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Pork-gate leads to thorough meat-sampling programme in Leicester
The recent news that pork has been found in Halal lamb burgers in Leicestershire schools is disappointing and is another indication that certain industry procedures and policies are crying out for reassessment.
Leicester City Council has embarked on the biggest meat-sampling programme ever undertaken in the city, in a bid to obtain a better picture of the quality and standards of the meat and meat products on sale in Leicester. The investigation will include over 100 samples being gathered over a period of three months; test samples will be gathered from a wide range of local butchers, retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers and caterers.
Mark Laurie, director, NCASS comments: “At NCASS we welcome this investigation and support Leicestershire Environmental Health in their analysis. We believe it is a positive step in the right direction to regain confidence in the meat processing industry and its suppliers; when the news of the horse meat scandal broke it called for immediate action within the industry, calling for supply chain investigation. Now the actions of another industry are negatively impacting our own, the livelihoods of our members and traders who were also victims of this fraud alongside the public. If the outcome of Council’s investigation is negative, it could have a detrimental effect on consumer confidence, as we have seen previously with the horse-meat scandal.
“We hope that the Government, enforcement agencies and the meat production industry are able to get to the bottom of this as soon as possible, to put measures in place to prevent a re-occurrence and take the necessary action against those involved; only then can we begin to re-build confidence with the public. In the meantime we would advise, as we have been advising all our catering members, to be cautious; contact your suppliers about any produce you may be concerned about and re-consider your supply lines to ensure that you are not buying produce from suppliers who use the processing plants implicated.”
NCASS believes that the Food Standards Agency’s investigation regarding contaminated meat has a long way to go, but the initial findings have led to Leicester making this decision to root out any sources/causes of the contamination and to restore faith in the food system. As further discoveries come to light from the FSA investigation, it may well be the case that other local authorities take a similar course of action, depending on any discrepancies identified by the FSA in other regions.
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