21 beef grading machines shut down on unannounced inspections – Naughten

In Agriculture, News by Denis Naughten

In the last two years Department of Agriculture inspectors found 21 beef grading machines to be working outside the rules set out for their operation and not providing accurate grading of animals, Denis Naughten TD has disclosed following a Dáil reply.

“In 2018, following unannounced inspections, eight grading machines were found to be working outside of the allowed tolerance and manual grading of carcasses was immediately introduced in all cases. The figures for 2017 show that 13 machines were found to be working outside the specified tolerance,” stated Denis Naughten.

“What is interesting about the figures is that while there were 21 grading machines taken out of operation in meat plants in the last two years by the Department of Agriculture, there were just four weighing scales taken out of operation over the same period by the National Standards Authority of Ireland, who regulate weighing instruments in all meat plants in Ireland.

“These figures will add to farmer concerns regarding the accuracy of the grading machines which is compounded by the complexity of the Beef Carcass Classification Scheme itself.

“With the development of technology it should now be possible for farmers to be supplied with a digitised image of the carcass of each animal on the day of slaughter,” concluded Denis Naughten.

 

See replies below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

______________________________________________
For Written Answer on : 12/02/2019
Question Number(s): 537,535,536 Question Reference(s): 6637/19, 6635/19, 6636/19
Department: Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Asked by: Denis Naughten T.D.
______________________________________________

QUESTION

* To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the number of breaches identified during announced inspections in 2018 on the evaluation of standard of dressing records, concerning use of check weights, comparison of hot and cold weights and labelling particulars, respectively in each plant concerned; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 12 February, 2019.

* To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 848 of 15 January 2019, if he has applied a fine on a particular carcass for non-compliance with the carcass trim specification in January 2019; the plant involved; the payment made to the farmer supplier to reflect loss; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 12 February, 2019.

* To ask the Minister for Agriculture; Food and the Marine the date when each of the mechanical classification machines was recalibrated in each meat plant; if he has received reports from the system provider of machines miscalculating grades; the number of times he has identified that the performance of machine grading has been outside the tolerance; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Denis Naughten T.D.

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 12 February, 2019.

REPLY

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1184 of 20 April 2017 governs the monitoring of carcase classification, carcase presentation and weighing. In 2018, my Department conducted almost 550 unannounced, on-the-spot inspections in 32 factories on classification and carcase presentation.

In all cases where a machine is found to be working outside of tolerance by my inspectors, manual grading is instigated immediately and this is advised to farmers through their remittance dockets. There were 8 instances in 2018 and 13 in 2017 when factories were instructed to revert to manual classification.

The system provider of classification machines does not provide reports on miscalculating grades.

As with any mechanical system, grading machines can from time to time fall out of tolerance. Machines operating outside of tolerance are required to be serviced, and the calibration is checked by staff from my Department before mechanical grading recommences. There were no issues discovered at inspection regarding check weights, comparison of hot and cold weights, labelling particulars.

The breaches of carcase dressing presentation in 2018 have been published already on the Department website.  Regarding inspections in 2019 it is my intention to publish the resulting on-the-spot fines (if any), at the appropriate time when the inspections and the processes concerned are complete.

 

 

 

 

______________________________________________
For Written Answer on : 12/02/2019
Question Number(s): 330 Question Reference(s): 6634/19
Department: Business, Enterprise and Innovation
Asked by: Denis Naughten T.D.
______________________________________________

QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Business; Enterprise and Innovation the number of meat plants inspected by the legal metrology service in each of the years 2016 to 2018; the date each plant was inspected; the breaches that were found; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY

The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) Legal Metrology Service is responsible for the implementation of the Metrology Acts 1980-1996 and related Regulations. It does this through certifying and inspecting measurement instruments and the quantities of pre-packaged products.  A wide range of measuring instruments, including weighing instruments used in meat plants, are subject to legal metrological control when used for trade purposes.

The Metrology Act 1996 and associated Regulations provide that only nationally approved instruments or instruments that have undergone European conformity assessment and bear the CE mark can be used for trade.  The primary responsibility for design approval and conformity assessment rests with the manufacturer.  The trader is obliged to ensure that only such a measuring instrument is used for trade and that it is correct and verified at all times.

