How safe is safe ?

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How safe is safe ?

Postby Zosherooney » February 24th, 2018, 6:50 am

Do you trust where you get your meat from or are we meat eaters in danger and not know it ? https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... ost-plants
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Re: How safe is safe ?

Postby StokeySue » February 24th, 2018, 10:08 am

It's worrying, but as Prof Pennington points out, the inspectirs are finding these breaches, they aren't being left undetected, and many inspections do lead to the business passing with flying colours

It's the lack of responsibility shown by some processors and mentioned in the articke though that does concern me
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Re: How safe is safe ?

Postby Badger's mate » February 24th, 2018, 10:40 am

Risk of cross contamination does not necessarily mean that anything is unwholesome, but if something were, it would be spread around. On the other board last year we had a similar conversation about contamination of meat with faecal matter. We can choose how and where we buy our meat, but we cannot know what has happened to it beforehand and it is sensible to assume that it requires adequate cooking to ensure its safety. Luckily, common meat-borne microoganisms are pretty easily killed by heat. It's worth bearing in mind these stories though, if you're about to order a burger cooked rare...
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Re: How safe is safe ?

Postby Ratatouille » February 24th, 2018, 10:56 am

That's exactly why Mr R collected a huge order from our butcher this morning so we can survive the shop being closed until Easter.

There is no way I would buy supermarket meat. Jean-Claude and his family have had the business for 4 generations. They rear their own sheep and pigs and their beef and veal come from named local suppliers. After slaughter the whole carcass is delivered to the shop they do all the butchery in house. they make all their own sausages and charcuterie and they are also traituers.

Of course they are not cheap but then such things never are and they are wonderful value - rapport qualite price - as they say.
Last edited by Ratatouille on February 24th, 2018, 1:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How safe is safe ?

Postby earthmaiden » February 24th, 2018, 11:21 am

I think Badger's Mate has said how I feel. The best we can do is shop as we feel appropriate and hope for the best. The sale of dodgy meat isn't exactly a new phenomena but I do think that many people, especially a certain breed of under 30 year old are far more trusting than they may once have been.

People will always try to flaunt the rules, it is surprising really that the figures are so low and perhaps shows how good the rules and inspections are.

I am always wary of raw meat and fish unless and have no reason not to continue to be so.
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Re: How safe is safe ?

Postby Suelle » February 24th, 2018, 12:49 pm

StokeySue wrote:It's worrying, but as Prof Pennington points out, the inspectirs are finding these breaches, they aren't being left undetected, and many inspections do lead to the business passing with flying colours

It's the lack of responsibility shown by some processors and mentioned in the articke though that does concern me


But if inspections aren't taking place frequently, by the time the transgressions are noticed, a lot of contaminated meat may have entered the market.

I don't even think you can say that small independent retailers, or 'proper' butchers, are a better bet than supermarkets, as there are only a limited number of abattoirs since the laws were changed several years ago, making it difficult for meat producers to butcher their own animals. There might be traceability from field to meat counter (although traceability is one of the areas of concern, in some cases) but that still doesn't stop things going wrong in the abattoir, where hygiene is concerned.
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Re: How safe is safe ?

Postby suffolk » February 24th, 2018, 1:15 pm

We are so lucky ... most of the meat we buy nowadays comes from butchers supplied by Bramfield Meats
http://www.bramfieldmeats.co.uk/about-us/ . Jeremy Thickitt used to be our next door neighbour. He is a complete professional and a thoroughly sound chap. I trust him. :tu: :D

Back when we lived in Suffolk and had a smallholding I knew his employee Charlie Mills too. He would help us get our stock to their abbattoir which was only a few miles away. He treated the animals really well.
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Re: How safe is safe ?

Postby Ratatouille » February 24th, 2018, 1:55 pm

The confusion I think is between slaughtering and butchering. While both are important and subject to strict regulations (we hope) the second is where the real skill and knowledge comes in and is always best done on a smallish, professional scale, ie not under factory conditions.
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Re: How safe is safe ?

Postby suffolk » February 24th, 2018, 2:18 pm

Well ... when it comes to health and safety and freedom from contamination I would say it's the slaughtering, bleeding, flaying and disembowelling that's important ...

a vet checks the animals before slaughter, cleanliness of the animal to prevent fecal matter contaminating the flesh, then the efficient slaughter, bleeding, flaying and disembowelling all have to be done with the utmost care, again to ensure that no fecal matter from the gut contaminates the flesh.

