The International Poultry Forum was held September 20-21 in Beijing, China. As a result of the recent scandals that involved multinational companies, the big issue discussed was food safety. Among the various speakers, Christopher Langholz, Business Unit Leader, Cargill Animal Protein in China, spoke about the shared responsibility we all have in the poultry industry, particularly when it comes to chicken "Made in China." He pointed out that China is a huge country with uneven conditions in production and the supply chain. This was also corroborated by other people with whom I spoke. Just as there are world-class poultry complexes, there are also some of the worst in the world. In addition, the industry lacks much needed trained personnel.

 

In this concept of shared responsibility, Langholz commented that when someone produces chicken with any quality problem, which is conducive to an unsafe product, we must ask that person: Do we you want that chicken to be an example? Of course the answer is no. Therefore, all participants in this sector must comply with the rules. If one fails, we all fail. When one company is involved in a scandal, it affects us all. That is shared responsibility.

 

Another important concept he talked about was that food safety should not be confused with food quality. Although related concepts, they are not necessarily the same. Quality can refer to size, texture or taste, parameters that not do not put health at risk. But obviously, if a poultry product is contaminated, it is a problem of quality control.

Benjamín Ruiz can be reached at bruiz@wattnet.net