Recent animal and food contamination issues have highlighted the immediate need for better materials tracking and tracing. A relatively simple, flexible, low cost approach has been identified for carcasses from pig, lamb and poultry capable of integrating animal ID data with grading and production data and seamlessly carrying that data with the associated products.
Any technology developed must be simple to use and cost effective but be available in formats to suit small producers and large processors alike. It must also be relatively unobtrusive and satisfy current food regulations.
The end point is the demonstration of an integrated, non-contact system for marking and identifying animal carcasses, their primals and subsequent products with a robust 2D Matrix code that remains with the meat during break-up and processing, using a combination of separate technologies already proven in other industries.
- To produce a flexible system capable of marking carcasses, primals and their associated products with a unique robust mark at several anatomical locations in a single operation;
- To ensure the solution (individual components and the integrated system) are rugged;
- To make it simple to use;
- To minimise the need for any specialist skills to accomplish its required function;
- To be as automated and/or integrated as possible without introducing unnecessary complication but to also be made available in a manual format for smaller producers or low volume operations;
- To make the solution affordable relative to the application;
- To ensure that any sensitive data/information generated is safe but securely accessible through the developed technology;
- To ensure data record is complete yet tamper proof so it can be used for validation purposes;
- To be flexible in its applications - proposed for pork, poultry and lamb.
- A working demonstrator system for generating a machine readable mark/code/ID suitable for application to meat carcasses, primals and products in a write once/read many (WORM) approach ;
- A reliable and reproducible method of applying that mark to carcasses;
- A method of reading that mark 'on demand';
- A method of generating a record including a method of incorporating previous live animal information, grading, yield and production data;
- The necessary individual hardware and software components to accomplish these objectives;
- Simple to use within a harsh working environment;
- Configurable and affordable to the needs of both small and large processors.