EUROPEAN PORK AND BEEF PREPARATIONS – A COMBINATION OF TRADITION AND MODERNITY
The production of preparations based on European pork and beef is an example of a skillful combination of tradition and modernity. Centuries-old tradition and vast experience in the production of cold meats make it possible for the European meat industry to provide an attractive and diverse range of flavorsome preparations. The EU’s modern approach to food production is expressed, among other things, in detailed safety and quality regulations. Respect for tradition Cultural diversity and a rich tradition of processing of meat products are the reason why many thousands of various meat preparations are currently produced in European Union (EU) member states. The modern approach of EU producers to the meat processing tradition combines the heritage of the Old Continent with high safety and quality standards of produced preparations. Many meat establishments have been continuously operating for many years, with production based on time-tested recipes, often passed down from generation to generation. Thanks to this phenomenon, European cold meat specialties, such as sausages, hams or kabanos sausages, are characterized by a natural taste and aroma. It is worth mentioning that these products are highly regarded not only on local markets but also global ones. A new approach to the quality of primary raw materials The taste of the end product is greatly influenced not only by the recipe but also the raw material from which the meat preparations are made. Throughout the Community, the process of pork and beef production with high technological quality is very well defined and tracked, and the prohibition on the use of hormones and growth promoters in breeding vitally influences the quality of the produced meat. The classification of raw materials is facilitated by the widely-used European system of grading pork and beef carcasses (S)EUROP by the meat industry producers. The allocation of carcasses to individual categories and verification of the quality parameters of the meat makes it possible to precisely determine technological use of raw materials and limits the occurrence of technological defects. A modern approach to safety The modern approach of the EU producers from the meat industry to the production of pork and beef preparations takes into account the safety of the produced goods. European producers of pork, beef and their preparations implement different solutions which aim at systemic integration of food safety and quality management as well as supervision and control of the entire production chain of meat and its preparations. In order to ensure the high quality and safety of pork and beef preparations, EU producers use European (EN), international (ISO) and national standards, and also such systems as: Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) , Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), Good Hygiene Practice (GHP) and Good Agricultural Practice (GAP). These systems provide guidelines for animal husbandry, slaughter and also meat processing. They refer to ensuring health in herds as well as to the proper and hygienic handling of the received raw material. They provide recommendations aimed at eliminating or minimizing the risk of dangerous situations when breeding animals for slaughter, and of biological, physical and chemical hazards to the produced food. It is emphasized that the legislation concerning food safety is coherent and rational throughout the European Union, and the entire meat production process is supervised by veterinary and sanitary services. What are the benefits of compliance with EU food law and production standards of meat preparations? First of all, the strict production standards for pork and beef preparations, which are implemented across the Community, make it possible to ensure the safety and high and reproducible quality of these products. Attention to detail and control of quality parameters at each stage allow for obtaining products with a high content of meat from a known farm which is managed according to strict animal welfare rules. Moreover, the EU food legislation limits the use of technological additives and guarantees the possibility to trace back the entire production process. As a result, the European meat processing industry ensures strong and controlled food safety foundations, use of top-quality raw materials, limited use of technological additives and traditional recipes based on natural seasonings and richness of taste. A modern approach to consumer needs According to the database on domestic dietary trends shared by the American research group NPD (USA Market Research NPD Group), consumption of meat preparations in the United States has slightly increased over the past ten years. An average American regularly consumes meat preparations . Pork and beef sausages and bacon are among the most popular cold meats in the USA. On the other hand, Canadian consumers increasingly expect convenience food and meat dishes which are not only easy to prepare but also stand out for exceptional quality and taste. Both Americans and Canadians take into consideration current health trends when choosing meat preparations . Shaping the quality of pork, beef and its preparations within the EU also takes into account consumer expectations. Buyers are becoming increasingly interested in animal products enriched with bioactive components and containing limited amounts of saturated fatty acids, salt, and ingredients of curing mixes. Union producers from the meat industry meet these consumer expectations by offering a wide range of pork and beef preparations and providing attractive raw materials and products for modern consumers. European production of pork and beef preparations is an example of combining tradition with modernity. The combination of centuries-old tradition of meat production with innovative technologies and high production standards creates a mix that results in a product characterized by unique taste and top quality. A safe product – always with the same exceptional quality, appropriate crispness, aroma, and taste.
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