Viral Science

A study published by a group from the University of Stellenbosch has been gaining quite a lot of attention in the media recently, here, here, here and many other places.

And on the surface, it is easy to see why everyone is getting so worked up, my first, knee-jerk reaction was, “Donkey meat?! I’m never eating meat again unless I killed it, butchered it and minced it myself, like Mark Zuckerberg“.

But, being a scientist, I suppressed my urge to go running through the streets naked, decrying the horrors of the meat industry in South Africa and instead downloaded the paper and read it, something I’m sure most journalists who’ve reported on the paper never bothered to do.

So what did I find? First off, yes, they did find donkey contamination in one sausage, out of 35 sausages. Out of 139 different meat samples tested. Quoting their own…

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