The Elephant in the Room..........

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boboff
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Re: The Elephant in the Room..........

Post: # 271821Post boboff
Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:11 pm

Indeed, own label product does pass more of the onus onto the Multiple. The thing which this all relies on is the specification and the Supplier Auditing procedure. Most T***o food specs are about 40 pages long, or were. T***o have dedicated food technicians which will have been to the "findus" factory, there they will have inspected the reports of the audits conducted by Findus of the plant that supplies the meat, whether the this factory was ever visited by the people at the plant that supplies the meat, etc is where there is an issue.

Up until 2003 it was practice that the Local Authority would test for "fillers" routinely, when the Labour Government said not to, but to concentrate on intelligence, and the whole FSA rather than DEFRA changes etc were made, I think this issue has fallen to the margins, whilst testing and controls on HACCP have come to the fore allot more.

I didn't like the way the boss at the FSA when asked why he hadn't tested basically replied, we don't test, it's the local authorites job, the manufacturers job, someone else's job in other words, fundamentally I think that is wrong.
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Re: The Elephant in the Room..........

Post: # 271822Post oldjerry
Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:07 pm

Only a halfwit would think that something sold as a 'ready meal' for a quid,would be anything other than rubbish.

For me the pressure for cheap food,underscores all this,food shouldn't be cheap.


As for the 'due diligence' thing,it may well work this time,but it seems to me that in future they have to test every meat product they sell.
l

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Re: The Elephant in the Room..........

Post: # 271823Post The Riff-Raff Element
Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:11 pm

George's comment about McDonalds was interesting.

Certainly in France, they make a big deal about using French cows and French suppliers for the bulk of their ingredients, not least because it's damn fine public relations. Plus I have a recollection that they took a lot of criticism in the US in the late 1990's about faecal matter getting into the mince they were using due to sloppy slaughter house procedure.

It all got nasty for them after an E.coli breakout in (I think) California originating in another burger chain. They became aware of the contamination issue, but rather than cleaning up their supplies they just issued instructions about making sure certain core temperatures were reached when cooking the patties to kill off the E.coli. That ended up in the hands of a journo and they took a real PR hammering. Given that they appear untouched by this scandal, it may well be that they learned the high value of being attentive to their supply chain. Some things you outsource at your peril.

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Re: The Elephant in the Room..........

Post: # 271824Post The Riff-Raff Element
Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:18 pm

oldjerry wrote:Only a halfwit would think that something sold as a 'ready meal' for a quid,would be anything other than rubbish.

For me the pressure for cheap food,underscores all this,food shouldn't be cheap.
I'm not going to disagree, but families seem to be on ever tightening budgets and cheap food looks tempting. Fuel prices mean that cooking inexpensive meals from wholesome but cheap ingredients is not the option it once was. It would be exaggerating to suggest that we are heading back to the conditions suffered by the urban poor during the Industrial Revolution when fuel poverty made the cooking of anything except potatoes pretty much impossible, but that was an era of staggering food adulteration too.

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Re: The Elephant in the Room..........

Post: # 271825Post Helsbells
Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:48 pm

I wonder if this mightn't be a problem if we ate British meat rather than importing/exporting it all.

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Re: The Elephant in the Room..........

Post: # 271826Post diggernotdreamer
Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:57 pm

Helsbells wrote:I wonder if this mightn't be a problem if we ate British meat rather than importing/exporting it all.
It would appear not, ponies and horses slaughtered in Yorkshire have found their way into products from a place in Wales, it was supposedly destined for the pet food market, but ended up in kebabs and burgers.

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Re: The Elephant in the Room..........

Post: # 271827Post Helsbells
Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:59 pm

geez! Really making me question eating meat when I can't be sure where it came from. I suppose you could probably tell if you were eating a horse steak rather than Beef, but what about sausages, clearly there is no gaurentee that my A**a extra special sausages don't have meat other than pork in, so what is safe?

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Re: The Elephant in the Room..........

Post: # 271829Post Maykal
Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:12 am

Helsbells wrote: so what is safe?
Home made sausages/burgers which you've minced yourself, I suppose. I'm glad I haven't eaten shop-bought mince products for a few years now due to similar concerns.

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Re: The Elephant in the Room..........

Post: # 271830Post oldjerry
Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:06 am

The Riff-Raff Element wrote:
I'm not going to disagree, but families seem to be on ever tightening budgets and cheap food looks tempting. Fuel prices mean that cooking inexpensive meals from wholesome but cheap ingredients is not the option it once was. It would be exaggerating to suggest that we are heading back to the conditions suffered by the urban poor during the Industrial Revolution when fuel poverty made the cooking of anything except potatoes pretty much impossible, but that was an era of staggering food adulteration too.[/quote]



There are some startling similarites,not just the fuel thing,for me the debilitating effect of consumerism mirrors the situation whereby industrialisation left most of the population helpless to provide for themselves.

I think,also,that globalisation has contributed to this situation,co-operation between the different states regulatory bodies is never going to be up with the entrepreneurial ability of those successful in business.

Anyhow,there is an upside to all this,namely the spectacle of the large supermarkets taking a bit of flak for once,and the fabulous bit of TV on Channel4 news the other night when DEFRA Minister Owen 'Let's shoot Buzzards' Paterson(quite possibly the most odious man ever to appear on television) squirmed and prevaricated like some prep school boy caught doing something naughty after 'lights out'.

Some welcome relief in a dark cold February...

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Re: The Elephant in the Room..........

