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MEAT INSPECTION A service performed by federal and state governments to insure the cleanliness and wholesomeness of meat moving in the interstate or intrastate commerce. Meat inspection eliminates meat considered to be UNSOUND, UNHEALTHFUL, UNWHOLESOME, or UNFIT for human consumption from the meat supply. MEAT INSPECTION IS DESIGNED TO 1. PROTECT THE CONSUMER 2. GIVE OFFICIAL ASSURANCE OF WHOLESOMENESS AND PROPER LABELING 3. DETECT AND LOCATE COMMUNICABLE DISEASES THE FIVE BASIC FUNCTIONS OF FEDERAL MEAT INSPECTION ARE: 1. DETECTION AND DESTRUCTION OF DISEASED MEAT 2. ASSURANCE OF CLEAN AND SANITARY HANDLING AND PREPARATION 3. PREVENTION OF ADULTERATION (THE ADDITION OF HARMFUL SUBSTANCES OR PRODUCTS CONSIDERED IMPROPER IN CERTAIN SPECIFIED QUANTITIES) 4. PREVENTION OF FALSE LABELING 5. APPLICATION OF THE INSPECTION STAMP FEDERAL MEAT INSPECTION CONSISTS OF SEVEN AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY. The biggest problem in meat inspection is operational sanitation. Correspondingly, there are two functions of meat inspection that are continuous: A. Continuous inspection patrol to assure maintenance of sanitary premises and practices. B. Re-inspection privilege to detect unacceptable products at any stage of preparation or storage. The specific areas of responsibility are: 1. FACILITIES CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATIONAL SANITATION A. Building Plans B. Specifications for Operational Sanitation C. Design, Equipment, and Operation of Slaughter Facilities and Facilities for Processing Edible Product 2. ANTEMORTEM INSPECTION M.P.I.P. regulations require that all animals entering an inspected plant be inspected both while they are in motion and also at rest. If they have an abnormal temperature or display other symptoms of disease which would render their meat unfit for food, such animals are marked with a "U.S. Condemned" tag which assures their elimination for food purposes. Some examples of types of animals or symptoms which require that they be identified as "U.S. Condemned" include: 1. Dead or Dying 2. Comatose Condition 3. Temperatures over 105 degrees F. (106 degrees F. for swine) 4. Eminent Parturition 5. Animals with obvious diseases symptoms such as Anthrax, Rabies, Tetanus, Cholera. Epithelioma, and Foot and Mouth Disease Some examples of types of animals or symptoms which require that they be identified as "U.S. Suspect" and thus be held for detailed inspection during the postmortem inspection are: •1. Seriously Crippled •2. "Downers" •3. Reactors to Tuberculin Test •4. Minor Epithelioma (cancer eye) •5. Minor Anasarca (brisket edema) •6. Minor Swine Erysipelas •7. Vesicular Exanthema (blisters on the lips, tongue, and feet) •8. Immature (baby veal) 3. POSTMORTEM INSPECTION Examples of reasons whole carcasses are condemned: 1. Hog Cholera 2. Anthrax 3. Rabies 4. Extreme Emaciation 5. Pneumonia 6. Uremic Poisoning 7. Epithelioma 8. Peritonitis 9. Septicemia 10. Abscesses 11. Arthritis Primary causes for parts of carcasses being condemned: 1. Contamination 2. Abscesses 3. Arthritis 4. Injuries and Bruises 4. PRODUCT INSPECTION Federal meat inspection extends also to the processing departments of a meat packing plant. There, it is essential for the inspectors to be fully informed on the details of all manufacturing processes, to make sure they are carried out under sanitary conditions and to guard against the use of any harmful substances in the formulation of a product. All formulas used in processing products are filed with the M.P.I.P., and no deviations are permitted. 5. LABORATORY DETERMINATIONS Meat inspection regulations are specific concerning the spices, coloring matter, cereals and other additives that may be used in the manufacture of meat products. Samples of all spices, condiments, coloring agents and similar substances must be submitted to a certified laboratory to make chemical and other technical determinations. The following tests represent examples of the kinds of analysis required for frankfurters under federal meat inspection regulations: 1. Fat Analysis 2. Moisture Analysis 3. Curing Agents-Nitrate Analysis 4. Phosphate Analysis 5. Binders-Soy Protein Isolate Analysis 6. Meat From Other Species 7. Drug, Biologic, or Pesticide Residue 6. CONTROL AND RESTRICTION OF CONDEMNED PRODUCTS All materials, parts, portions, organs, or glands that are condemned must be treated in a manner to insure that they do not become a part of the domestic meat supply. Such meats must be held under lock and key or in a suitably marked container and disposed of by one of the following methods: 1. Rendering for edible fats, greases or oils (rendered) 2. Made into animal feed of fertilizer (tanked) 3. Incinerated 4. Chemically denatured with one of several agents including kerosene, diesel oil, FD&C No.3 green coloring or