USDA urges processors to follow food security plans

US - The US has released model food security plans and training that meat, poultry and egg processing plants can utilise to strengthen security measures and prevent potential acts of intentional contamination, writes Anthony Fletcher.

"Food security is a shared responsibility of USDA and our many partners to prevent or respond to the contamination of food products and we continue to make these efforts a priority," said US agriculture secretary Mike Johanns.

"By applying the principles contained in these plans, federal and state inspected plants can increase their own preparedness planning while doing their part to protect America's food supply."

This issue of food safety has also been heightened by the spectre of bioterrorism. New legislation on both sides of the Atlantic means that tracing food from the field to the factory and then to the supermarket shelf has become a legal obligation, pushing the pressure right up the supply chain.

Compulsory traceability is seen as one means of ensuring supply safety and quickly identifying contaminated batches.

In addition, sectors such as the global livestock industry are desperate to install measures that would guarantee the safety of the food supply. Outbreaks of disease have resulted in export bans and collapsed markets.

Japan for example banned US beef and beef products after a single case of BSE in an 8-year-old cow imported into the United States from Canada was detected in December 2003, and is showing resistance to fully reopening its borders.

Source: foodproductiondaily.
calendar icon 15 April 2005
clock icon 1 minute read
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