Meat safety: Risk based assurance systems and novel technologies
A b s t r a c t: The meat industry has undergone substantial changes over the previous several decades due to development of new technologies in primary production (food animals on farm) – precision livestock farming, sensing systems; slaughter & dressing – automation and robotization; and meat processing – precision fermentation, 3-dimensional printed meat. The current, traditional meat inspection (ante-mortem and post-mortem), based on visual inspection, palpation and incision, had not been changed since the end of the nineteenth century. Although this traditional approach was effective at the time it was introduced for detection of classical zoonoses (brucellosis, tuberculosis, cysticercosis, anthrax infection), it was not fully efficient in terms of the current needs for consumer protection. Namely, public health hazards associated with meat are, nowadays, connected to zoonotic food (meat) borne pathogens (Salmonella, Campylobacter, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes), faecally excreted by healthy animals, which are responsible for the majority of human illnesses attributed to meat consumption; traditional meat inspection cannot respond effectively to detect these food borne hazards, but can even increase cross-contamination due to palpation and/or incision procedures. Therefore, there is a need to develop a novel, modern meat inspection system which will be risk-and evidence-based – the meat safety assurance system or carcass safety assurance system. Such a modern system should be based on risk management and meat inspection protocols supported by analysis of Food Chain Information/Harmonised Epidemiological Indicators in the farm-to-chilled carcass continuum.
Keywords: meat safety, assurance system, meat inspection, cultured meat.