The British Meat Processors Association calls for a shelf life extension for fresh meat

20 Aug 2020

Current UK food regulations limit the shelf-life of fresh meat to 10 days when stored at 3-8 degrees Celsius. However, the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) is aiming to persuade the UK’s Food Standards Agency to extend those guidelines to allow for a longer shelf life.

In a joint report by BMPA and Meat & Livestock Australia published in Food Microbiology, the industry consortium found that cuts of fresh meat did not develop signs of contamination or botulism for periods beyond 10 days. While the average chilled retail shelf life was 11 to 13 days, the report showed that lamb can remain fresh for up to 27 days, pork for 18 days and beef for 23 days.

The British Meat Processors Association calls for a shelf life extension for fresh meat

“The level of protection estimated for fresh chilled red meat is greater than that reported in other assessments of this type for defined luncheon meats, canned cured ham and sausages,” the report said.

Prior to 2017, the UK permitted manufacturers and retails to determine use-by dates independently, which sometimes extended to three weeks for items that were properly sealed and chilled. The BMPA hopes to revert to a longer use-by timeline for vacuum- or gas-packaged fresh meats citing evidence from the report that no traces of the neurotoxin C. botulinum type B and E were documented on inoculated slices of beef until day 50 or day 25 for lamb and pork when properly packaged.

A greater shelf-life has the ability to not only benefit the financial bottom line for meatpackers and retailers, but a stretched timeline can also help reduce food waste. BMPA estimates that £3 billion pounds of food are trashed annually in the UK. In terms of tonnage, that staggering dollar figure translates to 40,000 tons of red meat, according to food waste nonprofit, WRAP.

Food waste presents an enormous problem for today’s consumers. Not only is food wasted in individual households, but according to the U.S. Food and Agriculture Organization, 40% is wasted in North America at some point in the supply chain – which can include retail shelves that hold packages past the use-by date. In the U.S., this waste translates to $18.2 billion per year, according to ReFED.

Consumers are recognizing the problem and have pushed corporations to become creative with food that would otherwise be wasted. In fact, the upcycled food market was worth $46.7 billion in 2019, according to a study from Future Market Insights.

Still, not all food is upcycled. Therefore, extending the shelf-life of meat in the UK will expand the chance of products being selected from shelves by consumers and lead to more sustainable consumption in the nation and fewer financial resources wasted on the part of manufacturers and retailers.

This joint consortium is conducting further risk assessments and plans to publish a final report in October.

Read the Report

Related news

In Ireland, Subway’s sandwich rolls are not legally bread

In Ireland, Subway’s sandwich rolls are not legally bread

13 Oct 2020

The Irish Supreme Court ruled that Subway bread is not legally considered as such. Instead, its sugar content, which is five times above what Irish law specifies as the acceptable threshold for bread, lands the company’s sandwich rolls in the confectio...

Read more 
U.K. begins exporting beef to the U.S. for the first time since 1996

U.K. begins exporting beef to the U.S. for the first time since 1996

12 Oct 2020

After over two decades of prohibiting the importation of beef into the U.S. from the U.K., the government of the United States lifted the ban this October to allow for U.K. beef producers to trade across The Pond.

Read more 
Indian trade association calls to waive license renewals for food businesses

Indian trade association calls to waive license renewals for food businesses

2 Oct 2020

As the lingering pandemic continues to upend routine business practices the world over, Indian trade association, the Federation of All India Vyapar Mandal, is requesting that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) not require license...

Read more 
Tesco partners with Olio to reduce food waste in U.K.

Tesco partners with Olio to reduce food waste in U.K.

1 Oct 2020

Tesco is partnering with the food sharing app Olio to redistribute surplus food nearing its sell-by date from its stores to local communities and individuals that are food insecure. The two companies will roll out this effort across all of Tesco’s 2,70...

Read more 
Germany working to impose human rights and environmental supply chain protections by 2021

Germany working to impose human rights and environmental supply chain protections by 2021

25 Aug 2020

Germany is taking the lead on human rights and environmental protections in the European Union. The country plans to pass a Supply Chain Law that will oblige companies to analyze whether their business activities have an adverse effect on recognized hu...

Read more 
New Umami salt can help manufacturers improve their Nutri-Score

New Umami salt can help manufacturers improve their Nutri-Score

10 Aug 2020

Sea salt producer Salt of the Earth has developed an umami ingredient solution to help manufacturers reduce the sodium content in their products while also improving their Nutri-Score. The company says its product can lower sodium scores by three to fi...

Read more 
UK pledges to protect food standards during trade talks but public concern remains high

UK pledges to protect food standards during trade talks but public concern remains high

6 Aug 2020

British public concerns over lowering food safety standards continue to court US trade remain steadfast as the UK and US governments gear up for the next round of scheduled negotiations later this month.

Read more 
Kombucha Brewers International releases code of practice to standardize kombucha

Kombucha Brewers International releases code of practice to standardize kombucha

3 Aug 2020

U.S. kombucha trade association Kombucha Brewers International (KBI) established a code of practice that outlines the quality standards for the production of this fermented beverage. The trade group is also working on releasing a seal for manufacturers...

Read more 
Study: 2% of Brazil’s soybean farms are responsible for 62% of deforestation

Study: 2% of Brazil’s soybean farms are responsible for 62% of deforestation

29 Jul 2020

A new study published in the Journal of Science found that 20% of soy and 17% of beef imports into European from Brazil may be contaminated with illegal deforestation. Although a substantial figure, this deforestation is linked to a small number of far...

Read more 
UK government invests £705 million to fund new border infrastructure and management

UK government invests £705 million to fund new border infrastructure and management

23 Jul 2020

The transition period for the UK out of the EU will end on January 1, 2021, and with it will come the end of a the single market and customs union. To prepare for the exit and maintain trading relations with the EU, the UK government is investing £705 ...

Read more