Safety in meat and poultry production is of paramount importance. Contaminated meat or poultry products present health hazards to the consumers. Bacteria, viruses and parasites as well as chemical residues present in meat and poultry products present health hazards to consumers. It is important that anyone practicing sheep production to understand application of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) in meat production as well as the chemical residues in meat that are of health significant.
Many farms practice sheep production as an alternative source of income. Farms rear sheep for meat, milk, wool, hide and skin. Sheep reared for other products other than meat finally produce meat as the by-product. According to Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) (2001), Australia leads in sheep meat production. Most sheep reared in the United States of America are primarily for meat production or production of lambs for meat (sheep 201, 2011).
Application of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) in meat and poultry processing plan
During processing of meat and poultry products, contamination by bacteria, viruses and parasites can occur. Contaminated meat and poultry provides an environment for the growth of the contaminating organisms (Northcutt and Russell, 2010). This make such products unfit for human consumption or cause food-borne illnesses to consumers if they consume the contaminated products. In 1959, Pillsbury developed the concept of HACCP when producing microbiologically safe foods for space flights (Northcutt and Russell, 2010; United States Department of Agriculture and Food Safety and Inspection Service, 1999; Keener, 2009; haccpalliance, n.d and Tompkin, 1994).
The National Academy of Science Food Protection Committee acknowledged the effectiveness of HACCP in ensuring food safety in 1985. Since 1996, meat and poultry production firms use HACCP system as a requirement in order to ensure safety of the products (Northcutt and Russell, 2010). HACCP system ensures food safety through identification, evaluation and control of safety hazards in food production. According to Keener (2009) and Food Standards Agency (2011) HACCP program involves seven steps. They include:Conducting a health analysis; Determining critical control points (CCPs); Developing critical limits; Developing procedures for monitoring (CCPs); Deciding corrective actions to take; Establishing record keeping procedures; and Developing verification procedures.
Chemical residues of public health significance in meat and meat products
Meat is safe for human consumption if it...