Development of a pilot risk register for the pig and poultry meat sectors on the island of Ireland

Date: June, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-905767-68-7

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Abstract

Pig and chickens, report coverThe pork and poultry industries on the island of Ireland are major employers and export large quantities of product. The quality and safety of these products is of paramount importance. Due to complex supply chains there will always be potential risks arising from chemical and microbiological contamination, and while some of these risks are already known, there is always a possibility of an unanticipated contamination of a food supply occurring which may result in financial and reputational losses due to the integrated nature of the industry. This research sought to develop a Risk Register that would facilitate the development of a risk ranking framework for both chemical and microbiological hazards in poultry and pork production. Seven poultry and pork industries on the ioI participated in the project.

A risk prioritisation exercise was carried out for poultry and pork which identified the most important residues for each sector. Similarly, the risk of pathogens in Irish produced poultry meat was ranked and, as expected, Campylobacter spp. emerged as the pathogen of most concern. The risk from different food ingredients in pork and poultry products was also investigated. Testing priorities for a commodity were ranked based on EU Rapid Alerts System (RASFF) data. Therefore, for each type of food material imported into the country, an accurate picture of the contaminants that are most likely to be found, the origin of the material and the risk of this contamination entering the food supply chain can be assessed. Approaches were also proposed for compositing of samples to allow industry to reduce residue testing costs.