The story of meat from farm to fridge
What can go wrong?
As the law stands, red meat unfit for human consumption is stained with an identifying dye; inedible poultry is not, so its particularly vulnerable to being sold on illegally , with incalculable costs to human health. Recently a multi-million pound fraud was uncovered in which chickens meant for pet food were sold to supermarkets, butchers and restaurants. Tesco has had to recal thousands of chicken steaks in a similar incident. Chicken meat that wasnt even fit for pet food,has allegedly ended up in school dinners in Scotland. There is also a belief that the foot-and-mouth outbreak may have come from pig swill made from leftover school meals infected with tainted meat.
The discovery of the campylobacter bacterium in chickens sold in British supermarkets is more bad news: this is the bug that was responsible for almost 55,000 cases of food poisoning in the UK in 1999. In August 2001, over 90% of chickens found with the infection carried the most dangerous strain.
No one knows how the birds become infected, but contaminated water supplies, a lack of hygiene in the production process, and rodents are all suspects. The Food Standards Agency continues to stress the need for caution when storing, handling and cooking raw chicken to prevent the spread of the bacteria. However, despite taking such precautions, people are still suffering from stomach cramps and diarrhoea associated with the bug.
STAGE 5: For Sale!
The meat ends up swathed in plastic and on a supermarket shelf near you. Were certainly a nation of animal lovers when it comes to what we like on our plate. The meat market is worth nearly £14 billion a year, and its the biggest single food market in Britain. Chicken is our most popular dish, representing 37 per cent of the market.