Think you’ve never tasted horse meat before? You might just be wrong.

A recent study conducted by the University of Guelph, ON, found that 14% of sausages sold in Canada contain undeclared species of meat.

On the other hand, 97% of the tested products contained the declared species as the predominant meat – this means that 3% of the sausages contained predominantly undeclared species.

The study tested for the presence of beef, pork, chicken, turkey, horse, sheep, and goat in products purchased in Canada using DNA barcoding and digital PCR (digital polymerase chain reaction).

Results showed the presence of undeclared species in five beef samples, three chicken samples and two turkey samples. Undeclared sheep meat was also present in five samples.

Researchers working on this project concluded that mislabelling continues to be a problem in the Canadian food industry.

Results from this study can be used to “support decision-making processes for future inspection and monitoring activities in order to control species substitution or adulteration to protect consumers.”