OSI Group, other meat vendors need preventive food safety strategy: experts

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 2, 2014
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As Shanghai Husi food scandal continues to develop, Husi's parent company OSI Group said in a press conference Monday that the firm will set up a quality control center and food safety education program in Shanghai.

Experts say that this type of measure may be exactly what's needed to make corporations improve their food safety practices in China.

"We here are about let's prevent something happening by setting standards, and making sure industry knows what those standards are, regulating to those standards through inspections and other mechanisms, and preventing problems before they happen," David Acheson, CEO of the Acheson Group told Xinhua.

"That's probably one of the biggest areas of focus, is a preventive food safety strategy rather than a reactive one," Acheson said.

Acheson is a former chief medical officer at U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Foodborne illness can occur in old meat, and even if it doesn't taste or smell bad, experts say that it can still be dangerous. The Shanghai Husi company not only sent expired meat to restaurants, but also deceived inspectors as to the quality of their meat.

To prevent this from happening, Acheson said the industry should stick to a set of standard practices like the HACCP program.

"What HACCP does is, it basically says here's a critical control point in the process and we need to monitor that control point on an ongoing basis through observation, through testing, through some sort of equipment," said Acheson.

No one has reported illness related to OSI Group's expired meat, but the public remains concerned over the potential for foodborne illness.

Austin Yancy, certified executive chef, told Xinhua that, "As soon as you take the meat off the animal, it starts to deteriorate immediately. The longer it sits, the more you have potential for what we call pathogens, or living organisms to grow and they're very dangerous to consume."

OSI ranks among the top few dozen U.S. private companies making nearly six billion U.S. dollars each year and the scandal has already damaged its ties with major customers. KFC and Pizza Hut parent, Yum Brands, last week severed its cooperation with OSI.

McDonald's, another OSI client that has more than two thousand outlets in China, has removed more meat dishes off its menus. The fast food giant is seeking to fill the supply gap after OSI withdrew all Shanghai Husi products from the market in reaction to the food safety scandal. Endi

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