Changes to safety checks in Slaughterhouses could leave diseased meat undetected

Published By : 16 Jun 2014 | Published By : QYRESEARCH

A measure being inducted for avoiding risk of spread of harmful bacteria through human touch in meat could prove harmful in another way, cite hygiene inspectors. 

Earlier, hygiene inspectors were allowed to cut open pig carcasses to closely examine it for any sign of disease. But now, new European regulations, supported by the Food Standards Academy of Britain require hygiene tests to rely only on visual checks. 

The FDA states that the measure is to bring down the risk of spread of harmful bacteria from pig meat. Nearly 8 million pigs are slaughtered every year for meat in UK. 

Experienced meat inspectors state that the chances of diseased parts of pigs could go undetected due to this measure and if one risk is being avoided, another bigger risk of such diseased meat going directly in the plates of people would be on rise.  

Ron Spellman, the director general of the European Working community of Food inspectors and Consumer protection and a meat inspector himself for the past 30 years say that meat especially from pigs’ heads has huge risks of having tuberculosis lesions or abscesses in lymph nodes in the head. These conditions cannot be checked unless the lymph nodes are cut.  

Meat from pigs’ heads is commonly used to make sausages, pies and other processed food items. 

The FDA has its own concerns to face, owing to which the new regulation has been inducted – Human contact with meat can lead to cross contamination of harmful bacteria such as E. coli and campylobacter. 

But the step is not very welcomed from more than 1100 meat inspectors working at nearly 350 slaughterhouses across Britain. Some are even opposing the measure, citing it a backward step. 

But it yet to be seen if this measure would be actually applied in real time and if it does, how it would affect export of pig meat from Europe to the rest of the world.
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