Fancy labels improve meat safety

Our world is a clever place where wondrous innovations begin in the minds of dreamers, visionaries, inventors and innovators.

Wonders never cease, and our world is a clever place where wondrous innovations that begin in the minds of dreamers, visionaries, inventors and innovators quickly advance from a vague concept to a reality.

In all sectors of the marketplace, one must take advantage of these new ideas to stay current in the world marketplace and in Connecticut, Geissier’s Supermarkets are leaping ahead, testing temperature/time-sensitive labels on chilled beef packets in a pilot program with a German manufacturer, BASF.

The label, known as an OnVu label, changes colour to indicate when a product is no longer safe to eat.

The store’s meat buyer, Ryan Nilsson (meat buyer and fourth generation grocer in his family operation — Geissler’s Supermarkets), says the customer feedback has been positive thus far (Meating-place.com/4/2/2012). It sure would seem to remove the guess work from the shopping exercise, particularly for ground beef products.

Nilsson thought the value of the label increased after the beef package left the supermarket. An example: a customer purchases a beef product with the intent to cook it the same evening, then their plans change and by the third or fourth day of home-refrigeration are unsure if it’s safe to consume. If it had an OnVu label, the sticker would tell you.

“On the label there is a dark blue ink applied using UV rays. Over time it will turn grey and fade away, or if there has been some temperature abuse and the package goes above 40 degrees F for an extended time, it is no longer good to eat, if it reaches 40 degrees and goes right back down, it is still good.”

The ink is gauged to know the difference (darn clever ink — I think) and seems better equipped than I (my sniffer-tool has lost some sensitivity) to ensure product-safety.

P.S. Happy Easter! Note — April 15 is the deadline for early bird BCCA-AGM registration and submitting applications for BCCA scholarships.

Liz Twan is a local rancher and freelance columnist for the Tribune.