The production chain of meat and products thereof is rather complex: there are many phases between breeding and the fridge at home, so there are many possible sources of contamination.
Firstly, the contamination with already-processed matrices or with matrices belonging to different types of food needs to be taken into consideration. The processing equipment, the working environments, and the surfaces which come into contact with the product are other sources of contamination.
The microbiological safety indicators for the meat and products thereof are made up of pathogens such as Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus. In order to ensure the quality of the product, however, the laboratory testing also includes the quantification of the Total Bacterial Count and the identification of Escherichia coli, Lactic acid bacteria, and Enterobacteria.
The microbiological criteria applicable to foodstuffs are described in EC Regulation No 2073/2005. In order to ensure the compliance with the requirements set out in Annex I of the regulation, FBO (Food Business Operators) must establish self-monitoring procedures and a HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) plan.
In addition to microbiological aspects, as regards safety, it is indispensable to identify possible allergens and write them on the packaging of the product, in line with regulations on food labelling and to ensure traceability.
The regulations provide that the establishments where food of animal origin is produced and/or processed must comply with the general health and hygiene requirements set out in EC Regulation No 852/2004 and EC Regulation No 853/2004 focusing on this specific type of matrices.
The companies that obtain recognition of those requisites are assigned a unique identification code (EC health mark) and are included in the reference lists of the European Union for this industry.
Our highly-specialised team in this industry provides a comprehensive consultancy service to support the customer from the application for the EC health mark to the marketing stage.
In addition, White Lab's services allow to determine the possible adulteration of foodstuffs with unauthorised meat content through a DNA analysis for species identification.
With the help of White Lab Laboratories, you can ensure the safety and quality of meat raw materials, finished and semi-finished products. In addition, the collaboration with veterinarians allows to ensure the compliance of the whole production process in terms of animal health and food hygiene.
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