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New policy guarantees safety of EU meat

| Legislation

European Union (EU) meat industry producers are taking their responsibility for food safety very seriously amid global concerns around the quality of imported meat.

South Africans can find comfort in the knowledge that the imported meat they receive and consume from Europe undergoes stringent and traceable processes to guarantee its safety and standard.

 The "from farm to fork” concept has been implemented as the basic rule in the food policy of the EU and it is diligently executed in each country where pork, beef and retrospective products are imported

The concept is carried out through an effective system of identification of suppliers of raw materials, feeds and farm animals. One of the most important elements is the identification of sources of risk through the system of tracking and tracing of the origin of food.

Its scope covers the origin of raw materials, history of processing and distribution of the analysed food. In practice, it means that each batch of animal feed on the territory of the EU is fully traceable. Use of attested animal feeds together with prohibited use of antibiotics, growth hormones and other growth stimulants guarantee that consumers are provided with completely safe pork, beef and related products.

Animals are given unique identification numbers from birth. Identification ear tags, computer databases, animal passports and individual registers at every farm form part of the cattle and swine registration and identification system.

Special attention is paid to veterinary control over the slaughter process. Each head of cattle or swine is examined, guaranteeing that meat comes from a healthy animal and allowing for effective monitoring the production process. The policy also covers distribution and labelling of pork, beef and similar products. Lack of interruption of the cold chain must be confirmed with a note in the report concerning the given batch of products. Product labelling enables its full traceability and includes details on the type of meat, producer, batch number and the use by date.

By working in line with this concept, they are able to guarantee full safety of products they make.

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