Foodstuff contamination caused by external substances
During the manufacture of sliced chicken breasts (poultry ham), blue plastic-like particles were detected.
Several tonnes of sliced chicken breasts were unsaleable due to plastic substances during the production. The claimant is entitled to say that the blue plastic film found in the grinder on the chicken ham production line came from the raw material.
Stelliant Corporate Loss Adjusting was called upon to intervene in the context of civil liability of the chicken supplier.
A loss adjuster in Civil Liability from the Stelliant group, specialized in agrifood, intervened upon receipt of the mission in order to carry out a physicochemical analysis as part of expert appraisals. This confirmed the similarity between the foreign bodies and the blue plastic film of the bags used by the chicken supplier for packaging the meat.
A complete study of the ascending traceability of the batch of the finished product, down to the different batches of raw material, made it possible to determine the involvement of a third-party company. The latter was then commissioned by the applicant for operations of the thawing and reconditioning of the raw material.
The documentary study of HACCP procedures and the visit to the production line revealed a real lack of control when introducing the meat into the mixer at the applicant’s site.
The internal procedures of the third party in charge of defrosting and repackaging the meat were studied and particularly those concerning the control of foreign bodies in the meat.
In summary, two hypotheses are possible if we consider that the foreign body is a bag wrapping the meat:
- Either the piece of plastic found in the initial packaging of the chicken fillets. In this case, the third-party company would have committed a fault during its thawing and repackaging operations.
- Either the piece of plastic found was mixed with the chicken fillets during packaging at the supplier, in which case the third-party company would not have followed its procedures for checking foreign bodies.
The traceability studies and internal procedures of the various stakeholders made it possible to reject the responsibility of the chicken supplier in the context of this case. A transactional agreement with sharing would have been found between the applicant and his service provider, without any intervention from the chicken supplier.