In order to ensure sufficient resources are available for traders to keep their instruments in compliance, NSAI Legal Metrology has authorised private operators, under section 12 of the Metrology Act 1996 and subject to specific conditions, to undertake verifications at the request of the instrument owner.  To monitor compliance, NSAI Legal Metrology Inspectors, operating out of seven offices countrywide, carry out inspections at meat plants on the basis of risk-based enforcement.

During 2016, 2017 and 2018, Legal Metrology did not receive any complaints in relation to the suspected use of non-compliant weighing instruments used for trade purposes in meat plants.

Inspections will be ongoing in this sector throughout 2019.

2018 Meat Plant Visits

 

Inspection   Date Trader Name
15-Oct-18 LIFFEY MEATS
23-Oct-18 ENNIS ABATTOIR
15-Aug-18 STAUNTON FOODS LTD.
11-Oct-18 DAWN MEATS
13-Mar-18 DAWN MEATS
08-Nov-18 C&J MEATS
24-Sep-18 DAWN MEATS
22-Jun-18 DAWN MEATS
09-Oct-18 CAROLAN’S BUTCHERS
12-Feb-18 DAWN MEATS
21-Mar-18 DAWN MEATS
22-Aug-18 IRISH COUNTRY MEATS
26-Oct-18 IRISH COUNTRY MEATS
20-Mar-18 ABP CLONES
28-Nov-18 ABP CLONES
29-Nov-18 ABP CLONES
05-Jul-18 KEPAK MEATS LTD.
06-Nov-18 COURTNEY MEATS
18-Jun-18 LIFFEY MEATS LTD.
23-Oct-18 KEPAK
12-Jun-18 KEPAK LTD.
06-Apr-18 KEPAK LTD.
27-Apr-18 ANGLO IRISH BEEF PROCESSORS
07-Nov-18 FOYLE DONEGAL
25-Oct-18 ASHBOURNE MEAT PROCESSERS LTD.
28-May-18 DAWN MEATS
29-May-18 ABP
24-Oct-18 CLONMORE MEATS
19-Nov-18 ROSDERRA IRISH MEATS
30-Nov-18 ABP RATHKEALE
22-May-18 ABP RATHKEALE
22-Oct-18 LUNDY MEATS
08-Oct-18 DUNLEAVY MEATS
02-Oct-18 HOGAN TURKEYS LTD.
25-Oct-18 HOGAN TURKEYS LTD.
18-Apr-18 CUNNIFFE BACON COMP. LTD.
07-Mar-18 ABP IRELAND
11-Oct-18 ABP IRELAND
15-Jan-18 ABP IRELAND
28-May-18 ABP
12-Jul-18 ABP
04-Jul-18 ABP
08-Jun-18 IRISH COUNTRY MEATS
13-Nov-18 IRISH COUNTRY MEATS
08-Jun-18 IRISH COUNTRY MEATS
16-Apr-18 SLANEY FOODS
21-May-18 SANDYFORD MEATS LTD.
30-May-18 KEPAK
09-Jun-18 KEPAK

Table 1. 2018 Visit Dates & Locations

49 meat plants were visited by Legal Metrology Inspectors during 2018 with the following instrument types inspected: weighbridge, platform scales, bench scales and overhead tracks. Of the 327 instruments inspected, 74 failed (an instrument may have more than one failure), and two were removed from trade use as they were operating outside the legal tolerance and did not re-enter trade use until the non-compliance was addressed by an NSAI Authorised Verifier. The remaining failures were considered minor and the instruments were allowed to remain in trade use for up to 20 days, during which time the non-compliance was addressed by an Authorised Verifier.

