12 January - 20 June 2016

Food safety

26 Mar 14

More meat authenticity issues reported after local authority testing

The Guardian reports that testing conducted by Leicester Trading Standards last year revealed widespread contamination of meat products with species of animal not mentioned on the label. Of 105 meat samples from food products on sale in Leicester, 47 were found to contain undeclared animal species - although it is worth noting that this sampling programme was targeted at categories where adulteration was suspected, rather than providing a representative picture of the entire industry in the area. Results were nevertheless alarming, for example in 18 of the cases, undeclared species comprised 60-100% of the meat - the Food Standards Agency defines "gross adulteration" as over 1% of the meat DNA being from an undeclared species.

The Leicester City Council Report on the findings proposes to call on the FSA to issue guidance to businesses on the use of the term "doner kebab", include both doner kebabs and meat curry meals in the national food testing programme for 2014/2015 and to institute an educational campaign regarding food labelling and descriptions targeting restaurants and takeaways.

New rules for pig meat inspection: consultation begins

The FSA has started a six-week consultation on the new rules for pig meat inspection which will come into force in June 2014, aiming to gather opinion on how the rules will impact industry stakeholders.

The new rules aim to reduce hands-on inspection - which can spread harmful bacteria - so this is used only when an initial visual inspection deems it necessary. Also incorporated in the new rules will be stricetr salmonella control and more risk-based testing for the parasite Trichinella.

Study commissioned on how consumers' eating-out behaviours and experience will be affected by new allergen information regulations

In the run-up to the EU Food Information to Consumers Regulation coming into force this December, and its resulting implications for food businesses and consumers regarding allergen labelling, the FSA has commissioned a study into consumers' eating-out behaviours. The study aims to understand allergic consumers' preferences regarding how they receive allergen information for non pre-packed food, as well as the likely impact of the approaching rule changes on the quality of life of such consumers.

Salmonella outbreak in Wales

A salmonella outbreak in Wales left twelve people unwell and three needing hospital treatment, and Public Health Wales is investigating the cause of the incident. It is currently being suggested - though unconfirmed as yet - that the source of the outbreak could be seaweed found in laverbread, a traditional welsh dish reported to have been eaten by ten people shortly before they became sick. Although a firm link has not yet been established between the laverbread and the outbreak, consumers are currently being advised to avoid eating any of the product in question. [FoodQualityNews]

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