The Food Commission is pressing the Food Standards Agency for tougher laws on labelling.
Manufacturers are allowed to add 5% extra water to processed meat without declaring it in the ingredients and 10% extra in uncooked meats.
The Food Commission claims that some processed meats sold in supermarkets contain as little as 37% meat as companies are not bound to reveal the full extent of “added water”.
It highlighted several products from Bernard Matthews including its Wafer Thin Turkey Ham, which contains 60% meat as well as supermarket own-brand products. Asda’ Traditional style Irish recipe sausages contain just 37% meat.
A spokesman for the Food and Drink Federation defending the industry said: “Added water can be an essential part of the production process and can be necessary to retain flavours and succulence to ensure that the product is acceptable to consumers.”