ClosedAgriculture & Agri-food

Genetic identification techniques to improve food safety recall of ground meat products

PROJECT LEAD(S)/CO-LEAD(S) Stephen Moore (University of Queensland) & Ciaran Meghen (IdentiGEN North America Inc.)
COMPETITION/ FUNDING OPPORTUNITY Genome Alberta - Alberta Livestock Genomics Program (ALGP)
PROJECT START DATE January 1, 2011
PROJECT END DATE December 31, 2013

Comminuted meat products such as ground beef can contain meat from many animals making it difficult to identify the specific origin of products through the production chain. This project seeks to utilize the power of genomics to employ DNA verification mechanisms to trace animal origination in comminuted meat products. Project success could result in a significant reduction of the scope of a product recall in the event of a contamination incident. This would have a very significant impact on the cost and effectiveness of such recalls, improve the recall process and increase consumer confidence in the safety of the Canadian meat chain. To accomplish this, the team will develop robust analytical techniques and statistical models, this will establish a reliable framework for the genetic identification of individual ground beef (or pork) manufacturing batches. By establishing a clear methodology by which individual ground beef manufacturing batches can be identified the project team will then evaluate the potential to trace finished product (eg. beef patties) to the correct manufacturing batch. The project team will seek to engage with the control authorities to demonstrate the positive impact of these developments on food safety and the potential to improve recall policies and procedures.

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