MLA invests in the area of food safety R&D projects across the value chain, supporting market access for the Australian red meat industry by enhancing product integrity and technical research.
Food safety and product traceability
Product integrity and safety is key for any successful supply chain.
The integrity of Australian red meat supply chain is backed by transparent traceability systems that include:
- tracking the chain of custody
- verification of authenticity
- a system to track and trace product flow.
These are all forms of risk mitigation used in food supply chains. Achieving traceability requires effective data/information sharing and cooperation throughout the whole supply chain.
Industry is also supported by investment in food safety research across the entire value chain. This helps support market access for the Australian red meat industry by enhancing product integrity and technical research.
What is driving demand for traceability?
Full supply chain traceability is a key priority for the red meat industry. There are several drivers for this:
- Retailers and consumers wanting transparency around product origins, treatments and history.
- Supply chains wanting improved transparency regarding cold chain management to mitigate losses.
- All key players wanting to realise cost-saving opportunities through supply chain efficiencies.
- Brand owners wanting to reduce the risk of food fraud.
What is driving demand for food safety?
Safe food to eat is a fundamental need for consumers and thus an integral part of food production systems. MLA invests in the area of food safety R&D projects across the value chain, supporting market access for the Australian red meat industry by enhancing product integrity and technical research.
What is MLA doing in this space?
MLA’s supports food safety through SAFEMEAT and its R&D program. SAFEMEAT is a food safety partnership between the meat industry and government with the primary role of ensuring delivery of safe and hygienic red meat products to the marketplace.
Together with Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC), MLA also delivers a coordinated joint food safety program aimed at enhancing product integrity. The program is to develop sound scientific basis for food safety management, emphasising microbiological risk management. Identifying knowledge gaps in food safety risks along the supply chain and then conducting research is vital in improving understanding of foodborne hazards and maintaining the industry’s reputation for safe, healthy products.
Key areas of work are:
- microbiological and chemical food safety
- risk-based post-mortem inspection
- shelf life and extension
- process control and interventions
- food and product traceability.
Food safety market access science reports
The program communicates the knowledge of food safety risks in the red meat supply chain, and their control, so that industry, regulators and the marketplace worldwide are aware and satisfied that risks are understood in Australia and are being controlled effectively.