The Role of Clean Water in Meat Processing

Written by Dr Kevin Teh

Meat can be a vehicle for foodborne diseases in many parts of the world and may be contaminated with a wide range of pathogenic bacteria. When present, the microorganisms are usually undetected in the gastrointestinal tract and on the skin surfaces of the animal.

Germs are invisible

Meat can become contaminated at any stage of the slaughtering process and subsequently during handling or further processing in different areas of the supply chain. Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli and Listeria monocytogenes are primary food-related pathogens which are commonly found in processed meat.

Before you start

Ensuring good food hygiene is one of the most critical parts of the food preparation process. Food can become contaminated at any point during slaughtering and processing. The principles of food safety aim to prevent food from becoming contaminated. Cleaning and sanitizing are the fundamental first steps in developing a food safety system.

Germs are all around you

Foods that are prepared with unsafe water can easily lead to cross-contamination and several foodborne illnesses. Even slaughterhouses using municipal water, may face microbial water quality issues in their water distribution systems. One fundamental factor throughout all required measures is disinfecting water. It is essential to always use clean water to wash and process food right from the start.

What have you touched?

The equipment that comes into direct contact with food are known to harbour pathogens. Microorganisms can be transmitted to well-cleaned surfaces from unwashed hands before processing starts. All food contact equipment and surfaces should be properly cleaned and sanitized before starting any operation.

Where are you putting your meat next?

Food contact surfaces are identified as one of the contributing factors to microbial contamination of food products in the processing chain. The presence of high microorganism levels on the food contact surfaces are sufficient to initiate biofilm formation, which leads to cross-contamination of food products with the surrounding contact surfaces during processing.

The quality of your meat is in your clean water

Good hygienic practices are essential to maintain the slaughterhouse sanitation level, ensuring safety and production of quality meat.  This can be achieved by the implementation of sanitation standards such as HACCP and Good Hygiene Practices, and through regular microbial assessment of the meat products and contact surfaces in food processing establishments.

Wash, rinse and sanitize – wash those germs away

There is a need for proactive measures to determining the microbiological associated hazards in the food processing chain. Having the right approach to hygiene management is important in planning and forming an effective critical control point assessment and continuous screening program for foodborne pathogens.

Use safe, clean water

Foodborne pathogens enter the food chain either by direct or indirect contamination, as a result of poor hygienic practices. Proper hygiene measures are essential to ensure public health protection, through enhancing food safety and preserving the meat quality. All food processing stages involving washing are identified as key critical control points.

ZamiGuard Clean Water is a powerful, 99.9% pure chlorine dioxide solution for cleaning waterlines.

Zamiguard Clean Water Chlorine Dioxide process | Zamira Australia

ZamiGuard Clean Water helps reduce the level of microbial contamination without affecting the physicochemical properties and sensory characteristics of the meat.

ZamiGuard Clean Water:

  • Kills bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi & algae
  • Eliminates foodborne pathogens
  • Prevents further spread of microbial contaminations
  • Versatile applications
  • Increases the shelf life of the poultry & meat
  • Removes & prevents biofilm
  • Is safe and does not produce harmful by-product

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