- Data gathered from cow birth to beef sale; raising, slaughtering, processing stages covered
- Hanwoo (Korean beef) gains consumer confidence on hygiene and safety
- Hanwoo Board highlighting best quality to globalize Korean beef
SEOUL, South Korea, Aug. 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Every country is stepping up efforts to ensure the safe and hygienic production of livestock products as climate change and environmental pollution caused feed resources to decrease and put the safety of fodder at risk. Korea runs "Korean Beef Traceability System" to control the quality of Korean beef efficiently.
The Hanwoo Board said on Aug. 22 (Wednesday) that the system has been instrumental in enhancing the fairness and transparency of Korean beef trade by providing consumers with information on countries of origin, producers, cattle breeds and quality grades. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the system.
Under the system, data on livestock products from cattle birth to beef sale are collected and managed. Consequently, the stages of raising cattle, slaughtering them and processing their meat are covered as well. The system uses individual animal IDs on cows. When a beef cow is taken ill or sanitary and safety issues arise, the system can be used to trace the whereabouts of the cow in question or the logistics of its beef, find out the infection route and the causes of the disease. This makes it easy to identify the affected cattle and beef and handle them.
The system enables consumers to verify the origin of the beef, its quality grade and sanitary inspection results. Thus, they can avoid being deceived into buying fake Korean beef of foreign origin. Other countries run their own beef traceability systems but the Korean system differs from them in that it does not only trace beef but also provides beef data to consumers.
The salient point of the Korean Beef Traceability System is that DNA samples are collected from Korean beef cattle in the stage of slaughter and that the samples are stored. This makes it possible to see if DNA of certain beef on sale is identical to that of a cow registered with the system. DNA samples are gathered from every Korean beef cow to be slaughtered, and are preserved. The DNA-based verification of beef authenticity plays an important role in raising the reliability of Korean beef.
Korean beef was first exported in 2015 to Hong Kong and has since been sold at famous department stores and marts. It appears on the menu at five-star hotels. Korean beef has gained a reputation as a world-class prime beef whose quality is tightly controlled.
"Japan's Wagyu beef can be produced in the US and Australia as well as in Japan, but Korea's Hanwoo is prime beef that can be produced only in Korea. Korean beef cattle have genes proper to them," Hanwoo Board Chairman Min Kyung-cheon said. "To let more people enjoy Hanwoo worldwide, we will highlight a hygienic and safe system for raising Hanwoo cattle and guarantee the highest quality of their beef."
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