The global trend for new and interesting food means people’s food tastes are becoming increasingly varied. Consumers want safe, high quality products, and tender meat that’s juicy and aromatic – qualities for which European pork and beef is ranking highly.
European roasted pork loin, boiled bacon, smoked meat products, gammons, kabanos sausages, pates and pork loins, are all unique, with gourmands worldwide noting that the high quality of European pork and beef products have made them a notable speciality on a global scale.
High cultural diversity and the rich tradition of meat processing mean there are now over ten thousand different meat products created throughout the European Union, much of which is consumed outside of the continent. The meat manufacturing industry is strictly regulated for quality and safety, and products made in the EU are meticulously scrutinised. Integrated systems managing the quality of manufactured products are in place throughout the continent, thus guaranteeing all food products that reach consumers’ tables are certified safe.
Quality and safety combine to create excellence
To guarantee the high quality and safety of pork and beef products, EU producers practise ‘European Norms’ (EN), ‘International Norms’ (ISO) and ‘State Norms’, but they also use management systems such as: System of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), Good Manufacture Practice (GMP), Good Hygienic Practice (GHP) and Good Agricultural Practice (GAP).
The whole meat production process is supervised by veterinary and sanitary services. Moreover, all producers have their own individual factory norms (formulas), according to which they manufacture their products and define them in line with the technological norm on the label. Product labelling enables its full traceability. Information concerning the type of used meat, the producer, batch number and the use by date, is the basis which provides consumers with a guarantee that the food is safe for eating.
The strict standards of production for pork and beef products required in the member states of Europe not only ensure meat quality is consistently high, but also bring many other benefits for consumers and retailers. In response to the high expectations of the market, pork and beef producers use high-quality raw materials to produce their meat.
Another advantage stemming from an adherence to the EU production standards for meat products is the limited use of technological additives and the guarantee of the source of origin and composition of animal feeds used for farming. It is worth highlighting that in the EU it is prohibited to use antibiotics and growth hormones in animal feeds. All these elements combine to ensure the pork and beef that reaches consumers’ tables is of high quality.
Tradition and variety
One of the European Union’s priorities, which must be fulfilled as part of the Quality Policy, is the cultivation of local traditions and customs. In the EU member states, special regulations are in place that promote food products which are manufactured using traditional and unique methods and local ingredients. These regulations have introduced protected names and labels to guarantee these products’ quality and consistency. Because of the regulations, EU producers have the opportunity to sell their unique products, not just locally but also within the European and global markets.
The use of traditional manufacturing methods in the production of European pork and beef products enables the creation of varied products that have a unique taste and aroma. Among traditional and regional products made of those kinds of meat, the following can be distinguished: sausages (e.g. white sausage, farmer’s sausage, juniper sausage, meat spread, home-made sausage, country sausage), hams, brawns, gammons, bacon, pork fat, liver sausage, blood sausage, smoked meat, loin, pate, leg, knuckle and neck.
European pork and beef products enjoy popularity all over the world. However, it is as a direct result of these meat processing methods, and the quality of the raw European pork and beef materials, that make EU sausage products unique.