Most salmonella cases caused by raw poultry

Most cases of infection result from handling raw poultry or eating undercooked poultry.

It takes just a little amount of bacteria to cause illness.

Another common method for the infection to spread is through cross-contamination.

This is when raw poultry is prepared on work surfaces or chopping boards that have not been properly washed between tasks and are then used to prepare cooked foods.

Contamination can then pass from the raw meat to ready-to-eat foods.

Handling raw poultry and then handling a ready-to-eat food, without washing hands, can result in contamination .

When cooking burgers, sausages, chicken and pork, cut into the middle to check that the meat is no longer pink, the juices run clear and it’s steaming hot throughout. When cooking a whole chicken or other bird, pierce the thickest part of the leg (between the drumstick and the thigh) to check there is no pink meat.

full story: Irish Independent

Norfolk abattoir loses appeal against suspension

Norfolk Meat Traders, near Banham, had its licence suspended by the Food Standards Agency in April while it investigated the alleged unauthorised killing of horses at its site at Moor Farm.


But the company went to Great Yarmouth Magistrates Court last week to appeal against the suspension.

Norfolk Meat Traders, which does not have approval to kill horses, argued it had permission to carry out the slaughter on March 31 because it was done on behalf of a company called Zoo Food People which does have a licence.

But the director of Zoo Food People Stephen Toth said he did not authorise the slaughter.


He told the court he had called it off the day before and was not present when the horses were killed.

Director of Norfolk Meat Traders Deborah Wilson told the court she did not know why Mr Toth was not there.

But the court heard she had previously told two people, including the FSA, that Mr Toth was ill so would not be present.

However the court was told Mr Toth was not ill and when he said the killing was not authorised by Zoo Food People, the FSA started an investigation.

An FSA vet said they had not given Norfolk Meat Traders full approval, which would have allowed them to kill horses, because they had concerns about animal welfare at the slaughterhouse.

Rejecting the appeal, magistrates said Miss Wilson deliberately attempted to mislead the FSA to believe she was acting on behalf of Zoo Food People.

Magistrates said Norfolk Meat Traders breaching the terms of its approval and misleading the FSA were “very serious matters”.

Magistrates said they were “in no doubt” it would be “wholly inappropriate” to grant full approval to Norfolk Meat Traders.

A spokesman for the FSA said: “As this case demonstrates, the Food Standards Agency will take appropriate action against any businesses and individuals who breach the strict rules that should be followed in all approved slaughterhouses.”

Their investigation is ongoing.

Eastern Daily Press

Dawn Meats announces plans to take over Dunbia

Dawn Meats has agreed a strategic partnership with Dunbia to establish a majority-owned joint venture in the UK; which will comprise of the UK operations of both organisations.


In the Republic of Ireland, Dawn Meats will separately acquire Dunbia’s operations. The deal is subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities.

If this deal receives the green light, Dawn Meats will have nine facilities – including five abattoirs – in the Republic of Ireland.

This will follow the addition of two complementary Dunbia facilities; one abattoir in Slane, Co. Meath, and one boning hall in Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath.

It is expected that the combined UK businesses will trade as Dunbia. It is hoped it will deliver enhanced scale and market presence, in order to better serve existing farmer suppliers and customers of both organisations across the retail, manufacturing, wholesale and food-service sectors.


full story: Agriland

Dawn Meats has acquired Dunbia’s operations in Ireland

It has been announced that Dawn Meats has acquired Dunbia’s operations in the Republic of Ireland.




It comes following an agreement between both companies to establish a majority owned joint venture in the United Kingdom comprising the UK operations of both organisations.

The deal is subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities.

In Ireland, Dawn Meats will have 9 facilities (including 5 abattoirs), following the addition of two complementary Dunbia facilities – one abattoir in Slane, and one boning hall in Kilbeggan.

The development is the second major merger in the Irish beef sector in the last 12 months following link up between the Larry Goodman owned ABP Group and Slaney Meats in 2016 which was vigorously opposed by farmers.

The companies say the combined UK businesses will trade as Dunbia and will deliver enhanced scale and market presence to better serve existing farmer suppliers and customers of both organisations across the retail, manufacturing, wholesale and food service sectors.

The businesses are highly complementary, and will offer customers regionally sourced solutions for both beef and lamb from 15 facilities across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Across Dawn Meats and Dunbia, the businesses process approximately 900,000 cattle and 2.6m sheep annually.


full story: Farm Ireland

Cranswick confident about Brexit

Upmarket sausage and bacon producer Cranswick announced a big jump in exports, boosted by the weak pound and strong demand for British pork, and said it is well prepared for the Brexit era.

The Hull-based firm said exports to the Far East leaped 49 per cent while overall exports rose 38 per cent. Cranswick’s chief executive Adam Couch said:

“The Brexit era is ahead of us. There will be a degree of uncertainty. “A lot of customers want to increase their British offering. It drives home our supply chain credentials and our customers won’t have to import.”

Cranswick is the third largest pig producer in the UK and it represents 5 per cent of the total UK pig herd. Almost 90 per cent of the pigs produced from its two herds are bred outdoors, allowing it to provide premium pork ranges that can be guaranteed from “farm to fork”. Asked whether he is worried about a consumer downturn,

Mr Couch said: “We are always mindful of it. We are involved with two of the best value sectors – pork and poultry. They lend themselves to a value proposition. You compare pork versus beef. They are chalk and cheese in price.”

Talking about the big increase in exports, he said Cranswick accounts for 60 per cent of all the pork exported to the Far East.
“We have put a huge focus on the Far East,” he said.

full story: Yorkshire Post

Norfolk abattoir under investigation

A south Norfolk abattoir is being investigated by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) over the killing of horses. Norfolk Meat Traders, of Banham, is currently not operating as a slaughterhouse while the investigation takes place.

