Department checked 39,000 carcases for grading issues in 2013

In 2013 the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine carried out a total of 402 inspections of meat plants, were conducted with over 39,000 carcases checked to ensure the mechanical grading systems in the meat processing plants are operated fairly

In response to a parliamentary question on the issue Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said: “Since the introduction of mechanical grading, officials of my Department have carried out regular inspections of meat plants to ensure that each grading machine continues to operate within the performance parameters as laid down in EU legislation.”

He outlined that in 2013 a total of 402 inspections were conducted with over 39,000 carcases checked. He said: “During each inspection, the classification results allocated to beef carcases by the mechanical grading machines are downloaded onto a handheld computer by the Inspector and the performance of the machine is assessed in accordance with the performance criteria laid down in the relevant EU Regulations.”

“All data concerning machine checks are stored electronically which facilitates accurate and comprehensive monitoring.”

The Minister concluded: “The results of checks by Department officials on classification machines show that the machines continue to perform within the performance thresholds laid down in the EU Regulations.”