Newmarket sausages granted European protected status


The sausages have to be produced in Newmarket or a very specific surrounding area

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Sausages made in Suffolk have been granted a special status which puts them alongside the likes of Parma ham, Champagne and Melton Mowbray pork pies.

Newmarket sausages have become the 50th British food product to be awarded the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) from the European Commission.

It means only local companies can call their produce Newmarket sausages.

Grant Powter, from Powters Sausages, said it would protect the "reputation and quality" of the sausages.

Certain criteria had been set for anyone wanting to call their product a Newmarket sausage.

Location is key - the sausages have to be produced in the town of Newmarket or a very specific surrounding region, which incorporates Dullingham, Woodditton and Kirtling in Cambridgeshire.

The sausages must be made from prime cuts of pork from the whole carcass, the shoulder or the belly - so no offal or mechanically recovered meat.

What is a Newmarket sausage?

  • Seasoned pork sausages using fresh, prime cuts
  • Must be produced in Newmarket or a very specific surrounding area
  • Usually measure 10-15cm long, 2.5-3.5cm in diameter and are slightly curved in appearance
  • Can also be produced as a chipolata (8-12cm long), a cocktail sausage (6cm) or a 'jumbo' (20-24cm)
  • Seasoning includes combinations of black and white pepper, salt, thyme, parsley and nutmeg
  • It is claimed that Queen Victoria was a fan

The minimum meat content is 70% and the seasoning can make up a maximum of 3%.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), said anyone found using the name Newmarket sausages incorrectly would be asked to stop.

If they continued, Defra said the Food Standards Agency and the local authority would become involved.

Mr Powter, managing director of Powters, said: "I am delighted this regional food product has now gained the protection it deserves by virtue of the reputation and quality which have been traditionally attributed to the making of sausages in Newmarket for more than 150 years."

David Heath, minister for agriculture and food, said the PGIs were important in "keeping traditional foods and recipes alive".

"The Newmarket sausage is unchanged since the days of Queen Victoria and the original recipe has been passed down the generations," he said.

Three companies had made the joint application for the special status - Powters, Eric Tenant Butchers and Musk's Sausages.

The campaign started 10 years ago but was stalled because Powters did not want to divulge the recipe for its sausages.

Common ingredients were agreed and the application was made last month.

Inside Out East, on BBC One from 19:30 GMT on Monday and available for seven days on the iPlayer, is covering this issue.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 123.

    I once ate at a Little Chef.

    There was a "sausage" among the items. Its contents were uniform grey. I tasted it (sic).

    It wasn't a pork sausage apparently. Nor a beef, chicken or vegetarian one.

    It was that which cannot be translated into any other European language:

    A Catering Sausage.

    (We British know what that means, though).

  • rate this

    Comment number 122.

    Why is this on HYS? I know people like to weigh in and share their opinions on a wide variety of stories but what is there to say about sausages?

  • rate this

    Comment number 121.

    Matthew. New Zealand and Australia do not allow the import of most foods, try sending Marmite, and so they produce all the cheeses and other products that the expats like in their country. Ofcourse they ignore the postlations of the EU.

  • rate this

    Comment number 120.

    The Victorians referred to sausages as "little bags of mystery", Nuff said.

  • rate this

    Comment number 119.

    Coming from a particular location is absolutely no guarantee of quality. Whats more it is a barrier to innovation. Champagne cannot evolve into an better drink nor can Melton Mowbray pies evolve because they must meet a specific criteria to count. It also means that comapanies who may wish to move their premises by a few miles often cant do so as they may be outside the official area.

  • rate this

    Comment number 118.

    The Newmarket sausage is certainly a good one and well deserving of its new status, since first tasting them I hardly ever get any other type, much better than fizzy wine from the champagne region.

  • rate this

    Comment number 117.

    Re 77, Stilton cheese never was made in Stilton, it was always made in or near Melton Mowbray. It became known as Stilton because travellers on the old A1 used to buy it there.

  • Comment number 116.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 115.


    "...we are not in the EU, so we can do what we like (Heath was probably under duress - Savile-style blackmail - when he signed the Treaty of Rome, so it's void)..."


    I wondered if this would offer a chuckle, so thanks for that.

    (As the Limitation Period, for applying for judicial review is three months, I'd say it's academic now as to whether he was or wasn't btw).

  • rate this

    Comment number 114.

    @77 The issue is that Stilton Cheese was named after the location it was sold, not produced. Stilton (paradoxically) wasn't made in Stilton.

    What makes less sense is that Stilton must be pasteurised, a much more recent development. Stichelton is probably more like the original Stiltons, but being manufactured from raw milk it can't use the name.

  • rate this

    Comment number 113.

    Quite right too. I am sick of big brands hijacking local recipes and then 'improving' them to a point where you have no idea what the product will taste like. Cumberland sausages are a prime example. They need the same status.

  • rate this

    Comment number 112.

    101 and 103

    i suggest you try some. they really are the king of sausages - apart from the fact that they don't shrink when you cook them and no water leaks out, they actually look like meat inside and are delicious. i'm lucky enough to live near newmarket, however that bully of a supermarket also sells them!

  • rate this

    Comment number 111.

    ".. the village of Stilton (in Cambs) is outside the protected area. I don't think this is malice... just another bureaucratic cockup."

    I don't think it's either. I believe that Stilton was never actually made in the town of Stilton, but it was first marketed there.

  • rate this

    Comment number 110.

    Meat, mimimum of 70%
    Seasoning, maximum of 3%
    So what can the other 27% be made up of?
    Presumably water, rusk and other fillers - so this is thought to be a "premium" or "quality" product?
    It just shows, yet again, the poor quality of food in this country.

  • rate this

    Comment number 109.

    I wonder how many Eurocrat hours of bureaucracy it took to come up with this one! And how many DEFRA hours will be spent in policing it? I am trying very hard not to use expletives! What a total utter waste of our taxes. Proof if ever it were needed that the EU has more than lost the plot! (assuming they ever had it in the first place!)

  • rate this

    Comment number 108.

    In Germany a sausage cannot be called a sausage unless it has a minimum meat content. That is more important to me than where something comes from.

    If something is full of c**p rather than meat, then it is c**p no matter where it comes from. The British disease. Nobody is interested in quality just squabbling about how to protect their takings. We know the price of everything, value of nothing

  • rate this

    Comment number 107.

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Who honestly cares ? Have you ever tried to actually buy a cheese in the village of Stilton ? You can't. They are all made elswhere and shipped in.

  • rate this

    Comment number 106.

    I've never even heard of a Newmarket Sausage, and nor has anyone in my office! They don't sound particularly amazing either (as in, they sound like virtually every bog standard pork sausage of medium quality), so why the fuss?

  • rate this

    Comment number 105.

    I bet the quality of cooking and meals really isn't up to very much in the households of those opposed to 'Protected Geographical Indication'!

  • rate this

    Comment number 104.

    #77 - its true, Silton cheese can only be made in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Notts.. the village of Stilton (in Cambs) is outside the protected area. I don't think this is malice... just another bureaucratic cockup.


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