I don’t take Food and Water seriously and don’t care who does meat inspection, as long as the results are public.
But according to ABC, there are doubts the part-privatization of Australia’s meat export inspection regime is working.
Food activist groups in the United States are complaining about contamination in exports, while the European market won’t accept meat that’s not tested by government officers or third parties.
As well, Australia’s largest meat processor has returned to the government system to satisfy market demands.
Since 2011, Australia’s government-run meat inspection service has outsourced the work, seeing up to 200 meat inspectors go from the Agriculture Department, at a cost of $12 million in redundancies.
The new system of Australian Export Meat Inspection Service AEMIS is recognised by the US as equivalent to its own, even though the US has a large federal meat inspector workforce.
But an activist group in America, Food and Water Watch, is accusing Australia of missing contamination, alleging ‘serious food safety violations, traces of fecal matter on meat, and positive tests for E.col.
The union representing the remaining 200 Australian Government meat inspectors says the members are worried.