CHILL-ON contributes to improving safety assurance

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18.06.2008

Tags: consumer safety, supply chain, quality management

Poultry is popular as light meat and therefore part of a health-conscious lifestyle. As a consequence, poultry production and consumption have risen to a very high level.  In 2007, production reached 1,14 million tons in Germany alone. The growth in imports was even greater (14.9 %), reaching 572,100 tons, whilst exports, according to the Zentrale Markt- und Preisberichtstelle für Erzeugnisse der Land-, Forst- und Ernährungswirtschaft (ZMP) in Bonn, rose to 534,300 tons. Regardless of where the poultry comes from, freshness and food safety are the critical factors which ensure customer satisfaction. All parties involved in the supply chain must work together to meet these demands. CHILL-ON is an EU-funded project which is working on a solution to guarantee a more accurate and almost continuous prediction of the level of risk during the supply process. As a result, the safety of the final product purchased by the customer in the supermarket will be significantly improved. The advantages were made obvious at the recent project meeting in Bonn.

Bremerhaven. Supply chain experts for fresh and frozen food gathered at the Annual CHILL-ON Meeting on 3rd/4th June in Bonn to present the project's achievements to date. One particular “hot topic” in the field of risk assessment is the development of a management strategy that will increase safety assurance in chilled and frozen poultry products. The consortium, co-ordinated by ttz Bremerhaven, plans to finish the development work in 2010.The predictive management strategy will enable all parties along the supply chain to estimate the numerical level of microbial contamination. This progress is possible thanks to continuous data monitoring along the poultry supply chain. QMRA (“Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment”), the mathematical forecast model, takes into consideration the characteristics of a product in order to predict the progeny of bacteria. The result makes it possible to estimate whether the product will be contaminated to an unacceptable degree at the forwarding steps of the poultry supply chain, so that the safety assurance of the final product can be improved.

The mathematical model for estimating microbiological contamination has been developed by Prof. Dr. Viktor Popov and his colleagues from the Wessex Institute of Technology (WIT), supported by several other CHILL-ON partners.

Microbiological hazards have the most significant effect for the poultry industry. Predicting microbiological contamination will improve the safety assurance, said Ewa Pacholowicz from ttz Bremerhaven, who is involved in adapting the mathematical model to the safety management systems in the poultry industry. Rising consumption and, on the other hand, poultry consumers' increasing awareness of microorganisms are demanding assurance of zero- level microbial risk in production. It is known that assurance of zero- level microbial risk is unattainable; “however CHILL-ON aims to develop a management strategy that will come very close to that level”, states Maria Bunke, CHILL-ON project manager at ttz Bremerhaven.


Further information on this topic:


Pictures for editorial use.

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Picture 1:

Assuring high quality and hygiene standards is especially important when coming to chilled and fresh products

 Foto: ttz Bremerhaven

Chill-On-poultry

Picture 2:

Poultry happens to be one of the most popular groceries, yet it is also very sensitive to microbiological contamination

Foto: Fotolia.


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