Posted on 30th June 2014 by biocheckuk.
As long as good manufacturing practice is applied, there should be no detectable carry-over of meat species in UK meat processing plants producing minced meat. This was the conclusion the Food Standards Agency (FSA) announced this month, when they released with DEFRA their research findings. The commissioned research, undertaken by LGC, follows the meat authenticity incident last year and continuing food fraud concerns. The FSA seek to provide guidance to help the industry differentiate between adventitious and deliberate contamination below the 1% level. The study examined in a single meat processing plant the production of lean minced beef and carry-over of lean minced pork following cleaning (deep cleaning, high pressure wash and no cleaning). The presence of pig species was identified using two different DNA based methods: one genomic approach detecting pig in beef and another more sensitive mitochondrial one for surface swabs. The genomic DNA method had a reporting limit of 0.1% raw pork in raw beef with a 67%CV. When assessing the effectiveness of cleaning of mincing equipment (usually challenging to clean), ATP swabs proved a more effective and affordable (5-10 fold less) technique than the DNA method evaluated. Deep cleaning was found to be the most effective method to remove residues followed by ‘wash clean’ if exercised with some care. Where no cleaning is performed between species, as with a push-through method, carry-over was found to occur (up to 5.6% pork in beef) and would require appropriate labelling of meat content for consumers. The limited scope of the study meant that the effect of other factors could not be considered including: different meat species; meats of different fat composition; the effect of processing and inclusion of processed ingredients; processing equipment other than mincing, and different processing practices and facilities. Similarly, the use of ELISA methods for identification of raw meat species versus DNA based methods was not evaluated though reported performance characteristics (reporting limit of 0.1% raw pork) are similar and could offer industry time and cost savings (two fold).
Posted in Speciation