Close

Forgot your password?

Choose a newsletter




Premium access provided by ENSTA

Your premium access provided by ENSTA

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by NRC Q

You been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to NRC Q.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by EM-LYON

You been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to EM-LYON.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Goldsmiths

You been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 8 weeks thanks to Goldsmiths.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by MinnPost

You been given free premium access to Worldcrunch for 6 months thanks to MinnPost.

Enter your email to begin

Premium access granted to you by Expatica

You've been given FREE premium access to Worldcrunch

Enter your email to begin

Worldcrunch

Tricks Of The Trade: How Swiss Butchers Extend The Shelf-Life Of Old Meat

Swiss butchers have a bit of leeway when it comes to aging meat. From mincing to marinating, there are several “tricks” they can legally employ to keep their products appealing – even after the meat’s sell-by date has expired.

Article illustrative image Partner logo Labels don't tell everything (basykes)

GENEVA -- Every night, meat sections in Switzerland’s supermarkets are crowded with dozens of leftover Irish beef fillets, "organic" Swiss beef rib eyes and so on. Their sell-by date has passed, but not their expiration date – which is usually one or two days later.

What’s a butcher to do? Customers would no doubt prefer the dated meat be tossed in the trash. Legally speaking, however, the butcher – loathe to bin a small fortune worth of edible meat – has other options. Chopping, slicing, mincing, breading, marinating, cordon bleu-ing… It’s a no-holds-barred fight when it comes to hiding the aging meat’s unappetizing appearance and thus extending its shelf life.

Admittedly, the issue of graying meat is a bit of a grey area as far as customer service and the law are concerned. Supermarkets cannot be fined for resorting to such "tricks" assuming the product’s expiration date is still valid.  And yet selling meat in this in-between category is a serious breach in customer trust.

Legally speaking, butchers can only be incriminated if the meat is "malodorous." In some cases, these questionable practices are even encouraged by bonus systems that award butchers who are able to keep unsold items under a certain level. It’s easy to see why a butcher may be tempted to repackage the same meat with a different tag.

Some Swiss supermarket chains, including Coop and Migros, have recently decided to reinforce their standards by discarding meat when it exceeds its sell-by date. "I won’t ever tell a meat section manager off if, towards the end of the day, his stall lacks a few products, even if it means losing customers," a supermarket manager claims.

Read the full story in French by Willy Boder

Photo – basykes

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

Sign up for our weekly Global Life newsletter now


Be a part of the conversation. Click to show comments
About this article source Website: http://www.letemps.ch/

Based in Geneva, Le Temps ("The Times") is one of Switzerland's top French-language dailies. It was founded in 1998 as a merger among various newspapers: Journal de Geneve, Gazette de Lausanne and Le Nouveau Quotidien.

Worldcrunch brings top stories from the world's best news sources into English for the first time.

- Find out how we work
- Stay connected with our newsletter
- Try premium access for just $0.99

Want to get in touch or report a bug? Find us at info@worldcrunch.com

Load More Stories

Unlimited access to exclusive journalism, the best world news source across all your devices

Subscribe Now Photo of Worldcrunch on different devices

Your premium access to Worldcrunch is provided by

University of Central Lancashire

Please register to begin


By registering you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.