Irish firm wins deal on traceability

An Irish company has signed a deal to help Americans trace their hamburgers back through the production chain.

Dublin-based IdentiGEN, a supplier of DNA-based solutions to the agriculture and food industries, will be working with Performance Food Group (PFG) to provide DNA TraceBack® Technology for PFG’s Braveheart Angus hamburgers. The technology will enable hundreds of restaurants supplied by PFG to trace the origin of their hamburgers back to the producers.
IdentiGEN’s DNA TraceBack technology has already been introduced for PFG’s steaks, roasts and other beef cuts across its 11,000 strong chain of restaurants in the US. Dr Ronan Loftus, CEO of IdentiGEN North America, said: “This new aspect of our PFG partnership marks the first US use of DNA technology to trace hamburgers back through the production chain. IdentiGEN’s DNA TraceBack system captures the unique DNA of Black Angus cattle as they move through the production chain, so that each burger can be traced with a precision that is not achievable with conventional tracking systems.
Steve Sands, PFG’s vice-president of protein, said: “This is an exciting development in meat traceability systems, because, for the first time, it enables us to trace a hamburger back to its origins. Our Braveheart customers demand the highest-quality Angus beef that has been raised in the Midwest. DNA TraceBack is a critical tool to verify that Braveheart Black Angus mince beef is what they’re getting.”