Why Food Safety Is Important In The Meat Industry

According to the World Health Organization, almost 1 in 10 people get sick, and 420 000 die every year, after consuming food tainted by harmful microorganisms. Most of this is due to poor food handling practices that can easily be avoided. Because meat is highly susceptible to microbial contamination and food poisoning, proper food safety practices are essential to follow. If you’re a consumer, it’s important that you are aware of the food safety protocols followed by your meat wholesaler. 

Possible sources of food contamination

Although the farm-to-table chain has become pretty streamlined over the years, there is still the chance that meat is contaminated somewhere along the line. The possible sources of this in the meat industry are:

  • Husbandry: Sources of contamination include animal disease and environmental hazards such as waterborne pathogens, faeces, and in-feed hazards.
  • Slaughter: During slaughter, processors must be vigilant about preventing crossover contamination from gut contents, disease foci such as abscesses and wounds, and external sources such as hoof and hide.
  • Processing and carcass-handling issues: Since products such as ground beef are produced in batches from different animals, it is important that meat inspection quickly identifies and removes diseased individuals and deals with contaminated carcasses swiftly. Processors also must ensure proper chilling post-slaughter to minimize carcass changes that permit microbial colonisation.
  • Processing-equipment contamination and staff hygiene: As with all food processing, producers should ensure staff and environmental hygiene.

Why food safety is important in the meat industry

Meat products present a unique set of challenges to producers and relevant regulatory bodies in the country as meat composition provides the perfect environment to support microbial growth due to favourable nutrients that allow spoilage microorganisms and foodborne disease pathogens to thrive. Because of this fact, meat producers need to be as vigilant and rigorous as possible about preventing contamination before the product reaches and is consumed by the consumer. The possibility of contamination can arise at all stages of production and processing so it’s vital that meat producers adhere to microbial surveillance and transparency in product tracking, especially in the case of global trade.

Additionally, if you’re a meat wholesaler, it’s important to consider your place and reputation in the industry — you want to remain the go-to brand for great meat products that are safe to consume. If contaminated meat is ingested, the result is a very sick and angry customer, bringing your name into disrepute.

If you have further queries about food safety in the meat industry or want to ask us questions about our hygiene practices, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the VWG team.

Van Wyngaardt’s delivery policy

Our delivery policy requires a minimum order amount depending on the region. You may order from Monday to Thursday. Should you place an order before 12:00, we assure you of next-day delivery. If you order after 12:00, the order will be delivered to you the following working day. This is only valid for Gauteng stores. Outer Gauteng stores delivery period may vary. At Van Wyngaardt, we pride ourselves on always providing exceedingly good meats.

Should you have any queries or require more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, and one of our sales representatives will gladly assist you. 

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