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British Meat Processors Association determined to change UK's 10-day shelf life rule

25 March 2019, at 12:00a.m.

UK - Over the last year, the British Meat Processors Association together with Meat and Livestock Australia have jointly funded a project to provide independent research into whether a retail shelf-life of greater than 10 days can be applied to fresh chilled meat.

The results have just been published and the evidence clearly points to the fact that the Food Standard Authority’s 2017 guidance should now be challenged, and that retail shelf life can, in fact, be extended beyond the current recommended 10-day shelf life limit for Vacuum and Modified Atmosphere Packed fresh meat.

This is important news for British meat processors as it removes a significant technical barrier to trade because the UK is currently the only country that enforces this 10-day rule. The rigid application of the rule disadvantages UK meat companies who often either miss out on export orders or are forced to sell product at a lower price than their overseas competitors because the shorter shelf life allows buyers to negotiate the price down.

BMPA’s Technical Operations Director, David Lindars, who co-ordinated the research project said: “The shelf life of fresh red meat held at 3°C to 8°C is of great significance to industry. These new scientific findings will give meat processors the ammunition they need to apply longer retail shelf lives to their products”.

Mr Lindars went on to say that “it is not just the commercial benefit to producers, processors and retailers that will result from these findings. Longer shelf life of products will also benefit consumers and the environment through lower wastage and better sustainability. It’s a significant piece of research which will bring significant benefits to everyone involved in the production, selling and consumption of British meat products”.

Find the research report here

Editor at The Poultry Site

Ryan worked in conservation from 2007-2017, during which time he operated a rainbow trout hatchery in Canada for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. As editor of The Poultry Site, he now writes about challenges and opportunities in the global poultry industry and agri-food chain.

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