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Integrated Approach to enable Traceability of the Cooling Chain of Fresh and Frozen Meat and Fish Products by means of Taylor-made Time/ Temperature Indicators


The consumption of chilled and frozen foodstuffs within the EC is tremendously growing whereas food safety and control are of great concern for the whole consumers community. Furthermore, a new EC Directive regulating the traceablity of the cold chain of food products will be adopted in 2005. This Regulation will force the introduction of Community controls of the treatment of foodstuffs. The freshness or the spoilage of chilled and frozen meat and fish products is mostly related to temperature conditions during transport and storage.

Along the logistic chain of the products the cumulative degree of degradation of the products is due to breaks in the cold-chain. Even if all actors involved in the manufacturing and distribution chain of food products are taking all precautions, the concerned IAGs of the food producing industries in Europe are convinced that only the wide spread application of reliable, irreversible Time-Temperature Indicators (TTIs) which can record and display the break of the storage conditions provides the monitoring of the real state of freshness along the product's life.

At the same time, the application of TTIs are a comprehensive approach to assure food safety and public confidence, allowing transparency of all actions connected with the logistic chain, maximum information in understandable form, effective traceability of all kinds of foodstuff and will thus be a suitable standardised measure to keep the expected EC regulations if 2005. Against this situation, the proposing IAGs intend to take an integrated and more proactive approach to the problem: the aim is to optimise TTIs for specific products of the European meat and fish industry and to encourage and train their members in the respective application. The outcome of the FRESHLABEL project will be the visualisation of the quality and safety of meat and fish products by means of joint application of TTIs. The second aim is to increase the European consumer's confidence in food.

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