BMPA provides evidence that UK red meat shelf life can be safely extended
UK regulation currently states that red meat should have a shelf life of no longer than 10 days, but a BMPA study has provided evidence which reportedly proves it is safe to extend this.
A joint scientific study between the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) and Meat and Livestock Australia has reportedly proven that the current recommended 10-day shelf life for chilled red meat can be safely extended beyond the current Food Standards Agency (FSA) guidance.
If these findings are implemented, this would be a big win for the environment and for consumers who currently throw away £3 billion worth of food every year, according to BMPA.
A group made up of industry and specialist individuals is now compiling further evidence to present to the FSA at the end of September. They will conduct further risk assessments as part of a rapid review and will publish a report shortly after.
BMPA’s Technical Operations Director, David Lindars, commented: “We hope that the FSA’s final report will conclude that the risk assessment and the setting of shelf life will return to the food business operators as was always the case for the last 30 plus years . There is already sufficient legislation in place that covers the food safety of products sold to the final consumer – 1990 Food Safety Act is one of many.”
BMPA said this is important news for British meat processors as it removes a significant technical barrier to trade because the UK is currently the only country that has and enforces this 10-day rule. The application of the rule disadvantages UK meat companies who often either miss out on export orders or are forced to sell product at a lower price than their overseas competitors because the shorter shelf life allows buyers to negotiate the price down, according to the meat trade body.
“The shelf life of fresh red meat held at 3°C to 8°C is of great significance to industry. We hope that these new scientific findings will give FSA the evidence they need to remove red meat from the guidance so that processors and retailers can apply longer retail shelf lives to their products,” said Lindars.
BMPA has made the full research report available to all companies operating in the British meat industry and across the globe. This research has also been peer reviewed.