Food safety is the number priority for the people that produce the billions of pounds of meat and poultry enjoyed by consumers, and a new video shows the many steps companies take to ensure that everything from steaks, roasts and chops to burgers, bacon, hot dogs and deli meats, are enjoyed safely. “Food Safety Interventions in the Meat Industry” takes viewers inside meat and poultry plants and highlights the different food safety tactics used from the time an animal arrives all the way through to when meat is packaged and sent to restaurants and store shelves.
“Interventions are like hurdles erected to block potential problems. Hurdles help, but aren’t perfect, so meat companies use a series of them and each one makes it less likely a problem will cross the finish line where it could pose a risk to consumers,” said Meat Institute Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Janet Riley. “This video shows many of the interventions used to give people a window into how their meat is safely produced.”
The interventions include low-tech but critical steps like regular handwashing and boot scrubbing, hide and carcass washes and more advanced technologies like high pressure pasteurization and irradiation. Any interventions used in the industry are first evaluated for safety and effectiveness by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) before they are used. FSIS inspectors, who are in plants every day checking food safety practices and compliance with regulations, are another important element of food safety in meat plants.
“Food safety in the meat and poultry industry is a true success story,” said Riley. “USDA tests our products for pathogens every single day and incidence rates of bacteria such as E.coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes have declined drastically in recent years. Meat and poultry has never been safer than it is today and our industry continues to strive to do even better.”
The video is the 11th in the Meat Institute’s Glass Walls series. Other videos include tours of beef, pork, lamb and turkey plants featuring animal welfare expert Temple Grandin, PhD. Videos also cover how ground beef, bacon and hot dogs are made as well as how plants are cleaned daily.
All the videos are available on the Meat News Network YouTube page.