The outcome for the pilot scheme has exceeded our best hopes – it has proven that the science underpinning the scheme is robust in practice and it has given a clean bill of health to our industry, with all results well within the safety margins which had been set.
In the six months of the pilot, covering an estimated production of 1.2m tonnes of feed, the 18 participant mills provided -
200 samples for Heavy Metals
32 samples for Dioxins and Dioxin like PCBs
128 samples for Mycotoxin, including 32 samples for Alfatoxin
2 mills per month screened for 13 key pesticides
All mills were tested at least quarterly - some monthly depending on production
This represents a massive increase in the number of samples tested - delivering between 5 and 10 times the level of surveillance previously carried out by the industry.
All of the samples tested in the trial were well below both the internal investigatory limits, and the much higher legal limits. Indeed, in many cases the contaminants were undetected, but as is the practice in such instances, we assume a result equal to the lowest limit of detection. The actual results in are set out in the attached appendices.
The report has been reviewed by Institute for Global Food Security at Queen's University.
“The results are extremely encouraging and it is without doubt to the credit of the industry that it is now operational and delivering a greatly enhanced level of quality assurance across the supply chain. The scheme is an exemplar of what can be achieved by an industry working together and can only be viewed as a positive in terms of differentiating NI food produce from the rest of the world. The full scale implementation of the Food Fortress scheme for feed materials is highly recommended and will be fully supported by the Institute” - Professor Chris Elliott.