Wednesday, 31 July 2013

UNISON challenges supermarkets to support safe meat hygiene inspection

UNISON, the UK’s largest union, today called on the country’s biggest supermarkets to back its campaign to guarantee that the meat they sell is safe to eat and their products labelled correctly.  

The union is contacting Britain’s biggest supermarkets urging them to oppose plans by the EU to drastically cut the meat inspection regime.  

Meat hygiene inspectors are employed in abattoirs up and down the country and inspect every carcass for signs of TB, dog and human parasites, foot and mouth and other diseases as well as faecal contamination. They are also responsible for ensuring that any contaminated meat does not get into the food chain via burgers or sausages.

A recent survey published by Mintel showed that less than half (49%) of consumers trusted the safety of their food and 37% disagreed that supermarkets were aware of the origin of their food. In addition independent research conducted for Labelling Matters shows that 83% of consumers in the UK want to know which farm system has been used to produce their meat and dairy products, and 79% said farm animal welfare was important when deciding which food products to buy.

Paul Bell, UNISON National Officer for Meat Hygiene Inspectors, said: “The reputation of some of the biggest supermarkets in the country has taken a real knocking because of the latest horse meat scandal.  It is in their own interests to reassure customers that they are doing all they can to make sure that the meat they sell is safe to eat..." 

Read more on the UNISON UK website.

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