Safety is of paramount significance in the food and beverage industry, especially the meat and poultry industry, where a contaminated cattle produce can cause serious health risks and result in the downfall of the company. Today’s well-informed consumers have a demand for quality meat products that are safe to consume.
In addition to the safety of the public, globalization has subjected the beef industry to various federal and provincial regulations. Right from pasture to plate, each step of the meat production and sales process is governed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA). Safety control protocols like Radio Frequency Identification or RFID tracking are important and closely controlled by these agencies. This has helped Canada optimize its beef industry. Let’s take a close look at how RFID tracking helps the meat industry:
Challenges Faced By The Beef Industry
The 2003 mad cow disease crisis acted as a wakeup call for the beef industry, especially the Canadian and the US verticals. Although humans do not easily contract this disease if they do it can be fatal. Plus, unhealthy cattle can impact the financial and economic state of the industry and the nation. During such incidents, it is important to have efficient traceability practices in place. When the US reported the mad cow incident, it took four days for them to determine where the sick Holstein cow came from. The age-old, manual tracking practices led to slow results and jeopardized the industry.
In events, where the outbreak of illness is tied to contaminated food, rapidly tracing the source of contamination is a necessity to eliminate health risks. Being able to quickly trace back the consumer packages to the animal and from there to the slaughterhouse and the farm of origin allows faster removal of any unhealthy cattle. The traditional tracking methods like the manual recording of a number in the database do not provide this ease and swiftness in tracking which is a necessity today.
Challenges like lack of efficient data management, quick inspection, and speedy tracking can be solved by RFID technology.
How RFID Optimizes Meat Tracking?
Easy and Quick Traceability
To optimize meat tracking, every cow is fitted with an approved RFID ear tag. The ear tag that the cattle have provides a record of all the information such as the origin of the cow, its date of birth, sex, breed, where it has traveled and when, etc. which is necessary to the supplier. A simple scan of the RFID tag is enough to provide you all this information. In the event of a disease outbreak, tracing the origin is fast and simple.
The application of RFID in optimizing meat production is endless. Apart from tagging each animal, the technology can be used for herd management, on-farm record keeping, monitoring cattle health, and for slaughterhouse data management. Many slaughterhouses also use meat hooks embedded with RFID chips that get linked to the ear tag number. This makes it easy to locate a slaughtered animal, in case of an issue.
Improves Legal Compliance and Demand
The CCIA has mandated RFID ear tags for animals before they leave their farm of origin or before they are moved from their current location. Implementing RFID tracking also enables you to ensure that these animal health care, and public health and safety protocols are met. Retailers and restaurants can claim that the beef they serve is 100 percent safe for intake. Credible traceability instills confidence in the product and stabilizes demand.
If you’re keen on adopting RFID tracking, then consult our experts at Jet Marking Systems for more information today.