Production practices and bacteriological quality of meat pies in an approved meat product premises. Introduction Everyday of every year, people all over the world try to fill their food eating needs. In perhaps no other area of human existence does one find such a need for cooperation and trust than in the area of food and water consumption. We take it for granted that the hamburgers we buy are safe for consumption and that the meat pies looking shiny and bright in a glass case are not only delicious but could possibly even be nutritious.
But the harsh reality is that even though the vast majority of food products are safe this is by no means an accident and requires concerted vigilance from the government as well as the good sense of many individuals in the food processing business. This paper focuses on the meat processing industry in particular and the production of meat pies in particular, with the focus on the United Kingdom, whose laws, of late, have become subsumed under European Community laws and directives. Food poisoningFood poisoning happens when food or water taken into the body has organisms that attack the stomach or intestinal lining.
There are quite a few food poisoning organisms, including campylobacter, salmonella, listeria, clostridium perfringens, bacillus cereus, e. coli 0157, shigella, and viral gastroenteritis. Among the more common symptoms that would signal that a person has food poisoning are “nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and fever” (Communicable Diseases (FAQ) www. swindon. gov. uk/. ../environment-food/environment-food-diseases/environment-food-diseases-faq. htm). In some cases, in as few as four hours it will become apparent that food poisoning has occurred because of the symptoms. In other cases, it might take several days, even up to ten days for the relevant symptoms to be felt or observed.
In the UK “The official number of notified cases in 2001 was in the region of 85,000. The true figure is more likely to have been considerably more than this” (Communicable Diseases (FAQ) www. swindon. gov. uk/. ../environment-food/environment-food-diseases/environment-food-diseases-faq. htm). The most common form of food poisoning comes from campylobacter. Even though many people may never have heard of this organism, it does quite a great deal of damage and has earned the dubious reputation of being the most common source for food borne illness.
In the case of campylobacter, diarrhoea and abdominal pain are the major symptoms and they account for more cases of food poisoning than all other cases, including salmonella poisoning, put together. In 2001, in England alone, about 50,000 cases of campylobacter poisoning were reported. In addition to abdominal pain and diarrhoea, the person suffering from campylobacter food poisoning may experience fever. This bacterium is easy to transmit through such foods as salads and cooked meat that may not have been handled aright.
In some restaurants, meat is cut into pieces before being served. If the kitchen staffs have had any contact with campylobacter, the process of cutting the meat may offer the perfect opportunity for transmission. In some cases, the food may simply not have been cooked properly even though it carries the campylobacter bacteria. Infected individuals may find themselves vomiting blood and may feel nauseous and may have to endure this discomfort for about one week.