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Biotech firm wants to ‘modernise’ meat inspection

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Oscar Rousseau

By Oscar Rousseau+

24-Aug-2017
Last updated on 24-Aug-2017 at 11:58 GMT2017-08-24T11:58:10Z

Serology testing is used to check for antibodies in the blood of livestock
Serology testing is used to check for antibodies in the blood of livestock

A Texas biotech business plans to unveil an approach that bolsters the meat industry’s ability to stop pork tainted with dangerous foodborne pathogens from reaching consumers.

Thermo Fisher Scientific’s concept for modernising meat inspection is this: blood samples taken from a representative number of pigs at an abattoir are tested for antibodies against animal diseases that are transmissible to humans, known in industry as zoonosis.

Results are fed back to the producer and, if needed, corrective action can be taken on the farm.

The result: a stronger supply chain using data to inform farmers if the animals they are supplying are unfit for slaughter.

‘Continuous improvement’

Patrik Buholzer, senior product manager for swine diagnostics at Thermo Fisher Scientific, will present this approach at the 12th Safe Pork Conference in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil.

 
How it works: Blood samples taken at the abattoir are tested for antibodies against zoonotic pathogens. The results are fed back to the producer and, if needed, corrective measures can be taken at the intervention points.

How it works: Blood samples taken at the abattoir are tested for antibodies against zoonotic pathogens. The results are fed back to the producer and, if needed, corrective measures can be taken at the intervention points.

 
Buholzer said in a statement that the meat inspection process had not been modernised since the mid-1800s, although this seems highly unlikely.
 
However, this has apparently been the inspiration for Thermo Fisher Scientific’s new approach to modernise meat inspection.

Using the new approach is more efficient in protecting consumers from harmful pathogens, according the business. And with pressure on margins as the global meat trade becomes increasingly fierce, Thermo Fisher Scientific said a new process was needed.

The continuous improvement of the pork value chain helps reduce production costs,” said Martin Guillet, global head of AgriBusiness at Thermo Fisher Scientific. “It also helps protect livestock and consumers in an efficient, effective and holistic way that demonstrates our company mission of enabling our customers to make the world healthier, safer and cleaner.

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