 

No. of   Failures Failure Reason
15 Never Verified
1 Within + 10% excess of Maximum Permissible Error (MPE)
2 > -10% (deficiency) of MPE
4 Incorrect or Missing Descriptive Marks
4 Other non-conformity
56 Repaired, altered or adjusted (On inspection a seal has been found to be no longer intact due to either a repair, alteration or adjustment since last verification took place)

 

Table 2. 2018 Detected Non-Compliance

2017 Meat Plant Visits

 

Inspection   Date Trader Name
06-Apr-17 LIFFEY MEATS
12-Jun-17 LIFFEY MEATS
15-Aug-17 DIVILLY’S QUALITY FOOD PRODUCTS
05-Sep-17 EMERALD ISLE FOODS
01-Dec-17 JENNINGS MEATS
15-Feb-17 KEPAK
10-May-17 KEPAK
28-Nov-17 ROSDERRA MEATS
06-Oct-17 FOYLE DONEGAL
07-Sep-17 O’GORMAN MEATS
07-Jul-17 ROSDERRA
09-Oct-17 OLIVER CARTY LTD.
28-Nov-17 ASHBOURNE MEATS
13-Dec-17 ABP
03-Apr-17 DAWN MEATS
14-Mar-17 DUNBIA
29-Aug-17 IRISH COUNTRY MEATS
06-Sep-17 KAVANAGH MEATS
09-Mar-17 SANDYFORD MEATS LTD.
29-Aug-17 KEPAK
28-Aug-17 KEPAK

Table 3. 2017 Visit Dates and Locations

21 meat plants were visited by Legal Metrology Inspectors during 2017 with the following instrument types inspected: weighbridge, platform scales, bench scales and overhead tracks. Of the 93 instruments inspected, 17 failed (an instrument may have more than one failure) and two were removed from trade use as they were operating outside the legal tolerance and did not re-enter trade use until the non-compliance was addressed by an NSAI Authorised Verifier. The remaining failures were considered minor and the instruments were allowed to remain in trade use for up to 20 days, during which time the non-compliance was addressed by an Authorised Verifier.

No. of Failures Failure Reason
2 > -10% (deficiency) of MPE
3 Never Verified
2 Incorrect or Missing Descriptive Marks
12 Repaired, altered or adjusted
1 Within + 10% excess of MPE

 Table 4. 2017 Detected Non-Compliance

 2016 Meat Plant Visits 

 

Inspection   Date Trader Name
21-Sep-16 SEÁN LOUGHNANE (GALWAY)
09-Feb-16 BALLON MEATS LTD.
29-Aug-16 STAUNTON FOODS LTD.
13-May-16 DAWN MEATS
03-Aug-16 GREEN PASTURES MEAT PROCESSORS LTD.
02-Jun-16 DAWN MEATS
24-Aug-16 DAWN MEATS
13-Dec-16 JENNINGS MEATS
20-Sep-16 ROSDERRA MEATS
23-Mar-16 COURTNEY MEATS
23-Sep-16 FOYLE DONEGAL
29-Nov-16 QK MEATS LTD.
05-Dec-16 QK MEATS LTD.
17-Jun-16 ABP
23-Aug-16 ABP
05-Aug-16 ROSDERRA IRISH MEATS
06-Sep-16 KEPAK LTD.
04-Nov-16 KEPAK LTD.
26-Jul-16 LUNDY MEATS
11-Mar-16 DUNLEAVY MEATS
29-Nov-16 DUNLEAVY MEATS
31-May-16 DUNLEAVY MEATS
04-Nov-16 ABP IRELAND
09-Feb-16 IRISH COUNTRY MEATS
09-Feb-16 SLANEY FOODS
06-Oct-16 DUBLIN PRODUCTS LTD.

 

Table 5. 2016 Visit Dates & Locations

26 meat plants were visited by Legal Metrology Inspectors during 2016 with the following instrument types inspected: weighbridge, platform scales and overhead tracks. Of the 71 instruments inspected, 15 failed and one was removed from trade use as it was operating outside the legal tolerance and did not re-enter trade use until the non-compliance was addressed by an NSAI Authorised Verifier. The remaining failures were considered minor and the instruments were allowed to remain in trade use for up to 20 days, during which time the non-compliance was addressed by an Authorised Verifier.

No. of Failures Failure Reason
4 Never Verified
1 > +10% (excess) of MPE
9 Repaired, altered or adjusted
1 Within – 10% excess of MPE

 

Table 6. 2016 Detected Non-Compliance