Grilling with Öko-Test: A grilled sausage is "poor"

Bratwurst or grilled sausage is a German bestseller - worldwide.

Grilling with Öko-Test: A grilled sausage is "poor"

Bratwurst or grilled sausage is a German bestseller - worldwide. In addition, the barbecue season is in full swing. Nevertheless, not every sausage should be on the grill, because there is not only good stuff hidden under the skin, as Öko-Test has to find out.

Summer is here, the grill is glowing, the perfect conditions for a successful evening. And without sausages, a barbecue is hardly conceivable in this country. A decision that "Öko-Test" believes should be reconsidered. Because the magazine urges restraint when eating sausages. On the one hand because of the quality of the goods examined, on the other hand because of the mostly horrific conditions under which the contents of the sausage have to suffer during its short life.

That's right, the pig is meant. Because that's what the 19 currently tested grilled sausages are made of, including 7 Thuringian grilled sausages. The goods come from well-known sausage manufacturers, as well as from organic markets and private labels from discounters and supermarkets.

And without spoiling the reader's appetite before the grill is even lit, it should be mentioned that there are mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOSH/MOSH analogues) in 12 grilled sausages. In Packlhof's organic product, it was even in a quantity that the testers classified as "greatly increased". A possible source of the mineral oil components are lubricants on machines used in sausage production. However, they can also get into the grilled sausages via sausage casings, spices or herbs. In animal experiments, these mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) caused organ damage.

Except for the organic sausages and the "Bratmaxe 5 pieces by Meica", all grilled sausages contain phosphates. As stabilizers, they make the sausage meat smoother. This additive is prohibited in organic foods. Added phosphates can increase blood phosphate levels, which is particularly problematic for people whose kidney function is impaired. In addition, from the testers' point of view, there is too much salt in six sausages. With one of these sausages you sometimes already have a third of the maximum amount of salt recommended per day by the German Society for Nutrition.

As far as the germ load is concerned, however, Öko-Test gave the green light. Only the "Penny Rost Bratwurst" ("sufficient") exceeds the guideline value for sulfite-reducing clostridia. In this amount, the germs do not necessarily make you sick, but the find indicates a lack of hygiene.

Sausage eaters should also know that the conventional way of keeping the approximately 60 million pigs slaughtered in Germany every year is far from "species-appropriate". According to the Öko-Test, the curly tails of the piglets are docked during their six-month lifespan. In males, the scrotum is cut open, the spermatic cord is ripped out, cut off, and both testicles are removed. In addition, the high doses of antibiotics that are widely used are a problem.

Doesn't sound very appetizing. If you want to enjoy your grilled sausage with a clear conscience, you can't avoid organic. Nevertheless, only two products were completely convincing here and received the top grade "very good". Namely the "Alnatura Rostbrat Sausages, Bioland" (9.69 euros, 500 grams) and the "Edeka Bio Original Thuringian Rostbratwurst, boiled" (6.24 euros). Four other organic sausages are at least "good". Among other things, the "Gut Bio Thuringian Rostbratwurst, brewed" from Aldi Nord (6.32 euros), the "K-Bio Schweine Bratwurst" (6.90 euros) and the "Ökoland Delikatess Bratwurst" (10.98 euros).

The conventionally produced grilled sausages cut off at best with "satisfactory". The "Meica Bratmaxe 5 pieces" only get a "sufficient" because of insufficient transparency/animal husbandry. The "BBQ bratwurst hearty 10 pieces" from Aldi Nord/Aldi Süd is the test loser ("poor"). In addition to too much salt and phosphorus, they were also found to have increased mineral oil components.

And how do the sausages taste? After bratwurst. After all.

(This article was first published on Thursday, June 23, 2022.)