Does your ground beef contain pork? It might

A south shore lab has found some packages of supposedly 100 per cent beef actually contain at least some pork.

The Longueuil-based lab Environex found that three out of four stores they tested beef from had over 10 per cent of pork meat mixed in with their ground beef.

The lab is the only one in the province which tests DNA in food products.

Marc Hamilton, the head of Environex, says there are two ways traces of pork products can find their way into beef.

"Usually, you have two different kinds of pork in beef," Hamilton says. "The first kind is called adulteration — food fraud. The butcher puts...some percentage of pork in beef."

Hamilton says in some cases, as much as 20 per cent of beef products can contain pork meat.

He says beef can also come into contact with knives or other preparation equipment that may have been used on pork products.

Tony Petsolakis with Boucherie Westmount on Sherbrooke St. W. says there's no excuse for butchers to be dishonest with what they're selling.

"They have too much pork, and they want to get rid of it," he says. "That's the only reason I would think of is...moneywise. That's not fair to the customer, because the customer should know."

Pork is a lot cheaper than beef is — at Metro grocery stores, lean ground beef normally sells for $6.99 a pound. Lean ground pork, on the other hand, sells for $4.29 a pound.

Hamilton says there isn't much a customer can do to make sure their meat is pork-free, other than to trust the stores, and their suppliers.

"The customer just needs to ask questions about where it comes from," he says.

-CJAD 800's Emily Campbell contributed to this report.