Supply chain controls
Autumn and winter are ideal seasons for lunches and dinners based on game in local restaurants: but what are the guarantees of the safe origin of these meats, to protect customers and consumers? What control mechanisms are activated on the supply chain, which starts from the hunting forest and arrives on the table of a restaurant? How to avoid the risk of game consumption resulting from poaching activities? To answer these questions, the official ATS veterinarians of Brianza spoke at a meeting held on Monday 20 November in Lecco, in the Confcommercio conference room, in Piazza Garibaldi, on the initiative of the provincial trade association, in collaboration with the Alpine Districts of hunting in the Lecco Alps and Pre-Alps.
Distribution and consumption
In front of a large and attentive audience, made up of hunters and restaurateurs, doctors Roberto Vanotti, responsible for the Wildlife Plan of ATS Brianza, and Stefano Arrigo Luisoni, responsible for the management of hunted game, illustrated the recent legislative innovations of community origin , national and regional, which regulate the distribution and consumption of game. Keyword: traceability. Each stage through which the meat, the proceeds of hunting, arrives in the restaurant kitchens to be served to customers, but the same applies to the transfer of small quantities from private to private individual and self-consumption, must be adequately documented, in with a view to achieving full legalization of the supply chain. The task of the trained hunters is to issue certificates which allow the legal origin of what has been hunted to be truthfully reconstructed, while the task of the operators of catering activities is to guarantee the meat optimally healthy conditions in processing and conservation.
In fact, a resolution of the Lombardy regional council in 2022 strengthened the protections provided previously, establishing that anyone who wants to sell game meat to third parties must necessarily ensure that it passes through authorized slaughter and processing plants. “The implementation of hygiene controls and the correct management of the risks inherent to game – declares Dr. Vanotti – is a fundamental step that raises the health and quality level of the meat. The benefits are multiple: greater responsibility for the hunter, greater health protection for the consumer, better quality of the products offered by our restaurants".
The applause of Confcommercio
In short, the ultimate objective for ATS is to have a documented traceability system of the entire hunting chain to safely answer these questions: where and by whom was an animal hunted? How was the meat treated and preserved? The event, which was also applauded by the President of Confcommercio Lecco Antonio Peccati, aroused great interest on the part of hunters and restaurateurs, who were able to see their curiosity and doubts satisfied by the ATS experts, in a dialogue between a health institution , hunting world, and catering economic operators, which looks to the common objective of food safety. The conference was also an opportunity for an update on the state of spread of African swine fever in Lombardy and on the biosecurity procedures to be adopted to quickly identify and limit possible PSA viral episodes in the area, due to the presence of wild boars in our mountains. The veterinarians reiterated the behavior to be followed regarding movements in the woods and the communication of dead subjects, starting from immediate contact with the ATS Veterinary Service in the case of finding wild boar carcasses (source: ATS Brianza).