of the most important food safety principles and amendments
to meat production and processing laws.
A decision was made to develop and introduce an integrated
food supervision system known as “From Farm to Table,”
which covers all production stages: production of forage, ani-
mal health control, hygienic and microbiological conditions
at production, food processing, labeling, storage, transport
and retail sales. Manufacturers and distributors, essential
components of the production process, are not only obliged
to observe the highest quality standards in their products but
also to keep a record of deliveries, suppliers and customers. The
monitoring of all production and distribution stages allows for
product identification, tracing its origin and the origin of its
components; the system is called “step back- step forward.”
Meatpacking methods in the EU are also governed in detail
by sanitary regulations. Meat shall be cut and packed under
natural environmental conditions where the cooling chain is
uninterrupted. The staff is trained and tested, and the methods
of constructing and disinfecting rooms and equipment clearly
Quality Systems and Certificates in the EU
The “Tradition, Quality and European Taste” campaign
promotes issues concerning characteristics of the products
covered by the program. It will tackle topics related to
implementing quality assurance systems and quality
management. These systems are defined as “formalized actions
and methods applied at production that guarantee obtaining
“Considerable European experience in breeding meat animals is
supported by a wide-ranging, science-based food safety control system.”
EFSA is in charge of supervising the level and validity of
the implemented laws, standards and regulations. It is a highly
qualified unit of experts and scientists that monitors all food
safety-related issues. The authority determines standards for
food products and prepares legal acts on food. Its operation
is primarily aimed at ensuring high levels of human life and
health protection, considering animal health safety and well-being as well as caring for the natural environment.
Research, analysis and work conducted by EFSA have
helped make the EU a pioneer in analyzing and managing
food-related risks. The EU’s hazard (risk) warning, managing
and communicating systems and mechanisms based on solid
science are unrivaled anywhere in the world, guaranteeing that
no hazardous food case, whether related to cheese or meat, will
be neglected and thus consumers can feel safe.
EU countries have a very efficient veterinary control
system. In addition to standard toxicological tests for parasites,
cattle for slaughter are subject to tests detecting prions,
factors responsible for development of bovine spongiform
encephalopathy, and pork is tested for the presence of dioxins.
Both kinds of meat are subject to other tests as well.
Detailed regulations in force in the EU determine acceptable
and unacceptable substances that can be administered to
animals at breeding. Hormones, growth stimulators and
antibiotics, for example, are forbidden.
Safety regulations implemented in the EU within the “From
Farm to Table” system impose requirements to label/mark
the meat so that it is possible to identify the kind of meat,
the origins of the meat, where the meat was prepared, packed
and delivered and its expiration date. EU regulations became
stricter in 2003 to cover all products containing meat. Labeling
is an important part of the food safety system and contributes
added value, since—according to research—consumers are ready
to pay more and are eager to buy meat from a proven source
documented with a stamp.
the highest possible food quality as well as its full safety.” These
systems are as follows:
production, which is defined as an obligatory system in the
EU that comprises a systemic approach to food safety. The
system identifies, evaluates and controls (in the sense of
supervision/planning) hazards relevant to food safety.
international systems that include the following:
determine requirements for all organizations in the
food chain (“From Field to Table”). The standard is not
mandatory and can be used independently of other
management system standards.
standard targeting food manufacturers, particularly those
interested in cooperation with chain stores that treat the
standard developed by German retailers associated
in Hauptverband des Deutschen Einzelhandels e.V.
(German Federation of Retailers) and French retailers
associated in the Federation des Enterprises du
system of securing food safety, primarily for agricultural
minimize the use of fertilizers and pesticides to reduce
unfavorable impacts on the environment. n
The Union of Producers and Employers of the Meat Industry is a
professional organization representing the meat-processing sector in Poland. Its
members include owners of meat plants, processing and distribution companies,
representatives of pig and cattle breeders and associations of producers.