Post: # 271831Post The Riff-Raff Element
Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:36 am

Maykal wrote:
Helsbells wrote: so what is safe?
Home made sausages/burgers which you've minced yourself, I suppose. I'm glad I haven't eaten shop-bought mince products for a few years now due to similar concerns.
It's the safest approach. It is quite easy to tell meats apart when they're presented in lumps and side-by-side, but once through the mincer, many sins can be hidden. Butchers here make mince and burgers to order - you actually see the bits dropping into the mincer and the product coming out, which gives a fair reassurance. Of course, supermarkets stock the pre-packaged stuff like everywhere else.

I haven't eaten a ready meal for 10 years or more - I wasn't, I admit, concerned about the providence of the mince or whatever, but I was concerned about the amount of salt, fat and other added ingredients that was buried in them.

Food adulteration pays - the food processors do it legally with salt, fat and corn syrups; other people do it with horse meat. I wonder what we might find if we carefully examined other high-value foods? Cheese or wines, for example. Or if we dig around in the chicken ready meals - I know for a fact that there was a little local scandal here a few years back. Hens from a battery egg farm that had been regularly medicated (with a wormer, I recall) were slaughtered as part of the annual change-out. They went through the abattoir process as was required for welfare purposes (farmers used to gas them in the sheds, shoving in any free-rangers that were due for the chop too, dig a big hole and bury them, but that is now forbidden) and the carcasses were sprayed blue to indicate the meat was contaminated and not fit for human consumption. It was supposed to go rendering, I think for "organic" fertiliser production.

Anyway, a couple of likely lads had the idea of using peroxide to bleach them back and selling the meat on to a processor who was in on the idea. It would have worked too, and made them a very nice profit had they not boasted a bit too publicly.

Value Chicken Korma, anyone?

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Re: The Elephant in the Room..........

Post: # 271832Post The Riff-Raff Element
Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:40 am

oldjerry wrote:
There are some startling similarites,not just the fuel thing,for me the debilitating effect of consumerism mirrors the situation whereby industrialisation left most of the population helpless to provide for themselves.

I think,also,that globalisation has contributed to this situation,co-operation between the different states regulatory bodies is never going to be up with the entrepreneurial ability of those successful in business.

Anyhow,there is an upside to all this,namely the spectacle of the large supermarkets taking a bit of flak for once,and the fabulous bit of TV on Channel4 news the other night when DEFRA Minister Owen 'Let's shoot Buzzards' Paterson(quite possibly the most odious man ever to appear on television) squirmed and prevaricated like some prep school boy caught doing something naughty after 'lights out'.

Some welcome relief in a dark cold February...
I'd like to have seen that - caught between the voters and the lobbyists!

Of course, one upshot of the culinary poverty of the Industrial Revolution was the rise of the fish & chip shop. Every cloud, etc.

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Re: The Elephant in the Room..........

Post: # 271833Post oldjerry
Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:28 am

Cue :'' NEMO FOUND IN T***o FISHCAKES '' scandal............You heard it here first!

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Re: The Elephant in the Room..........

Post: # 271834Post boboff
Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:15 am

I am not so sure that it's cheap ready meals that are too blame.

You buy a Farmers Market Jar of Jam for £3 and the cost of the ingredients is no more than 30p, so chucking in a bit of apple extra in you mixed fruit jam isn't going to make anyone a fortune.

The economies of scale in ready meals is what makes them cheap.

Also I find this whole "you can't put the prices up think of the plebs on benefits" argument just doesn't stack up.

When a "typical" pleb on benefits spends so much on White Cider, Rolling tobacco and dare I say it Cannabis, surely it's there choice to do this, and spend relatively little on food, kitchens, etc etc. It's the preserve of the "new middle classes" to eat from scratch and grow there own in this post industrial world, the proletariat now have now desire to cook, save money, get up of the sofa and clean, as they can play x-box and claim benefits.

OK, must go and finish that column for the Daily Mail...........
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Re: The Elephant in the Room..........

Post: # 271835Post The Riff-Raff Element
Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:27 am

boboff wrote:
Also I find this whole "you can't put the prices up think of the plebs on benefits" argument just doesn't stack up.

When a "typical" pleb on benefits spends so much on White Cider, Rolling tobacco and dare I say it Cannabis, surely it's there choice to do this, and spend relatively little on food, kitchens, etc etc. It's the preserve of the "new middle classes" to eat from scratch and grow there own in this post industrial world, the proletariat now have now desire to cook, save money, get up of the sofa and clean, as they can play x-box and claim benefits.

OK, must go and finish that column for the Daily Mail...........
Part of me - the 46 year old grumpy part that has knocked around a bit and sometimes finds it hard not to be cynical - empathises with this: it is undeniable that there are people out there who swing the lead and live in a culture of entitlement they have no intention of making the effort to leave. A good handful in this village, for example, who are in hock to the commune (i.e. the rest of the people who live in it and pay their taxes and who ultimately will foot the bill) to the tune of €60k unpaid rents.

The optimist in me still believes that for every one on these there are many more who work hard, live relatively blameless, honest, lives but who still struggle hard to make ends meet while doing their level best to look after their families. I feel pretty badly for them paying over what little they have to eat pet food.

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Re: The Elephant in the Room..........

Post: # 271836Post oldjerry
Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:35 am

You might be surprised , but I largely agree with that, I just don't think it's their fault.

Without doubt,food expenditure as a percentage of weekly family spending has gone down in the last 20 or so years,much of these probs originate from the decision to produce cheap food as a reaction to rationing.

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