Meat hygiene and inspection

Food safety is a major concern for all consumers and it is the role of the relevant food governing bodies to ensure that this safety is maintained and provided to the consumers. Meat products are the leading causes of most food poisoning incidents which have been recorded in Europe and other parts of the world recently. This has led to the raise of debates on whether the current European legislation for meat hygiene and inspection is appropriate for the control of food borne zoonotic diseases (ElAmin, 2007).

Traditionally, meat inspection has focused on detection of zoonotic diseases which occurred in most domestic animals for example trichinellosis, tuberculosis and cysticercosis among others. For this purposes, various parts of the slaughtered animals were being examined by the veterinary doctors so as to make sure that the meat was fit for human consumption. Unlike in the past, animal or livestock diseases have reduced drastically especially as more farmers keep their animals using modern management techniques.

It has been however noted that meat inspection is not the best method to ensure meat safety in some cases especially because of its incapability of detecting some infestations like cysticercosis (Sofos, n. d). Also, some zoonotic micro organisms like the campylobacter and salmonella can be easily passed on from one carcass to another through various manipulations which are carried out while undertaking meat inspection processes.

Increase in zoonotic infections in the European Union countries and the inadequacies of meat inspection practices in this region have proved that the meat hygiene and inspection legislation in place are not effective, calling for various amendments to be put in place (Elson, n. d). Inefficiencies of the European Union meat hygiene and regulations legislation As mentioned above, the European Union meat hygiene and regulations still recognize the traditional methods of preventing and detecting the presence of zoonotic micro organisms on meat.

Despite the method being relatively effective, it has been realized that there are other means of transmitting zoonotic micro organisms which causes food poisoning on meat not previously infected. The various manipulations which are carried on while inspecting meat gives loopholes for contamination of meat unknowingly which in turn exposes the consumers to risk of food and zoonotic poisoning.

To cub this deficiency in the European Union, the union should amend these regulations and instead adopt an approach based on risk assessment which could be vital in ensuring cross contamination during slaughtering and packaging of meat is reduced (Gracey, Collins, & Huey, 1999). The second reason which makes the European Union meat hygiene and inspection procedures ineffective is due to their lack of regulatory procedures in the slaughter houses. Currently, there are no formal regulations relating to slaughterhouse procedures or even the set down temperature requirement control measures.

Most micro organisms are passed on from one animal or carcass to another through contaminated faeces. The European Union does not have laws and regulations to ensure that such contamination is avoided or reduced which makes the legislations unsuitable and unsuccessful in preventing food and zoonotic poisoning. To make the meat hygiene and inspection legislation effective, European Union should come up with procedures to ensure that the possibility of contamination in the slaughter halls are reduced thus reducing food and zoonotic infections or diseases (Uyle, 2009).

Also as mentioned, maintenance of tight controls on required temperature in the slaughterhouse should be encouraged to ensure that chances of food poisoning are reduced. Some micro organisms survive only on given set of temperatures beyond which they die. Implementation …

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