The lengthy review of the Food Standards Committee of this, agreed by all public analysts and enforcement officers, as the most complicated and difficult of food groups subject to detailed legislative control, is at last complete and the Committee's findings set out in their Report. When in 1975 they were requested to investigate the workings of the legislation, the problems of control were already apparent and getting worse. The triology of Regulations of 1967 seemed comprehensive at the time, perhaps as we ventured to suggest a little too comprehensive for a rational system of control for arguments on meat contents of different products, descriptions and interpretation generally quickly appeared. The system, for all its detail, provided too many loopholes through which manufacturers drove the proverbial “carriage and pair”. As meat products have increased in range and the constantly rising price of meat, the “major ingredient”, the number of samples taken for analysis has risen and now usually constitutes about one‐quarter of the total for the year, with sausages, prepared meats (pies, pasties), and most recently, minced meat predominating. Just as serial sampling and analysis of sausages before the 1967 Regulations were pleaded in courts to establish usage in the matter of meat content, so with minced meat the same methods are being used to establish a maximum fat content usage. What concerns food law enforcement agencies is that despite the years that the standards imposed by the 1967 Regulations have been in force, the number of infringements show no sign of reduction. This should not really surprise us; there are even longer periods of failures to comply; eg., in the use of preservatives which have been controlled since 1925! What a number of public analysts have christened the “beefburger saga” took its rise post‐1967 and shows every indication of continuing into the distant future. Manufacturers appear to be trying numerous ploys to reduce the content below the Regulation 80% mainly by giving their products new names. Each year, public analysts report a flux of new names and ingenious defences; eg, “caterburgers” and similar concocted nomenclature, and the defence that because the name does not incorporate a meat, it is outside the statutory standard.
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