Food Labelling - Its Black & White!

With recent incidents such as the recall of Russell Hume meat products, Procure4’s Food and Beverage Expert, Mark Bennett, says now is the time to check labelling specifications. “My advice would be simple; make sure you have specifications from your suppliers stating the origin (country / slaughter house / farm / species) of any raw materials”. The onus is on you, the client, to make sure you have all the information.   

The latest hot topic is the debate over whether food labelling must now show if the animal was stunned prior to slaughter.  With religion having an impact on how animals should be slaughtered, meat from animals not stunned before slaughter may have to be labelled. This comes after it has been highlighted that many consumers may have purchased meat that wasn’t stunned prior to slaughter. Existing labelling schemes such as Red Tractor and RSPCA Assured already gave a guarantee that the animal had been stunned, though this is not currently stated on the label.

You, the customer, have to ensure there is no grey area in your suppliers’ specifications, and you should demand that you get all the information you need. It is circumstances like this that demonstrate why client and supplier relationships are so important. Mark advises, “if at all possible, establish a relationship directly with the farms so you can be confident of the heritage of produce coming into your establishment”.  He also suggests that it is good practice to routinely spot check supplier records and, where possible see the raw material coming into your establishment. 

Mark summarises, “It’s always best to stay on the front foot. Ensure you have the knowledge and stay in control of your supplier base”.

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