either remove the low fat claim on the product or reducing the fat content.

On the show and in a statement following transmission, G White & Co managing director Chris Price said the fat content was higher than advertised due to the tests being conducted on raw products rather than cooked ones.

As well as The One Show testing, product was sent to Buckinghamshire and Surrey trading standards to examine the fat content, these tests on oven-cooked product gave a range of 3.7% to 4.1% fat content.

Price said: “In order to support the results of both Trading Standards, two Public Analysts and the BBC, we have collated the last 18 months of nutritional analysis undertaken by UKAS food laboratories that consistently state the fat content of Porky Lights is consistent with a low fat sausage and as stated on the packaging. We sincerely hope that this will bring an end to the confusion and public concern around this popular product and Slimming World will feel confident in immediately reinstating it on their database with its original 1/2 Syn value.

“As a family run business that has really felt the impact of all of the recent interest, we want to express our sincere thanks to all of the kind messages of support from our customers and who’ve continued to purchase and enjoy our products and hope that they can now return to enjoying Porky Lights in the full knowledge that they can be enjoyed as part of a low fat diet.”

Despite the tests, Slimming World still isn’t happy. In a statement following The One Show segment, Slimming World said: “We are still extremely concerned that the company has failed to address how independent tests commissioned by Slimming World and a number of other organisations – over a number of months – produced such high fat levels so inconsistent with the company’s own testing and the product’s low fat claims.

Nor have G White & Co. explained how they plan to prevent this from happening again in the future.”

Slimming World also raised concerns over a change to the product’s packaging. “Furthermore, we have recently become aware that the packaging for Porky Lights sausages, the nutrition information and the way in which the manufacturer is measuring fat levels has all changed. We’ve also seen reports from people on social media suggesting recently purchased Porky Lights sausages differ in appearance and taste from products they bought earlier this year. While the recent tests commissioned by The One Show and Trading Standards would indicate that the manufacturer has taken urgent steps to lower the fat levels, consistency is still our main concern.”

In response to these concerns, Price, speaking to Meat Trades Journal, categorically denied that the product has changed. “We’re using the same seasoning batch from before this began and the meat content hasn’t changed. There is a natural variance that takes place over a product’s life but we assure all of our customers that the product has not changed.”

He added that they just wanted closure on the issue and that the whole debacle has had an impact on sales and on the business in general.