The FSA was due to go to Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday in relation to horse meat that was unfit for human consumption. But it said the matter had been withdrawn, and added the hearing was “no longer deemed necessary” in a statement.

A spokesman for the FSA said: “Animal welfare is a top priority for the FSA and we take appropriate action against any businesses and individuals who breach the strict rules that should be followed in all approved abattoirs. “Norfolk Meat Traders Ltd are under investigation by the FSA and are not currently operating as a slaughterhouse. “As this is the subject of potential legal action, we are unable to provide further information.” Norfolk Meat Traders operates on the same site as the former Simply Halal business. That had its operations suspended May last year by the FSA, after concerns were raised over the welfare of animals and an investigation was launched.

Later that month, seven members of staff at Simply Halal were suspended at the site as part of its investigations. Slaughter operations resumed at the site after a new company, Norfolk Meat Traders, was approved by the FSA in October 2016.

Full story: Diss Express

FSA advice on pork and pork products

Official FSA Press Release




Following media reports this morning we wanted to remind consumers of our advice about cooking pork thoroughly. We always advise that whole cuts of pork, pork products and offal should be thoroughly cooked until steaming hot throughout, the meat is no longer pink and juices run clear.

This will reduce the risk of illness from harmful foodborne bacteria and viruses like hepatitis E. The risk from acquiring hepatitis E virus (HEV) from eating thoroughly cooked pork or pork products is low.

Hepatitis E is an illness of the liver which can infect both animals and humans. Most people will clear the virus without any symptoms. Some people who have suppressed immune systems may find the infection hard to fight which in turn can cause chronic inflammation of the liver.


Private operators sought to run loss-making abattoir

Formal tenders are to be sought from operators wishing to run the Isle of Man’s abattoir or to provide equivalent services from alternative premises.

The Tromode facility, called the ’meat plant’ by the government, is currently run by Isle of Man Meats, a cooperative of farmers, and makes a loss, so it’s subsidised by the taxpayer to the tune of £1.3m last year.

The government hopes a private operator will make it more competitive and save public money.

Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said: ’During the month-long process of establishing levels of interest, seven parties came forward and we have interviewed all of them.

’It is heartening that there is sufficient interest to warrant us moving to the next stage of the process, which is to invite formal tenders, and that will happen as soon as possible.

’Tenderers will be expected to present strong business cases and marketing plans and commit to standards of service.’

The Department of the Environment, Food and Agriculture hopes to complete the process of appointing a new operator by the end of this year.

The number of animals slaughtered at the plant has fallen and local sales have dropped too.

The government hopes that situation will be reversed by a commercial operator.

full story: IOM Today

Lamb carcass futures traded in South Africa

Lamb carcass futures contracts can now be traded on the Johannesburg  Stock Exchange (JSE) commodity derivatives market.

“The purpose of the contract is to allow farmers and abattoirs to protect themselves against the risk created through movements in the price of mutton,” the JSE said in a statement.

To increase the liquidity of the contracts, only the main hedging months of March, June, September and December will be available for listing. The contracts were launched with June and September 2017 expiries available.

The new lamb carcass contracts are similar to the beef carcass contracts the JSE launched in December 2015.

“The size of the lamb carcass contracts are also 1,000kg of A2 and A3 graded carcasses and they are also cash-settled. The settlement price of the contracts are determined by the JSE and information from the Red Meat Abattoirs Association (RMAA). This partnership ensures that the cash-settled price of the contract accurately reflects the spot-market price of lamb,” the JSE said.

“Over the past two decades the JSE has proven the value the commodity market can provide by helping farmers to protect themselves against price volatility. We have built a strong relationship with the agricultural community and are privileged to now be able to respond to the needs of the livestock sector in managing their price risks,” JSE director of commodity derivatives Chris Sturgess said.

According to the JSE, the price of lamb can be very sensitive to consumer sentiment as mutton remains the most expensive meat consumed in South Africa.

“Futures contracts can help to provide farmers and abattoirs with greater certainty about the income they will receive for the meat they produce. This can help to support the mutton industry, which is well-positioned over the medium term to benefit from SA’s growing middle class,” says Sturgess.

Farmers are making use of lower feed costs to rebuild their herds after last year’s drought and farmers slaughtered 11,5% less sheep in March 2017 compared with March 2016, Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz) head of research Wandile Sihlobo said.

This was likely to raise the price of red meat this year, he said.

full story:

Foreign owners of Silver Fern Farms ‘failed to deliver’

The foreign owners of Silver Fern Farms should explain why they have failed to bring value to the company or country since buying a 50 percent stake last year, opposition parties say.

The company yesterday announced it planned to close its Ashburton sheep meat plant,  putting 370 jobs at risk.

It blamed the closure on falling sheep numbers.

The government gave Chinese company Shanghai Maling the all-clear in September 2016 to buy a half-stake in the company, on the recommendation of the Overseas Investment Office (OIO).

At the time, the government said the deal would provide more opportunities for Silver Fern Farms and bring substantial benefits to New Zealand.

“We are satisfied that the investment will be of substantial and identifiable benefit to New Zealand, which is the test set out in the Act,” then-Land Information Minister Louise Upston said when the deal was announced.

“The investment will put the company in a better financial position and allow it to increase its exports.”

Labour MP Stuart Nash said the Ashburton plant’s proposed closure belied that.

“I simply cannot see how closing a plant with a loss of 300 jobs is adding value in any way, shape or form.”

Investing in New Zealand was a “privilege” that came with responsibilities, he said.

full story: RNZ News