Pork Crisis Highlights Need for Accurate Food Safety Data

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Creme Software ™, an Irish company based in Dublin, Ireland is providing key services and information to the food industry to allow accurate measurement of consumer exposure to a wide range of chemicals in food. For example an assessment of consumer exposure to dioxins from pork products can be handled using Creme.

Creme Software ™, an Irish company based in Dublin, Ireland is providing key services and information to the food industry to allow accurate measurement of consumer exposure to a wide range of chemicals in food. For example an assessment of consumer exposure to dioxins from pork products can be handled using Creme.

These last few days highlighted the critical need for accurate and timely information on potential health threats to consumers when the Food Safety Authority of Ireland issued a recall of all Irish pork products that were produced from pigs slaughtered in Ireland.

The Creme online software tools enable government officials and industry to be prepared for any food safety events by monitor assessing the consumer exposure to a wide range of food contaminants. Creme's service is international in scale, and has proven to be extremely effective and accurate in this area.

Creme has seen demand for and interest increase since this recall. It is clear that having the best possible data available is essential under these circumstances since decisions can result in:

  •     Millions of euro worth of product being withdrawn from the market
  •     The EU Commission urging EU states to block imports
  •     Hundreds of jobs being put on protective notice and perhaps being lost
  •     Long term reputation damage to an industry from negative publicity surrounding the event

Commentators in the media have been asking for real scientific evidence backing the decisions that have been taken.     
Cronan McNamara, MD of Creme said "Dress rehearsals for this type of event are never possible. Fortunately, our customers were well prepared because they have the Creme Food Safety tools in place. Creme allows them to quickly and accurately assess the impact of any contamination event on consumers to assess how critical an event is and to inform the critical decisions they need to make."
Often, there is a fine line to be treaded. Consumers need reassurance that their health has not been compromised by consuming these contaminated products and yet the industry has to bear the costs of large scale product recalls causing potential job losses and hardship for workers.
Decision makers in government and industry require a quantitative risk assessment which:

  •     Includes a worst case scenario exposure assessment
  •     Is based on different scenarios and includes the uncertainty of up to a 200-fold increase in dioxin concentrations in pork.
  •     Calculates the average exposure of Irish consumers from the 1st of September until the recall date.
  •     Calculates the exposure of high end consumers from the 1st of September until the recall date
  •     Is performed for different demographic groups of consumers in the population, especially the more vulnerable groups.
  •     Should be compared to international health limits such as WHO data.
  •     Should be performed within 24 hours

This is all straight forward in Creme once the client is using Creme's services. Cronan McNamara, MD of Creme said "Creme delivers solutions which allows our clients in industry and government to be prepared and get the quantitative exposure assessment results quickly and accurately".

Clearly there is a need for Governments and Industry to be prepared for events such as this.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has been using Creme for over three years and had the expertise and databases required to be able answer all of the above questions with confidence and promptness. This leaves the agency well prepared when a crisis such as this emerges.
Having the support of scientific evidence and best practice allowed the government to provide a fast and confident response to this crisis, a fact now endorsed internationally by industry and government agencies. We have confirmed more that every before that Irish food products are safe and any issues which arise are accurately and promptly risk assessed.

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Cronan McNamara