VEGA News Item

Hygiene and “Waste” in the Food Industry - 27/08/2009

The Fat’s in the Fire after the Surgeon’s Work Too

1. The Food Standards Agency has announced the publication of a guide to help retailers comply with food hygiene legislation. The guide sets out recommendations that will “help retailers meet their legal obligations.” It covers the activities carried out by grocers, butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers, delicatessens, and supermarkets and will assist in applying a food safety management system based on the principles of HACCP, as well as offering easy and practical advice on complying with the regulations. 

2. A guide on processing 5th-quarter products such as offal and cheeks, has been distributed to Scottish meat processing companies by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS). The move is part of a £300,000 Scottish-government-funded project to reignite the 5th-quarter trade in Scotland, “which could generate a potential £3m a year extra for the Scottish red meat industry.” Disposals of offals and fallen stock and from knackers yards and fellmongers can cause problems with disposals of wastes and environmental pollution. Some of these factors complicate measures of carbon footprint and become very serious with materials left after culls that follow outbreaks of epidemic disease. Incineration of such materials and of veterinary and medical wastes to generate electricity is being increasingly resorted to for such purposes. Likewise, removal of human fat after procedures such as surgical liposuction provides such fuel, probably much of it resulting from excessive intakes by human consumers (and their pets). The furnaces at crematoria can be converted into non-polluting sources of heat and electricity in this manner of recycling. Broiler-litter and feathers can be used likewise. 

3. Some bus companies are contemplating collection of spent cooking fat from chippies and Chinese restaurants for conversion into fuel to run their vehicles. Some of their passengers might also be able to exercise that choice if the surgical way of losing weight is turned to environmentally-friendly means of enjoying the convenience of public transport.


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