Neil Griffiths

Advisory | Testing | Innovation
Topical Meat Law Issues
by Neil Griffiths
Chief Executive for SVA Ltd
BMPA Conference
May 2013
[email protected]
The SVA Promise
SVA will help provide a guarantee of product integrity
and brand assurance because we offer :A complete set of testing and advisory services
Experienced professionals who identify but also
help solve issues.
Leading IT systems that improve and simplify
product management
A forward looking horizon scan service enabling
you to future proof your brand
The Horse Crisis Update – Lessons?
Authenticity Testing – What is now available?
FIC Update – Front of Pack Labelling.
Product Recall – A new Standard.
Additives – to include Flavourings and Enzymes
and Phosphates in food re-appraisal.
6. Animal Welfare – New Guide and Update on
Sow Stalls.
The Horse Crisis
The Horse Crisis
Legal Issues
This Crisis was driven by the use of a new
technology involving DNA detection and
claimed quantification of equine DNA. The
high levels of horse DNA claimed to be found
in a number of products lead to allegation of
fraud and criminal conspiracy.
The Horse Crisis
Legal Issues
The European Commission is currently reviewing the
EU food chain legislation (the ‘animal and health
package’). This includes proposals to restore
consumer confidence. This is suggested will be
achieved by strengthening legislation which will
apply to the whole European food industry. It is
proposed to improve enforcement as well as provide
increased financial sanctions on food fraudsters.
The Horse Crisis
Legal Issues
The causes of this crisis have primarily
involved fraudulent practices but can also be
caused by inadvertent contamination of one
meat by another. The possibility of fraud and
inadvertent contamination can occur in
businesses both large and small.
The Horse Crisis
Legal Issues
• Inadvertent Contamination (Threshold 1%?).
• Enforcement Action re Mince ongoing for
• Previously Studied in the 1985/6.
• Extremely difficult to fully resolve in mixed
species sites and distribution.
• Allergen Comparison.
The Horse Crisis
The FSA demanded that the food industry tests meat
products containing minced beef for the presence of
horse and pork and report the findings. This is
similar to other Crisis (Dioxin, Sudan 1) where
Traceability and Systems had appeared to have
broken down Testing becomes an emergency
measure. This is not sustainable in the long run. It is
better to make sure products are right in the first
place than test and reject/recall.
The Scientists View of Meat
DNA molecules have a consistent width of about 2.5 nanometers (a nanometer is one billionth
of a meter; human hair has a thickness of roughly 20,000 nm to 180,000 nm.
DNA PCR Requires
millions of times for
detection. LOD
typically 0.1% or
Detection LOD 1.0%
Analytical assessment of Meat Content or Added Water Content in Meat Products is
dependent on Nitrogen in fat free meat being reasonably consistent. Fat Free Beef
(dependent on cut) contains.22.3% to 23.2% Protein or 3.57% to 3.71% Nitrogen.
Current Meat Speciation Tests
DNA Versus Immunoassay
• Immunoassay been around longer.
• DNA methods typically have lower limits of
• Immunoassays direct detection of proteins
were DNA method require amplification.
• DNA methods more specific.
• Both are semi quantitative.
• Can they demonstrate non compliance
beyond reasonable doubt?
Skeletal muscles of mammalian and bird
species recognised as fit for human
consumption with naturally included or
adherent tissue.
maxima for fat and connective tissue
Offal is not meat , MSM is not Meat
Techniques that determine the level of DNA of a specific
meat species do not in themselves, if found positive for a
particular species of DNA, enable the assumption to be
drawn that meat is present or the quantity of meat. Unless
skeletal muscle DNA can be identified and naturally
included or adherent tissue (fat, rind etc) the presence
of meat, as defined, cannot be assumed or quantified.
The Definition of Meat
Maximum fat and connective tissue content for
ingredients designated by the term “..meat”
They have gone mad!
Mammals (except rabbits and
porcines) and mixtures of species with
mammals predominating.
Birds and rabbits
* The connective tissue content is calculated on the basis of the ratio between
collagen content and meat protein content. The collagen content means the
hydroxyproline content multiplied by a factor of 8.
FSA Guidelines
– Labelling and Composition of Meat Products – Sept 2003
Total Fat
Red is core
Meat Protein
(no fat and no
Connective tissue)
Total Connective Tissue
Limit for Fat
Outer Square
=Total Meat
Shaded area is
Limit for Connective Ingredient
the QUID declaration.
Other Proteins that are not
Meat Protein
Cereals such as Wheat or Soya.
Excess Connective Tissue
Added Blood
Other Species of Meat that are not declared.
Total Protein – (Cereal Protein + Offal Protein + Excess Connective Tissue Protein
+ Added Blood Protein + Other Non Declared Meat Species Protein) = Protein
present in Declared Meat.
Which of these will have new technologies applied to
them in the future??
Authenticity Testing
To determine the country of origin, production
system and variety of products using isotope
analysis and DNA technologies. This will
confirm or otherwise the claims made on label
such as British, Free Range, Aberdeen Angus
etc. Product categories have been chosen
based on current availability of tests.
Will these new technologies have a significant
impact on the food industry in the near future???
Stable Isotope Reference Analysis
Project Report on Authentication of Country of Origin of Pork and Pig
Meat in England & Scotland using Isotope Reference Analysis August 2010
The Environmental Fingerprint
/ 1H
/ 12C
/ 16O
34S /32S
/ 14N
Confidence in the Results
Results will be presented as a percentage score representing the
confidence of any particular stable isotopic test signature being of the
reference database.
