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27 May 2015

Disturbing news from China about contaminated food

There’s no danger for Italy, but it is essential not to be complacent.

Food scandals involving produce from China often make front page news around the world. Developments in the field of product security and quality have not kept up with the more rampant development of the dragon economy. The situation is even more serious when it comes to food intended for human consumption.

Only a few months ago when news of contaminated pork spread around the world. This scandal made a big impact in Asia’s most populous country and led to more than a hundred arrests – evidence of increasing attention on the part of the Chinese authorities in these matters. Domestic opinion has played a role in this shift of policy, with the public increasingly scared by news stories that seem more like plot lines from a horror movie. A year ago the people of Shanghai were stunned by the news that thousands of pig carcasses were fished out of the Huangpu River, which supplies water to the Asian megacities.

Fortunately these facts from the news pages devoted to crime do not affect the food in our country. When this very serious case of contamination was revealed, Coldiretti (the Italian farmers’ association) stated that Italy did not import fresh, chilled or frozen pork from China, or even pork products such as salami or offal. In addition, our controls are extremely robust and constant, especially in those countries which are not renowned for having a reliable food supply chain. But we should never drop our guard and assume that the danger only affects other countries. Guaranteeing the quality of products is of paramount importance; and it is essential that we can trace food through the supply chain and intervene immediately when there is even the slightest doubt about food safety.

Fumagalli Food Industry SpA has shown the way by making strict control of the supply chain the cornerstone of its food security policy of by restricting the production of many product lines to domestic herds. It has also imposed on breeders the obligation to apply Fumagalli’s strict protocols. Every subsequent stage is then observed at first hand from slaughtering and processing to aging and packaging, with the aim of producing excellent cured meats that are 100% safe.


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