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Should the Chop Copper Get the Chop?

The advent of meat tests that can pinpoint the country of origin is a recent development that will help to ensure that Dutch pork is from the Netherlands and Scottish beef isn’t from Devon.

The “good old days” of “they’ll never know” are gone.

There are too many interested parties out there looking forward to catch out those who would try it on.

The retailers at the end of the chain will now be even more on their guard and looking for more testing by the processors. The national trade bodies fighting to protect their reputations and market shares will ensure that if it says Welsh Lamb on the label that‘s what’s in the packet. The media will be on their toes looking for another shock horror story to kick the retailers.

Finished product specifications are not targets.

They are legal requirements.

None the less it is intriguing to be told that a BBC researcher goes into one retail store and buys one pack of two pork chops that are from the wrong country!

The food supply chain traceability systems resulted in the meat processors/packers being quickly traced and their suppliers of British pork were soon identified. Subsequent reports by the retailer and the packer indicated that they couldn’t find any more mislabeled products and they express surprise.

Did a busy member of staff put a Dutch pork loin in the tray of British pork loins by mistake?

There are times when these stories begin to look like the basis for a Gilbert and Sullivan Operetta. Whilst they pinpoint areas in the food supply chain that need to be tightened up and areas where supply chain testing may need to be expanded is this really an occasion where “The Chop chopper should get the chop for chopping the wrong chop when the researcher found the one right chop to show it was the wrong chop after all”?

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