I know it’s in National’s DNA to fight regulation where ever they find it but it looks like the meat industry and government ‘watch dog’ MAF’s Food Safety Authority may have bitten off more than they can chew with their proposal to do away with independent meat inspectors in the country’s freezing works.
Seems a 6 month trial to have company meat inspectors replace the SOE AsureQualityinspectors has already gone awry with the US saying no thanks to any meat from companies running the trials.
The trials started this week at Affco Imlay (part of the Talleys network so that’s alright) and the long and the short of it is meat companies get to inspect their own products to make sure they pass the food safety test and give them the tick for export.
Not surprisingly government meat inspectors are not universally welcome at freezing works and intimidation and threats are common as companies want as much meat as possible to pass muster and be sold. So it’s hardly surpising that the meat companies are pushing for this move and of course they’re saying that profits and cost cutting will never stand in the way of food saftey…
What is surprising is that the government is willing to gamble with NZ’s reputation as an exporter of quality and safe meat.