Why meatballs are now just called 'balls' in Finland

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Wednesday 11 March 2015 13:00

TL;DR: Because they don't have any meat.

A food giant in Finland has been forced to re-brand its meatballs to "balls" (or pyöryköitä in Finnish), because they are deemed to not contain enough meat.

Kesko made the move on Monday after the protein in the balls was found to contain "mechanically separated" meat - which under Finnish law cannot be described as meat, according to state broadcaster YLE.

Mechanically recovered meat cannot be described as meat. It’s mechanically separated from the bone after the parts that can be defined as meat have been removed from the carcass with a knife.

  • Kesko spokesperson

The company had therefore been selling "meatballs" which technically had zero meat content even though packaging claimed they contained chicken and pork.

However, a spokesperson told YLE that they were not trying to mislead consumers and that using this type of meat was actually beneficial.

These balls have the equivalent of 52 per cent meat. However according to current legislation, they aren’t those parts of the animal that can be described as meat.

It’s worthwhile to use those ingredients somehow and they are well-suited for use in these kinds of ground meat products.

  • Kesko spokesperson


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