The production of pork in the European Union meets the highest quality standards in many different aspects, from the care and safety of animals, to the nutritional values of the final product and its organoleptic characteristics. Through centuries of breeding experience and the constant improvement and implementation of the technology available, the European pork industry has achieved the best quality meat which stands out for its protein and fat quality, juiciness and tenderness.
The quality of the final product is determined by a variety of factors, the most relevant ones are pig genetics, handling of pigs before the slaughter and pork carcass chilling. The European Union has the world’s most rigorous hygiene, safety, and quality management mechanisms in place to ensure that these three factors that determine the quality of the final product are handled correctly to render the highest quality pork. Moreover, there are other aspects of production, such as nutrition of pigs, that can have an effect on the quality of the meat, understanding quality as combination of the right measurement of muscle pH, color, firmness, marbling, shelf-life, and cooked pork taste.
Pork in the EU, following strict feed safety standards, which prohibit growth hormones and other damaging substances and include safe and natural feed additives, will have a better quality in terms of taste, shelf-life and color.
Quality management is performed by creating quality parameters on every stage of the production chain, implementing them, and carrying out constant supervision to ensure implementation. Practical examples of this include different guidelines put forward by the European Union such as “Good Agricultural Practice”, “Good Manufacturing Practice” or “Good Hygienic Practice”, among others, including quality control systems for specific products and industries. All these mechanisms are applied throughout the food chain, from farm to fork and their implementation is verified by both national and EU institutions.