The detection of horse meat in convenience foods keeps the meat industry, retailers and authorities in Europe busy and worries consumers. The quality assurance schemes of the economy that have joined within EMA - European Meat Alliance enhance transparency with clear standards and regular inspections.
Regarding current events it has not come to illegal additions in any company of the meat industry that participates in these systems. Together with experts the bodies will discuss if process flows and process controls can be improved. The objective has to be to eliminate the sources of error and to set the bar high for potential deceiver.
In order to achieve quality and safety of food on international markets high and comparable standards are necessary. Already in 2003 quality assurance schemes of different countries joined forces within EMA - European Meat Alliance and agreed upon basic requirements for quality assurance for meat and meat products.
The common objective is to ensure food safety of meat and sausages for customers in food retail.
The shared requirements are e.g.:
● strict separation of product flows,
● a consequent sanction of violations,
● the establishment of distinct traceability systems and a crisis management as well as
● the implementation of a three level control system based on internal self control,
● independent inspections by accredited certification bodies and
● 3rd supervision of the certification bodies and auditors.
Besides QS the quality assurance schemes CERTUS (Belgium), IKB (The Netherlands), QSG (Denmark), AMA (Austria) and Bord Bia (Ireland) work close together within EMA.
Source: QS Qualität und Sicherheit GmbH