ABA Tracing Back from Plate to Abattoir

AUSTRALIA - ABA Chairman Brad Bellinger announced today, ABA has joined its US sister organisation (R-CALF USA) in calling for the introduction of a system to achieve trace back of beef products from consumers to their point of slaughter.
calendar icon 6 March 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

He said, The recent E.coli recalls in America and subsequent media reports show that consumers' confidence has been shaken, which could reduce consumer demand for beef products. R-CALF USA is concerned that continuing recalls will occur until USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) forces the slaughter plants, which are the origin of E.coli and Salmonella-contaminated meat, to implement effective corrective actions'.

"The feebleness of the NSW system and the responsible Minister (Ian Macdonald) are currently under fire in the city media."
ABA Chairman Brad Bellinger

He continued, 'R-CALF wants the USDA to trace back to the plant of pathogen contamination, and force noncompliant plants to change production practices to reduce the likelihood of sending contaminated meat to shops. Both our organisations believe that enforcement actions must be directed toward plants that are the source of contamination, not at downstream facilities, which can be the destination of previously contaminated meat.'

R-CALF USA asserts that the current HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) form of meat inspection 'has failed to protect the consuming public and thereby hurts beef demand.' They are calling for an immediate reform of HACCP to 'return to a 'hands-on' method of inspection rather than HACCP's 'hands-off' type of non inspection.'

Mr. Bellinger continued, 'In Australia, until the late 1980's, any meat crossing State borders had to be accompanied by certification by meat inspectors at point of departure and at re-inspection points in the importing state. All this has now gone and we are reliant on HACCP at plants as well as a very sparse inspection of retail and restaurant outlets. The feebleness of the NSW system and the responsible Minister (Ian Macdonald) are currently under fire in the city media. The promised register of 'dirty' outlets has virtually no entries'.

'At the same time producers have been forced by Minister Macdonald into an expensive and pointless trace-back from abattoir to farm system (NLIS) when the danger to human health from any live animal disease or contamination is negligible. Our regulators a have very poor understanding of the areas of risk.'

Mr Bellinger said, 'He was calling on each State Government to review the meat trail with a view to introducing a system for identifying which abattoir any contaminated meat came from'. ENDS

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