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Backyard farming and slaughtering – Keeping tradition safe

Food safety technical toolkit for Asia and the Pacific No. 2










FAO. 2021. Backyard farming and slaughtering – Keeping tradition safe. Food safety technical toolkit for Asia and the Pacific No. 2. Bangkok. ​


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    The U.S. Department of Agriculture's landmark 1996 rule, the "Pathogen Reduction; Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Systems (PR/HACCP)" final rule forms the cornerstone for the U.S. food safety strategy for meat and poultry products. However, the PR/HACCP rule did not extend HACCP concepts to slaughter. A new approach to food safety, the HACCP-Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP), was initiated. The new system enables establishments to fully integrate their production processes. Estab lishment employees conduct sorting activities based on initial anatomical and pathological examination of carcasses, followed by government inspection of each carcass and verification of the establishment HACCP and slaughter process controls. The U.S. Department of Agriculture contracted with an independent private corporation to measure the organoleptic and microbiologic accomplishments of the traditional inspection system in young chickens, market hogs, and young turkeys. The Department developed new science based organoleptic performance standards from this data collection. Establishments in the HIMP initiative were provided flexibility in how best to meet those performance standards. Data collected in the project to date, by both the independent contractor and in-plant inspectors, show important improvements in both food safety and non-food safety conditions. The Department intends to propose the appropriate regulatory changes that adopt the new inspection system.
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    In recent years, public concern about the safety of foods of animal origin has heightened due to problems that have arisen with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), as well as with outbreaks of food-borne bacterial infections, and food contamination with toxic agents (e.g. dioxin). These problems have serious implications for national food safety, the development of the animal products industry and for international trade in livestock products. The purpose of this manual on Good pract ices for the meat industry is to provide updated comprehensive information and practical guidelines for the implementation of the new Code of hygienic practice for meat, when adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission. The publication is intended to guide managers of abattoirs and the meat industry. It will also be of value to veterinarians engaged in meat inspection, with their supervisory roles in meat hygiene. The manual is published in detachable modules and also serves as a trai ning resource.
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    Foodborne parasitic diseases are often neglected in various food safety control systems, even though they can create severe human health problems. Because the production and monetary losses associated with them are often not visible, and the infected animals often show no signs, they are very difficult to detect. Different types of parasitic diseases can be transmitted to humans from pork, fish, freshwater crustaceans, vegetables, eggs of tapeworms, and protozoa. The risks associated with all of them can, however, be avoided through the application of good hygiene, good farming and fishing practices, and the promotion of community awareness. For example, the promotion of a participatory approach and the development of training packages for food business operators would be beneficial in raising awareness within the community. Basic information regarding how the parasites are transmitted and their effects, and any and all preventive measures that each person can take, should be included in communication topics. Food safety authorities can play an important part by using the guidance provided by Codex Alimentarius regarding animal production, food processing, and meat inspection. Furthermore, the development of networks of authorities committed to addressing the problem would help prevent and control the spread of parasitic diseases.

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