Roast pork with all the trimmings can set the taste buds tingling at the mere thought. We all rely on legislation to ensure that the food we eat is safe to consume and live in the hope that regular inspections and quality control carried out will protect us against anything bad entering the food chain. What then is happening with new legislation from the EU regarding pigs that we think may put us all in danger?
Protecting Us or Putting Us in Danger?
As consumers we rely on legislation to protect us in many ways none more so than when it comes to the food we eat. Before this new ruling pig carcasses were cut open following slaughter in order to ensure they were not diseased. Good move you may think? Well it was but due to new legislation this is no longer going to be the case as pig carcasses will be visually inspected only from now on. How can an inspector see if a pig is in good shape without cutting it open as a safe guard you might ask? In cases where a vet may suspect infection the carcass may be cut but how can a vet see what is going on inside a pig carcass by simply looking too?
The people who safeguard us state that the new rule is to ensure there is no cross contamination and spread of bacteria that could harm us. Many of our meat inspectors are unhappy about this change in policy with some totally disagreeing with it! It came into being in June 2014 and was passed by the European Food Safety Authority on the advice of the Food Standards Agency which is our own UK organisation therefore for once we cannot put the blame at the door of the EU alone.
What May Go Into Our Sausages Now?
It is a fact that in the UK we slaughter up to eight million pigs a year. That’s a lot of pigs that will not be examined as in days gone by. So, what have sausages to do with it all? Well sausages are made partly from material from a pigs head as are many other processed products. Thirty seven thousand pigs’ heads last year were found to have tuberculosis lesions and abscesses. Imagine that all churned up inside your favourite banger! Unless the head is opened how can an inspector possibly see what’s going on inside?
It is with great interest and concern we learn that this new legislation only applies to the UK and not slaughtered pigs we export to other countries. If a country wishes us here in the UK to openly inspect the animal then we will comply. This is a case of what’s good for them isn’t good for us or we don’t matter? Who knows? It will result in a two tier system where overseas consumers are protected while we here in the UK are not. If you wish to voice your concerns please contact The Food Standards Agency on 020 7276 8829.