Meatco puts measures in place to detect metal contamination

Meat Cooperation of Namibia (Meatco) has announced that it has put measures in place to control the contamination of meat products by metal.

Metal contamination of meat is when a metal accidentally falls in the boxes of meat without being detected, Laboratory Manager Kalihulu Shapwa explained.

“Knives that have been accidentally placed in the packaging of meat can furthermore cause contamination of meat products as well as water contamination from microbiologically free tap-water. Meatco has put measures in place to control metal contamination, where metal detector machines sense metals that accidentally fall into boxes. They are situated in the Deboning and Red Offal Departments. Unfortunately, if an object is non-metallic and accidentally falls into a box during production, it cannot be detected.”

“The quality assurance department conducts regular Employee Involvement through Communication meetings, where employees are encouraged to adhere to and practice honesty, for example, in case jewelry is misplaced in the production area,” Shapwa said.

He added that most government agencies, food producers or distributors including Meatcho are striving to protect the health of their customers and that this remains an objective.

“We try to avoid incidents such as those of the Listeriosis outbreak in South Africa because these physical hazards cause huge economic losses to the business and people to lose jobs due to simple controllable processes. Large government agencies like the United States Food and Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service prohibits the sale of any contaminated food products in the US market or recalls such product if detected,” he said.

He added that Meatco constantly ensures the safety of consumers from the effects of physical contamination while enjoying its meat through investigations and controls of physical contamination in food, which are conducted throughout the whole processing chain at the laboratory.