Republic Wins Food Safety Plan Contract
A major EU-funded contract to develop European-wide food safety blueprints for farm production, processing, retailing and catering of meat products has been awarded to Teagasc, the advisory service in the Republic of Ireland.
The project, which is worth EUR500,000 (pounds 340,000), is being led by Dr Declan Bolton, of the Teagasc National Food Centre in Dublin, and involves a consortium of scientists and industry partners in nine EU States as well as Poland, Hungary, United States and Canada.
In addition to developing critical safety practices for vital stages in the food chain, the initiative will also review how food poisoning outbreaks are investigated and will also advise on effective communications strategies with consumers on food safety issues.
Announcing details of the initiative, Dr Declan Bolton said the fact that the Teagasc National Food Centre won the contract against stiff international competition is testment to the centre's growing international reputation as a centre of excellence for the development of food safety management systems.
"Over the last three years, Teagasc has developed and published food safety blueprints for Irish beef, pork and lamb slaughter. Called HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point), they detail the critical safety practices which must be undertaken from the time the animal reaches the factory until the carcase enters the chill room.
"Teagasc, in collaboration with UCD, has also developed an HACCP for poultry production and we are currently working on developing catering and vegetable safety blueprints in conjunction with the Food Safety Promotion Board and University of Limerick," said Dr Bolton.
He said this new international project would enable Teagasc to cover other stages in the food chain and expand its food safety programme into Europe.
He stressed that recently-enacted EU legislation legally mandates HACCP food safety systems. This new project will enable all Irish food interests to have direct access to the most effective blueprints.
The project will include six international food safety conferences over the next three years. Two of these will be hosted in Ireland by the Teagasc National Food Centre.
Meanwhile, only one consumer in every five ion the island of Ireland knows the correct temperature at which to operate a fridge, according to the results of a Teagasc food safety survey. …