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2 CRAFTBUTCHER l MAY 2019


USE BY DATES


NEW EVIDENCE SHOULD RESTORE LONGER SHELF-LIFE FOR MEAT A new scientifi c study has


COMMENT As Jason Feeney leaves


the Food Standards Agency next month there’ll be many including NCB sorry to see him go. What we won’t be sorry to see go, is the ten-day three-degree guidance on vacuum packed fresh meat, introduced on his watch on the back of a ‘theoretical’ risk identifi ed by the FSA’s Scientifi c Advisory Committee which until now has never been tested. When he leaves as Chief


Executive, hopefully he’ll go as he arrived on a tide of goodwill righting a wrong with this piece of guidance binned! Another bit of good


news is following years of lobbying the Agri Committee in Brussels, the European Parliament will decide whether to outlaw meat and dairy descriptors like sausage, burger and cheese on labels for plant- based foods. I for one never


understood why anyone would want to sell to vegetarians or vegans anything remotely connected with animal products. Other than to attempt to satisfy the purchaser’s aspiration to appear normal! n


ROGER KELSEY Editor


CONTACT DETAILS


Editor ROGER KELSEY roger@nationalcraſt butchers.co.uk


Deputy Editor JAYNE COTTRELL jayne@nationalcraſt butchers.co.uk


Craſt Butcher is published 10 times a year by National Craſt Butchers and is circulated to over 1100 businesses in the UK


Membership Enquiries T: 01892 541412 E: info@nationalcraſt butchers.co.uk


promised to ease the pressure on ever-shorter use-by dates for meat. Members will recall the


debacle of the mass recalls early last year caused mainly by confusion over the 10-day rule. Although it was mainly only catering butchers and large wholesalers aff ected in the recalls the story was top of the news agenda for several days and negatively impacted on the whole meat industry. As reported in Craſt


Butcher magazine throughout the second half of 2017 the National Craſt Butchers had extensive correspondence with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) about their inclusion of meat in the 10-day rule which is contained in guidance aimed at controlling the growth of Clostridium Botulinum in vacuum packed foods. We also had face to face


meetings and made it plain that we considered their action completely disproportionate, non-scientifi c, over-cautious and not risk-based. We pointed out that there had never been a case of botulism attributed to meat and that no other country had acted so precipitously.


THE NEW EVIDENCE A study was commissioned


jointly by the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) and Meat and Livestock Australia and was


carried out by Campden BRI and Professor Michael Peck of QIB Extra Ltd. T e just published fi ndings show clearly that samples of meat heavily inoculated with spores of Clostridium Botulinum and incubated at 80C did not become toxic until day 50 for beef, day 35 for lamb and day 25 for pork.


environmental/consumer benefi ts through lower food wastage.”


WHAT NOW? We have already been


in touch with the FSA. Jason Feeney the CEO has confi rmed that they have already started considering the matter but warned that things would have to go through the normal procedures. He confi rmed that


Professor Michael Peck T e results totally


vindicated the position of National Craſt Butchers and the rest of industry. As the study itself says: “T e


ability not to be constrained by a 10-day shelf-life, as indicated in present FSA (2017) guidelines, and the freedom to adopt a shelf-life greater than 10 days at 3°C to 8°C for fresh chilled beef, lamb and pork is of signifi cant economic/ social/sustainability benefi ts to producers/processors/ retailers. Such freedom removes a technical barrier to trade. T ere may also be


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meetings with BMPA were planned and the aim is to ensure that the matter is put before the next meeting of the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Foods. Hopefully this will lead to updated and more realistic guidance in the not too distant future. Prof. Rick Mumford FRSB,


Deputy Director of Science at the FSA confi rmed that they will review the new evidence alongside other known data and consider how to proceed. He confi rmed that in the meantime the existing guidance remains in force.n


Jason Feeney


ISSN 2051-1949 ©NCB 2019


T e publishers do not accept responsibility for advertisements appearing in the magazine. T e Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Editor or Publisher.


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