Food Standards Agency - proposed Statutory InstrumentI wonder why the FSA are in such a rush ? As if we didn't already know!!
NB that all Councils ie Borough/County that are mentioned - starting with Amber Valley - have all experienced a 'dirty meat scandal' on their respective doorsteps.
It would appear (subject to reading the whole set of regulations - which is what I am trying to do) that FSA wish to ban the sterilisation of meat/meat by-products and use staining as the only safeguard. On the face of it their arguement is sound however, this is not the answer.
If only the staining of meat/meat by-products is left then we are in trouble. All SRM (specified risk material) has to be dyed. This material consists of the spinal cord/column, tonsils, lymph nodes, brain etc. In an abattoir processing meat for the human food chain different knives are used for instance to remove the SRM. It is then dyed, and removed from the premises, to the renderer. The animal is then processed or cut up using a different part of the abattoir, different staff, knives etc. These are the safeguards in place. Not to mention of course the MHS who are there to oversee the whole procedure.
Now we come to cull only abattoirs. These only take Over Thirty Month cattle. Nothing from here should enter the food chain. But it does. That's the problem. Here the SRM is removed and rendered. The carcase is then stained or dyed blue. The idea being that no one would eat beef that was stained blue, or any other colour but red. But some abattoirs are owned/operated by people who know the profits to be made by selling the meat. The dye is pressure washed off and the meat is cut up and sold. Simple as that.
One thing to remember with red meat is that it is hung so therefore the sell by date is longer. For instance, with beef when an abattoir kills an animal the sell by date can be 56 days from the kill date. This can then be extended by vac-packing etc. This is not the case with poultry. Chicken for example goes off quicker. It goes smelly and slimey. Thats when it should be either incinerated or boiled (sterilised) and disposed of. This does not happen. What rogue operators do is wash the poultry in a saline solution or in some very bad cases of rot actually bleach the meat. This restores the colour and texture thus making it saleable. All the major poultry scams have involved washed/bleached meat. Rotten poutlry should also be stained but this is not happening.
Sorry, this has turned into quite a lecture, but the only people who will suffer from this SI are the ones who are doing the job correctly, as far as I can see. All the rogues in the meat industry will get off scot-free again. The MHS are corrupt, as are some abattoirs. The FSA are fully aware of all this, in fact, the MHS is about to be disbanded and private Vets are now tendering for the work (God help us all). The whole system needs policing, at present someone should be monitoring the MHS - this is not happening. You can make as many amendments or SI's as you like, it will not stop the rogues, unless you close them down and prosecute them. The Environmental Health departments cannot cope as they are under resourced and take too long in getting offenders to court. The whole system has broken down. ......