carbonic acid 5. Held in a -10 degrees cooler for 5 days and sold for animal feed ie: Mink Farms 7. MARKING, LABELING, AND INSPECTION INSIGNIA Definite provisions control the use of brands and labels applied to meats and containers holding meats. For example, the circular stamp carrying the legend "U.S. Inspected and Passes" must also have a number on it to identify the official establishment. Green, yellow, or red ink made from harmless vegetable coloring compounds are used for branding fresh meats. Brands come in various sizes for different kinds of meat. In the case of labels on prepared meat products, the M.P.I.P. insists that they be submitted for approval before use. The labels must contain: (LABELING LAWS) 1. The Common or Usual Name of the Product 2. The Inspection Legend 3. The Establishment Number, Name, and Address of the Processor or Distributor 4. Correct Statement of Quantity as Net Weight 5. For Sausage and Canned Meats, A Statement of the Ingredients Used, Listed in Descending Order of Their Predominance Pathogen Reduction and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Systems On July 25th, 1996, USDA announced the Pathogen Reduction and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Systems final rule. This rule calls for: Mandatory HACCP systems Microbiological testing (generic E. coli and Salmonella) Sanitation standard operating procedures (SSOPs) HACCP was developed by food microbiologists; however, it is not limited to controlling microbiology safety. It can be used to control the full range of physical, chemical and biological factors that affect the safety of a food product. HACCP is a preventative system in which safety is designed into the food formulation and the production process. HACCP includes the following seven principles (National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods. 1998. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Principles and Application Guidelines. Journal of Food Protection, 61:1246-1259). Principle 1. Conduct a hazard analysis. – The hazards -- physical, chemical and biological -- associated with the production, distribution, sale and consumption of a product are determined, and the relative risks and consequences of each hazard are assessed. Principle 2. Determine the critical control points (CCPs). – A point, step or procedure where control can be applied to prevent, eliminate or reduce to acceptable level a food safety hazard. Principle 3. Establish critical limits. – A maximum and/or minimum value to which a biological, chemical or physical parameter must be controlled at a CCP to prevent, eliminate, or reduce to acceptable level teh occurrence of a food safety hazard. Principle 4. Establish monitoring procedures. – A planned sequence of observations or measurements to assess where a CCP is under control and to produce an accurate record for future use in verification. Principle 5. Establish corrective actions. – Contingency plans that detail the protocols that must by followed when a CCP is found out of control should include step to bring the CCP under control and the recommended disposition of any product manufactured while the CCP was out of control. Principle 6. Establish verification procedures. – Those activities, other than monitoring, that determine the validity of the HACCP plan adn that the system is operating according to the plan. Principle 7. Establish Record- keeping and documentation procedures. – Records include the hazard analysis, including the rationale for determining hazards and control measures, the HACCP plan, and monitoring and corrective action activities. Inspection vs. Grading MEAT INSPECTION IS ENTIRELY UNRELATED TO AND SHOULD NEVER BE CONFUSED WITH MEAT GRADING. The grading program is simply a process of subdividing highly variable products into uniform or standardized quality groups. Meat grading is a marketing tool while meat inspection eliminates unfit meat from the meat supply. Inspection vs. Grading MEAT GRADERS VS. MEAT INSPECTORS Grading - Voluntary, paid for by user. Inspection - Involuntary, paid for by the government, supported in part by taxes. Both are under the U.S.D.A., but have two separate purposes. Inspection vs. Grading INSPECTION INSIGNIA A circular purple stamp on a cut of meat bearing the legend "U.S. Inspected and Passed" serves as a guarantee of wholesomeness, and is backed by the Meat and Poultry Inspection Program (M.P.I.P.) of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The stamp appears on all meat products which move in interstate and foreign commerce. KOSHER - The Meaning of the Term The word "kosher' is one of Judaism's contributions to the international vocabulary. People of other cultures and languages use the term in its original meaning-denoting that which is proper and meets accepted rules and standards.
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