1. A score in the range 95-100% means the isotopic signature puts the test
sample as being definitely from the database.
2. A score in the range 90-95% means the isotopic signature puts the test
sample as being typical for the database.
3. A score in the range 40-90% means the signature puts the test sample as
being unlikely to be from the database.
4. A score in the range 0-40% means the signature puts the test sample as
being definitely not of the database
Ref: BPEX Project Report on Authentication of Country of Origin of Pork and Pig Meat in England
& Scotland using Isotope Reference Analysis August 2010
FIC Update
• DEFRA had expressed the desire to publish the
England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales
Statutory Instruments on the Food Information to
Consumers by the common commencement date of
beginning of April.
• The horsemeat incident and the active involvement
of DEFRA in the labelling of meat has meant that this
timescale has been delayed. They are aiming to have
the SI’s published by this summer (July).
FIC Update
• The mincemeat provisions (compositional standards
relating to fat and connective tissue linked to label
claim) apply from December 2013. DEFRA
understand that publishing the final UK Regulation in
July will only give companies a very short period of
time to understand whether the final decision by the
4 Governments is to allow the national exemption or
• The 4 nations are determined to allow the national
exemption and they will work to this unless there is
strong general concern expressed in the responses to
the consultation.
Added Water Declarations
FSA Scotland draft guidance on the FIC clause
12.3.6 on ‘Added Water’ currently states:
If any water has been added to meat products, meat
preparations, fishery products or prepared fishery
products with the appearance of a cut, joint, slice or
portion of a carcase of meat, a fillet of fish or of a
whole fishery product above the level of 5%, then
this must be stated in the name of the food and
therefore, by default, in the ingredients list with a
QUID declaration.
Added Water Declarations
My counter argument to the FSA Scotland
draft guidance is that Annex V Part A of the
FIC is headed Mandatory Particulars
accompanying the name of the food. As such
these particulars do not appear in the name
of the food but accompanies it. As such
Article 22 1 (a) does not apply.
• New Traffic Light criteria have been set for foods and
• Green and amber have been set to match low claims
(EC reg 1924/2006)
• Large portion caps set at 30% of RI for food and 15%
of RI for drinks (i.e. would be red rated) affects
products such as ready meals, sandwiches and
• Products most affected by the changed criteria are
meat products, cakes and biscuits, going from
amber to red.
FOP formatting
Current guidance will be amended and issued (June?) along
with the DOH guidance on Traffic Light scheme.
Key changes are:
• 5 lozenges and energy per 100g detailed below lozenges
• Colours must be vibrant and pantones to be aimed for will be
• At least 1/3 of lozenge must be coloured
• Contrast must be given between background (i.e. lozenges
cannot "float" on artwork)
• Minimum font size of 1.2 mm
• Location on FOP and type face are flexible
Both the presentational guidance and the section of the national
recommendation developed by DH including the cut off points have now
been signed off by Ministers in all the UK regions.
Product Recall
• ISO has been developing new standards for product safety
and recall. ISO 10393:2013, Consumer product recall –
Guidelines for suppliers, provides guidance on how to
establish, implement and manage a consumer product recall
• ISO 10393 will help organizations plan and execute timely and
cost-effective recall programmes, minimize legal risks, protect
consumers from unsafe or dangerous products, and build
customer satisfaction and loyalty. Using ISO 10393, retailers
and manufacturers will have consistent and repeatable
processes for handling product recalls within one or across
multiple retail jurisdictions.
Food Additives
A new draft guide to compliance sets out the general
requirements and scope of revised EU harmonised legislation
on food additives (Regulation No. 1333/2008), which will in
the main apply from 1 June 2013, and describes individual
provisions within Regulation No. 1333/2008 in detail. The
purpose of the consultation is to ascertain the relevance and
acceptability of the proposed guide to compliance and
comment on its content and presentation. The consultation
closes on 15 July and there are two separate consultations
running for England and Wales.
Food Additives
The FSA are conducting consultations to seek
comments from interested parties and obtain their
views on the proposal to revoke and re-enact the
national legislation on food additives, flavourings,
enzymes and extraction solvents in a single
consolidated instrument. The aim of this will be to
reduce the number of national regulations on ‘food
additive’ type legislation that businesses and
enforcement authorities have to refer. Minor
amendments are also required to the food additives
and flavourings national legislation to reflect changes
to the European legislation in these areas.
Food Additives
The European Commission has asked the
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to
reassess the safety of phosphates as food
additives, after researchers suggested
excessive phosphate consumption could be
damaging to health.
Animal Welfare
The European Commission has decided to take Greece and
Italy to the Court of Justice of the European Union over the
failure to correctly implement Directive 1999/74/EC banning
"un-enriched cages" (battery cages). The political decision for
the ban on "un-enriched" cages was taken in 1999. Greece
and Italy had twelve years to ensure a smooth transition to
the new system and to implement the Directive. As from 1
January 2013, Directive 1999/74/EC requires that all laying
hens are kept in "enriched cages" with extra space to nest,
scratch and roost, or in alternative systems. Greece and Italy
so far, despite repeated calls by the Commission to address
the situation, have failed to adequately comply with
applicable EU law. The Commission looks forward to these
Member States ensuring compliance.
Animal Welfare
• Defra advice and guidance on protecting
animal welfare on farms, in transport, at
markets and at slaughter.
• This guide provides advice on the legislation
and codes of practice designed to protect
animal welfare.
Contact SVA
For information contact:
Neil Griffiths
01530 56 1000
[email protected]

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