Good Manufacturing Practice
A fast growing population in developing regions and the tendency to live in densely populated areas and mega cities increases the risk of rapid disease transmission and large-scale outbreak of food-borne diseases due to the increasing length and complexity of supply chains. One source of such cross contamination can be the slaughterhouse and it is therefore mandatory to observe a stringent regime of control.
Meat inspection consists of ante-mortem inspection of slaughter animals and post-mortem inspection of slaughtered animals. These are procedures conducted for the purpose of judgement of safety and suitability and disposition. They play a vital role as main control measures to assure meat safety and of course to identify and monitor animal diseases.
The inspection is usually carried out by designated veterinarians or meat inspectors at the abattoir. The meat inspection procedure is carried out in two phases, ante and post mortem inspection.
During ante mortem inspection the slaughter animals are screened to assess general behaviour, nutritional status, cleanliness, signs of diseases and abnormalities in posture, structure, colour, discharges and odour. Suspect dirty, diseased, and injured animals are immediately separated from the healthy animals to avoid cross contamination and slaughtered separately.
Routine post-mortem examination is routinely carried out to ensure that the carcasses and its organs are disease free. Results from ante and post mortem inspection are then combined to make a final judgement on suitability of the meat or organs for human consumption.
FAO has conducted training programs for meat inspectors and prepared concise guidelines on meat inspection of bovine, small ruminants, pigs, game, poultry and rabbits.