A vital part of the company’s mission, permanent knowledge development, concerns continuous maintenance of the quality systems, and has been interlaced in daily business management for many years.

In early 1994, at the urging of FENAVIAN, the Belgian sector board of meat product manufacturers, the ISO-9000 quality system was introduced. In November 1995, the activities were successfully completed, and as one of the first companies in the Belgian food world, Antonio was awarded the ISO-9002 quality standard.

This gained the company overnight confidence from larger potential customers, and allowed it to rely on an error-free organisation. This ISO-9002 quality standard implied a production inspection system, controlling the critical points in the production process based on an HACCP Plan. This is an internationally certified and legally required inspection system. This enables the producer that no errors are made in the production process; all hazards (critical points) in the process are charted and safe treatment of each of these points is guaranteed. In turn, the application of this system is inspected by FAVV (Federal Agency for Food Safety).

Since early 2003, the ISO quality system was no longer updated, instead being replaced by a BRC certificate. This certificate is issued after successful completion of an audit based on a more expansive quality system than ISO-9000, drafted and set out by the British Retail Consortium. From July 2003, this BRC certificate was achieved at a higher level.
In 2012, we transferred to certification in accordance with the IFS standard (International Food Standard), where we also achieved a higher level.

Finally, based on an extensive information system, full traceability throughout the entire production process is guaranteed for all ingredients and products. A complex issue that our organisation could never do without, ensuring full food safety of our products.

Some frequently asked quality questions and answers:

Do Breydel products have a consistent quality?

Quality is the hottest item within the food sector. In Belgium, the standards we must comply with are particularly strict. Breydel aims for perfection, and attained a ‘Higher Level’ during the IFS audits since July 2012. We check and question the quality of our products on a daily basis, raising the standard all the time. We work with an all-inclusive tracing system and an HACCP Plan.

Our pork does not contain any residue of antibiotics, hormones or tranquillisers, also based on the above-mentioned strict inspections of the Food Agency. In terms of food safety, Belgium is a pioneer, often applying standards stricter than the European guidelines and directives. Furthermore, we are subject to inspections by feed manufacturers, pig breeders and abattoirs. After all, the sector as such also benefits from products that you can rely on for 100%.

This is why we can guarantee you great service and constant quality!

What does the term ‘traditional’ imply?

This description is added to products that are manufactured in accordance with traditional, skilled methods. Literally, it means that old traditions are applied.
Traditional products always comply with the following standards:

Production is based exclusively on first-grade ingredients that fully match the required traditional quality.

Only a trace of certain ingredients and additives may be present in the finished product, such as salt, phosphates, ascorbate, nitrates, nitrites etc.

Is Breydel Bacon too salty?

Everyone has their own preference. That means that too salty for one is not salty enough for another. Complaints containing ‘too’ are generally personal: too salty, too fatty, too dry...

Breydel Bacon is marinated. After marinating, it is sprinkled with an herb blend and braised in the oven. This makes it lose a lot of its salt and fat. Based on frequent external analyses, the parameters of our products are determined. For Breydel Bacon, we remain nicely under the 2.2% salt level that is also the ‘traditional’ standard.

Are your products gluten free?

Both Breydel Ham and Breydel Bacon are gluten free, just like our Breydel shank, Breydel half-shank, Breydel Rib-eye and Breydel Ham Mousse. Our meat loaves (plain, cheese and mustard) and our Breydel Ham Croquettes do contain gluten. Explanation: gluten are proteins that occur in grain products. Some people are allergic to gluten. They can eat only gluten-free food products.

A data sheet indicating the composition of our ingredients and technical aids is available for all our products. Based on the allergens tables, you can check if gluten are present in the ingredients and technical aids. If these are absent, the meat product is also gluten free.

Is it true that pork is full of cholesterol?

If you have high cholesterol levels, you do not need to remove pork from your diet. Pork contains an average of 40 to 50 mg of cholesterol per 100 g, which is a better score than most other meat types. Chicken legs have 40 mg, pork fillet and chicken fillet 45 mg, bacon just 50 mg, steak fillet 62 mg, ground beef 75 mg and lean lamb no less than 79 mg per 100 g. Chicken legs with braised skin provides 80 mg per 100 g.

Offal, including liver, kidneys and brains, and also the skin of fowl contain 350 mg per 100 g for liver up to no less than 2,000 mg per 100 g for brains.
Nutritional experts recommend limiting cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg per day. This is the equivalent of almost 700 g of lean to mid-lean pork. Not using too much fat or oil when preparing the meat is the message!

Is pork fatty by definition?

If you are looking for a lean chunk of meat, pork offers you plenty of options. As other animal species, the pig provides lean, mid-lean and fatty meat. A pork fillet, fillet cutlets, a ‘mignonette’ or ham are lean on the same level as lean steak, chicken fillet or turkey fillet. Products such as ground pork, bacon, ribs and some prepared meat products are not that much higher in fat content.
Also, meat from animals with a single stomach, such as pigs, fowl and rabbits, contains fewer saturated and poly-unsaturated fatty acids than meat from ruminants such as cows, calves, sheep and lambs. In fact, meat of ruminants and their dairy products contain over 50% saturated fatty acids.

Nutritional experts recommend limiting saturated fatty acids in your diet in order to prevent cardiovascular conditions and other diseases. In comparison with other meat types, pork has a favourable fatty acids profile. The fat in pork consists of 35-40% saturated fatty acids and over 60% unsaturated fatty acids. This is a better ratio than beef, veal or lamb.
Breeding and selection programmes, new feeding methods, better environments and slaughtering pigs at a younger age ensure that pork is now much leaner than it used to be.

This is why pork can be fitted into a weight-loss, low-cholesterol or diabetics diet without any problems.

How long can I keep Breydel Bacon, Breydel Ham and other Breydel products?

The products we sell to wholesalers and cooperatives are vacuum-packed after manufacturing and are labelled with a fixed sell-by/use by date. These meat products are offered to the consumer in various ways: in staffed shops (butchers or the butcher section in a department store), and pre-packaged.
The sell-by / use-by date of cold-cuts in a butcher shop depends on many factors (hygiene, temperate of counter, product rotation etc.). For this reason, no fixed rule for the use-by date can be indicated. However, you may expect the cold-cuts may be used within 2 days of buying.

Tip! If you want to keep meat in the fridge longer, put it in the coldest place, i.e. close to the evaporator.

An increasing number of meat products are offered with pre-packaging. This means they were packaged with plastic film in a modified environment, i.e. a room with different air ratios (the ratios of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide are different). This packaging method has many benefits, i.e. germ growth deceleration, longer use-by date and better hygiene.

Tip! Air the meat products after opening.

What do the E numbers in the ingredients list mean?

E-numbers are technical aids approved by the EU. Foodstuffs are expected to have a certain sell-by date and quality, for example colour and exterior are very important. When keeping a product for a long time, some of these properties can be fully or partially lost. This is why certain technical aids or additives are allowed. Attention! Ambiguity about or hiding of any faults in foodstuffs is strictly prohibited.

The technical aids are classed in various categories, for example colorants, preservatives, flavour enhancers etc. In order to apply such technical aids in the production process, we must comply with strict requirements. For each technical aid, we determine the possible applications and the maximum permissible dose. Agents found safe for the applications determined can be designated an E-numbers. This is a sort of quality mark.

In other words, the technical aids with an E-number used in the production process of our products are necessary for the final result. Stating these in the ingredients list is a legal requirement.