Providing a “systematic approach”, the tool can be used in slaughterhouses, meat production sites and food production plants to help control contamination within these sites.
The tool is based on verified checklists that help slaughterhouses and production sites identify critical areas and subsequent implement continued and systematic monitoring of the hygiene level.
DMRI provides research equipment and consultancy services covering quality, safety and production of pork, cattle, sheep and poultry for meat companies.
“The international meat industry has become more aware of these problems and is looking for solutions to improve the hygiene level,” said Claus Hindborg Christensen, project manager of food safety at DMRI. “By introducing the food safety management tool, we offer the industry a well-documented solution that can help maintain focus on production hygiene, cleaning processes and the handling of carcasses that are critical areas of contamination.
”The monitoring of the current hygiene level during slaughter or meat production as well as the quality of the cleaning performed after the last shift will identify weak links. The tool is based on checklists that are customized for each production site and we train and educate key persons in using the tool, so they can perform the monitoring themselves day by day or month by month,” said Christensen.
Christensen added that the tool could help eliminate human error. “We are all creatures of habit and when you perform the same procedures every day, you might not always follow protocol. By visually observing e.g. how an operator handles a critical situation likes fecal contamination or disinfection of the knife between each carcass, you can get a full view over the hygiene level,” he said.
“In Denmark, we have worked continuously with improving hygiene levels for many years and therefore, we know how bacteria travel around in a production plant. We have found, that production hygiene and the following cleaning process are the two key factors that have a critical effect on hygiene, shelf life and food safety, and this also apply to the food industry globally,” he added.