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Where's the beef?


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#1 George @ Safefood 360°

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 05:19 PM

Hi all,

Members might find my latest blog on these important developments interesting...

Where's the beef?

George

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#2 Mendeljev

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 12:44 PM

Dear George,

I'm a QM in a meat producing factory and I'm currently overflowed with client questionnaires regarding beef products. We only have 1 product containing beef and we source it from a cutting plant where they only process beef. We receive big pieces of meat so no minced meat. This means that we could visually detect horse meat.

I find that the biggest problem with this crisis is the chaotic approach of the UK retailers:

- Suddently everything is suspicious, so this means that every beef supplier is currently almost guilty unless proven not.
Don't get me wrong, this is an issue, but this mix up has happened on purpose and the target was minced meat. I find that there still needs to be some reasonal attitude to approach this crisis. I find personally that the current attitude is creating almost a witch hunting scenario where there is no more place for common scence. Our cutting plant is not working with horse meat, but now i have to go audit them. Don't know what i should audit if there is no horse meat there.......


- I get 3 pages to fill in to show that we have procedures, etc.
There my question is simple and straightforward : why are we BRC and IFS certificated ? I thought that these 2 tools were just created to avoid filling in different questionaires from different customers. We have to put a lot of energy each year in complying all demands of IFS and BRC. Succeeding these audits demonstrates that the Quality system is working. So for me this should be enough to demonstrate that we are working correclty. So my std answer is: we are certified so this means that all our procedures are conform....a bit bold, but i'm tired to do 2 times the same job

-DNA analysis
We get clean beef cuts, but anyway i will have to take a sample and start a DNA analysis, at our cost offcourse. Some UK customers wanted to have all their products are tested. These are pure pork products so i have answered them that there is no sence is analysing them on horse !
Again they want us to pay all analysis (about 50 € /species).

I hope common sence returns quickly, because at the moment this is creating a lot of stress.

PS: I just had contact with a company exporting Ganda ham to the uk ....they have been asked to analyse them on horse meat :whistle:
Quality is not an act, it is a habit.(Aristoteles 384 BC-322 BC)

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#3 D-D

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:45 PM

I am in ingredients and similar things trigger issues there. Over the years because of isolated incidents, everything suddenly had Sudan dyes in it, or rhodamine, or melamine...etc etc. It will blow over in a while and in the mean time cost everyone a huge amount of resource putting in knee-jerk controls or filling out irrelevant declarations and questionnaires. Certifications will count for nothing.
(p.s. given a QM in a meat producing factory and this current situation, you might want to change your avatar photo... sorry, couldn't resist...)

#4 George @ Safefood 360°

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 10:02 PM

Hi Members,

The link below is a follow on from my previous blog. This one discusses what I believe is the core issue of the role of the EU and the Commission in particular.

Horsing Around - EU Response


Mendeljev - the story you detail is the practical, on the ground impact and pain from the issue. Apparently we will inspect and test this issue into oblivion. The blog sets out what I believe is required to address things in long term.

But you also raise the other elephant in the room - 3rd party certification. I know the issue is horse meat and the food safety risks are low. But we are in danger of messing things up. Consumer confidence is already on the floor. When managers in food businesses are losing confidence in 3rd party certification (with good reason) then we need to seriously reflect.

George




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