Information Technologies in Quality Management Systems of Meat Product Chains

Information Technologies in Quality Management Systems of Meat Product Chains

Miklós Herdon (University of Debrecen, Hungary) and István Füzesi (University of Debrecen, Hungary)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-621-3.ch012
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At the beginning of the 21st century, the question of food safety is playing an accentuated role in the meat product industry. Important issues within this topic are the risk of bioterrorism, impurities in the food chain, and the ascendancy of consumer needs. The solutions to these problems are the introduction of modern quality assurance systems, product identification, and traceability. This chapter reviews the possibilities of IT support for these systems, as well as the potential advantages and their incidental costs. Within the tight frame of this paper – omitting the descriptions of technologies – we discuss the most important criteria of systems which may be able to solve today’s meat industry problems.
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Problems of food safety can be solved by keeping (and enforcing) applicable regulations, by introducing modern quality assurance systems, by making possible the traceability of products and their identification - beyond any doubt. The safety of product lines and tracing of products cannot be solved without using information systems of a certain level (Schiefer, 2008). In any case, one could greatly improve the level of food safety and the information supply by installing the newest technologies and informatics facilities at every participant in a product line in the meat industry. In commodities and especially in food commodities, the establishment of tracking and tracing capabilities meets many barriers that have prevented their broad based use beyond what is legally required (Fritz and Schiefer, 2009). The formalization of the quality (and traceability) knowledge in enterprises was clearly determined by Kim (Kim et al., 1995). Golan et al. define traceability in terms of depth (levels of the supply chain). Peres et al. review the modern analytical techniques, with special regards to molecular biology techniques (Peres et al., 2007). Wolfert et al. describe explicitly, that a sector spanning system has not yet been developed (Wolfert et al., 2010). Fritz and Schiefer write about the decision complexity and about the aspects of the higher level traceability in their paper (Fritz and Schiefer, 2009). There are lots of publications and case studies from the various sectors. For example, Hoffmann and Doluschitz introduce the improvement of an information management system in organic pork production chains (Hoffmann and Doluschitz, 2009).

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