The European Union (EU) is introducing meat origin labeling that will enable EU consumers to know exactly where the meat they bought—and likely to consume—came from, according to a report on Food Safety News. This new labeling requirement will go into effect starting April 1, 2015. The requirement will be applied to chilled, fresh and frozen meat products.
Food safety still remains an issue to a lot of countries today. In the US, thousands get sick or die from foodborne illnesses yearly (i.e. 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths or 1 in 6 Americans). There are certain problems with the current food safety system in the U.S. and there’s no denying that too often these outbreaks go unreported or unrecognized.
Even with the combined efforts of our government and organizations like the FDA, CDC and USDA to prevent pathogens from spreading like wildfire in a dry forest, the task is still of Herculean proportions. Thanks to the said entities’ initiatives though, more and more families are being informed of proper food storage and preparation, to keep their loved ones from getting sick from harmful pathogens.
The European Union is now planning to introduce food labels that will help consumers know their food’s origins. The Origin Labeling for meats like goat, poultry, sheep and pork will include the information like where the animals were born, raised or slaughtered. With consumers informed better of the food they eat, it’s not far from possible that foodborne illnesses will be prevented better as well.
EU produces a huge share of meat for the world. 11% of beef, 20% of pork and 12% of poultry are being exported and distributed worldwide. Currently, the US has already implemented a similar type of labeling—specifically, country of origin labeling on pork, beef, chicken, goat and lamb. But this is being contested in Canada and Mexico by meat industry stakeholders.