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Food fraud and traceability, Grading beef carcasses

Traceability and food fraud are the issues looked at, alongside You and Yours. Also, why British abattoirs are installing electronic imaging equipment to grade carcasses.

Traceability and food fraud are the issues we're looking at today, alongside Radio 4's consumer programme, You and Yours. We hear the kinds of issues that Staffordshire County Council's Trading Standards have been dealing with recently. This includes
the prosecution of some people for breaking animal health laws, including the repackaging and placing of unsafe food on the market, which resulted in a £6,000 fine and a 2 year suspended sentence.

Also, Nancy Nicholson finds out why British abattoirs are installing electronic imaging equipment to grade carcasses. It's to give consistent feed back, and pay farmers accordingly for supplying the sort of cattle that are in demand with consumers. But most beef farmers still rely on "eye" and experience rather than precise technical information to judge when animals are ready to go for slaughter - and that can cost them dearly if they supply a product that's too lean or too fat. However that could be about to change - as a new product could go some way towards giving producers more information about their livestock before they're sold.
Nancy Nicolson has been to meet one of the researchers involved in the project, at the Scottish Rural College, south of Edinburgh.

Presented by Anna Hill and produced by Mark Smalley.

13 minutes

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