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Assessment comparing meat production processes in selected countries

A systematic literature review assessment comparing meat production processes in sixteen countries

Background

This report compares international food production processes and the prevalence of a number of microorganisms. The study was designed to look at the collection of information and data from sixteen countries (including the UK), on the production of meat and poultry meat. This follows an initial feasibility study which considered these aspects in relation to poultry only and four countries.

A spreadsheet has been produced alongside this report. This contains key questions answered within this document, each country/meat combination has a short, binary or quantitative answer. A PivotTable has been developed as part of the sheet which allows the user to model trade scenarios and compare side by side data from different regions.

Results

In relation to poultry and meat processing, the basic procedures are largely the same in all countries studied. These steps include, but are not limited to, on-farm practices, animal catching and transport, ante-mortem inspection, slaughter, evisceration, post-mortem inspection, chilling, dressing and packing.

Intervention steps adopted by countries to ensure food safety include methods such as the use of chemical treatments, chilling, inspection and the setting of microbiological criteria to limit the level of microorganisms on poultry or meat products and/or to monitor the effectiveness of process controls as well as the approval of establishments. These aspects are often addressed in national legislation. Which requirements are set, how they are framed in legislation, how detailed they are and how they are implemented and monitored was found to vary between countries.

However, the report noted difficulties in attempting direct comparisons between countries, due to significant variance in data collection techniques like sampling and testing, language related issues in non-English speaking areas, and differing applications of control plans throughout the world.