Then the organs are inspected to ensure that the animal wasn't suffering from any health condition which could be passed on to the consumer. That's why you'll find every liver, kidney and heart has a knife slash through it so that it can be inspected properly.

" All" the butcher has to do when he receives the carcass is to 'butcher' it into the various cuts ... as long as his premises etc are hygienic there should be little risk of contamination.

https://www.food.gov.uk/business-indust ... /workoffsa
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Re: How safe is safe ?

Postby StokeySue » February 24th, 2018, 3:19 pm

Surely it depends on how well the individual facility is designed and run whether or not the outcome is safe meat?

The advantage of a larger, more modern, facility may well be that it is designed and laid out to minimise opportunities for cross contamination and has plenty of hand washing points etc. A small facility working with less staff and less rooms will have to be very careful to complete each stage of the process and clean up without any chance of transferring contamination

There's no guarantee at all that the artisan product is safer than the supermarket one, unless you actually know for a fact that it is. Any assumptions are probably based on wishful thinking
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Re: How safe is safe ?

Postby Suelle » February 24th, 2018, 4:19 pm

Whatever the regulations, and however good the facilities are, a 'safe' end product depends on everyone involved knowing and implementing the rules. We know, from undercover footage of animal cruelty released to the press over the last few years that this isn't always the case at the point the animals are slaughtered, so why should we expect it to be any better further along the meat production line?

I don't know, but suspect, that a lot of the work is done by people on minimum wage, employed by business owners trying to maximise their profits. Not always a good mixture!
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Re: How safe is safe ?

Postby StokeySue » February 24th, 2018, 4:52 pm

Suelle wrote:I don't know, but suspect, that a lot of the work is done by people on minimum wage, employed by business owners trying to maximise their profits. Not always a good mixture!


That's what worries me too
There used to be some kind of meat handlung plant outside of Kings Cross (now gentrified out of existence) and I used to see the lads in full "clean" gear, sometimes even including gloves, popping outside for a smoke. Not exactly best practice.
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Re: How safe is safe ?

Postby suffolk » February 24th, 2018, 4:56 pm

StokeySue wrote: I used to see the lads in full "clean" gear, sometimes even including gloves, popping outside for a smoke. Not exactly best practice.


I report that sort of thing if I see it ... likewise with chefs/kitchen hands out the back of a restaurant smoking in their whites. I can be a right PITA :evil:
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Re: How safe is safe ?

Postby liketocook » February 24th, 2018, 10:13 pm

I take a pragmatic approach to this, unless you have reared, slaughtered and butchered an animal yourself you can never be completely sure no matter how good your butcher/supplier is. Good food storage and cooking practices at home probably have as big, if not greater, risk to health than anything else. Personally to a certain extent I take my chances, in the main I buy unprocessed or minimally processed meat from decent sources but not always and I'm careful about storage, prep and cooking. I do think that is all you can do and hope continued focus in this area by the media/authorities leads to an overall improvement in practices.
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Re: How safe is safe ?

Postby Busybee » February 24th, 2018, 10:33 pm

liketocook wrote:I take a pragmatic approach to this, unless you have reared, slaughtered and butchered an animal yourself you can never be completely sure no matter how good your butcher/supplier is. Good food storage and cooking practices at home probably have as big, if not greater, risk to health than anything else. Personally to a certain extent I take my chances, in the main I buy unprocessed or minimally processed meat from decent sources but not always and I'm careful about storage, prep and cooking. I do think that is all you can do and hope continued focus in this area by the media/authorities leads to an overall improvement in practices.


:tu: :tu: absolutely agree with every word LTC

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Re: How safe is safe ?

Postby suffolk » February 25th, 2018, 8:11 am

So do I :tu:

That's why we need to keep proper regulations and practices. :tu:
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Re: How safe is safe ?

Postby miss mouse » February 25th, 2018, 8:32 am

suffolk wrote:That's why we need to keep proper regulations and practices


Are you referring to this?

"The Food Standards Agency (FSA) now want to stop independent meat inspections by Meat Hygiene Inspectors and Official Vets and leave the slaughter houses to carry out their own inspections for hygiene and safety."

There is a petition on change.org to try to stop this move,

A search for "Don't risk lives - Keep meat inspections independent" should find it.
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Re: How safe is safe ?

Postby suffolk » February 25th, 2018, 9:21 am

Exactly!
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
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