New Zealand union warns of meat inspection danger

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Milk

New Zealand’s public sector union has warned that the country could be at risk of further food safety scandals if meat processors are allowed to inspect their own meat.

Reacting to the recent contamination scandal, which saw milk producer Fonterra forced to withdraw batches of whey protein containing botulism bacteria, the Public Service Association (SA) said that meat inspection should be conducted by “trained, specialist and independent”​ government meat inspectors.

“There’s an inherent conflict of interest in companies inspecting their own meat which will encourage short-cuts and see commercial interests overriding robust standards of food safety and quality control. The risks are huge and the PSA and meat inspectors have been repeatedly trying to raise concerns,”​ said SA national secretary Richard Wagstaff.

Currently only around five meat processing plants in New Zealand conduct their own in-house inspections, but the SA pointed out that major meat processor AFFCO is likely to switch to company inspection soon.

“In the interests of food safety, market confidence and economic strength, we urge the government to reinstate a meat inspection regime across all meat companies, which is regulated by independent government meat inspectors,”​ he said Wagstaff

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