1% is widely used as a compliance threshold for undeclared meat species. It is based on empirical studies which concluded that adventitious cross-contamination is unlikely to occur above 1% if cleaning protocols, typical of meat industry best practice, are used on cutting and processing equipment.
A recent study (here – purchase required) challenges this assumption. The authors studied cleaning protocols and adventitious cross-contamination of pork into ground beef within small-scale meat processors and butchers shops in Quebec, Canada. They recognise that full strip-down and cleaning of grinders is impractical in these situations and is not required by local hygiene regulations. Therefore, in practice, they found that cross-contamination of pork in ground beef can often be above 1% when businesses are operating legally and in full compliance with hygiene rules. They recommend not using 1% as a fraud compliance threshold in this context as it could expose small-scale processors to unwarranted sanctions.
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