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Mesologgi, Greece

Milios K.T.,Veterinary Service | Drosinos E.H.,Agricultural University of Athens | Zoiopoulos P.E.,University of Western Greece
Food Control

During validation and verification of the system for the proper implementation of HACCP principles, it is essential to rely on microbiological data. Considerable science research has been carried out during the last twenty years on sampling and testing of carcasses for hygiene criteria. This includes the preferable indicator microorganisms to be used, in order to indicate the general hygiene of slaughtering procedures, the evaluation of microbiological data gathered and the sampling methods. Furthermore, European Union (EU) and the United States have adopted the procedures for HACCP validation and verification in their legislation. The aim of this review is to demonstrate the relevant modern trends in this field of food science. In conclusion, microbiological data based on the indicators should be interpreted only to assess general trends in the hygiene process of the operator in order to take corrective action. Microbiological results, obtained only at the end of the slaughtering process, do not provide information on the cause of the problem. Therefore, 'process-based' microbiological criteria which are based on values measured at various stages of the process, including final carcass values, should be used. Finally, in order to implement an adequate monitoring system, non-destructive techniques of carcass sampling could be used instead of excision. The microbial recovery may be lower, but it is proportional to the excision recovery and therefore, non-destructive techniques, like swabbing with sponges, could be a practical sampling method for the estimation of indicators during the slaughtering procedure and hygiene evaluation. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Milios K.,Veterinary Service | Drosinos E.H.,Agricultural University of Athens | Zoiopoulos P.E.,University of Western Greece
Journal of the Hellenic Veterinary Medical Society

HACCP application in food processing plants could improve food safety and lead to a reduction of food-borne diseases. Apparent lack of HACCP implementation in several food businesses may be due to presence of various technical barriers. The aim of this review is to explore the lists of motives and barriers to implementation of the HACCP system as outlined in the published literature and to evaluate respective impact. Lack of awareness of HACCP, no perceived benefits, lack of training, management regressions, variability of production lines and individuality of each product, variability of the consumers' demands and small size of an enterprise have been found to have negative effects on implementation and performance of a HACCP system. Also, costs of development, as well as application and maintenance of the system seem to constitute a severe constraint. According to the authors' opinion, lack of management commitment, in addition to lack of personnel training and costs are the main constraints to appropriate implementation of HACCP. On the other hand, motivation for HACCP application provides an improvement of processing procedures' efficiency, decrease of recalls, regulatory demands, enhancement of firm reputation, costs reduction, customers' demands, previous experiences with food safety issues, trained staff and management decision. Finally, legislation cannot provide adequate motivation for appropriate HACCP implementation, so that market motivation is, in our view, the key factor that can lead to management commitment. Source

Milios K.,Veterinary Service | Drosinos E.H.,Agricultural University of Athens | Zoiopoulos P.E.,University of Ioannina
Journal of the Hellenic Veterinary Medical Society

European Union legislation approach to meat safety assurance advocates use of strict preventive hygiene measures and procedures to overcome threats by pathogens. Therefore, there is no need for carcass decontamination at the last stage of slaughtering process, using intervention methods. In contrast, the United States permit and regulate intervention decontamination methods. Generally, a HACCP system may use intervention treatments. These may be based solely on a non-intervention system or use a combination of both. Interventions have the advantage of achieving a consistent reduction in bacterial contamination and require less manual input, but on the other hand, may also lead to carcass discolouration, produce large quantities of waste water and be relatively expensive. Moreover, intervention methods could constitute a means of concealing poor hygiene conditions during slaughtering or, even more, their residues could be a potential hazard for food safety. Non-intervention systems have the advantages of being relatively inexpensive, easy to implement and more preventive. However, these systems rely heavily on human effort and the possibility for error is considerably higher than the intervention systems. There are many carcass decontamination methods, as described in the relevant literature and used in slaughterhouses worldwide, such as: (i) cold/warm water washing, (ii) hot water washing, (iii) steam vacuuming, (iv) steam pasteurization, (v) irradiation, (vi) organic acid application, (vii) combination of organic acid application with other decontamination treatments and (viii) other chemical treatments. Aim of this review is to provide information on the relevant literature, as well as describe and comment on the questions raised. Source

Milios K.,Veterinary Service | Mataragas M.,Agricultural University of Athens | Pantouvakis A.,University of Piraeus | Drosinos E.H.,Agricultural University of Athens | Zoiopoulos P.E.,University of Western Greece
International Journal of Food Microbiology

The aim of this study was to quantify the hygienic status of a lamb slaughterhouse by means of multivariate statistical analysis, to demonstrate how the microbiological data could be exploited to improve the lamb slaughter process by constructing control charts and to evaluate the potential effect of an intervention step such as steam application on the microbiological quality of lamb carcasses. Results showed that pelt removal and evisceration were hygienically uncontrolled. TVC and Enterobacteriaceae progressively increased from the stage 'after pelt removal of hind and forelegs/before final pulling' to the stage 'after evisceration/before pluck removal' thus indicating possible deposition of microorganisms during these operations. It seems that the processing stages of freshly produced carcasses were better distinguished by Enterobacteriaceae, with evisceration contributing mostly to the final Enterobacteriaceae counts. Application of steam during the lamb slaughter process reduced microbial counts without adverse effects on the organoleptic characteristics of the carcasses. Moreover, the construction of control charts showed that decontamination with steam contributed to the maintenance of an in control process compared to that before the application of steam, suggesting the potential use of steam as an intervention step during the lamb slaughter process. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

Allen A.,Agri Food and Biosciences Institute of Northern Ireland | Breadon E.,Agri Food and Biosciences Institute of Northern Ireland | Byrne A.,Agri Food and Biosciences Institute of Northern Ireland | Mallon T.,Agri Food and Biosciences Institute of Northern Ireland | And 8 more authors.

Background: Brucellosis is the most common bacterial zoonoses worldwide. Bovine brucellosis caused by Brucella abortus has far reaching animal health and economic impacts at both the local and national levels. Alongside traditional veterinary epidemiology, the use of molecular typing has recently been applied to inform on bacterial population structure and identify epidemiologicallylinked cases of infection.Multi-locus variable number tandem repeat VNTR analysis (MLVA) was used to investigate the molecular epidemiology of a well-characterised Brucella abortus epidemic in Northern Ireland involving 387 herds between 1991 and 2012. Results: MLVA identified 98 unique B. abortus genotypes from disclosing isolates in the 387 herds involved in the epidemic. Clustering algorithms revealed the relatedness of many of these genotypes. Combined with epidemiological information on chronology of infection and geographic location, these genotype data helped to identify 7 clonal complexes which underpinned the outbreak over the defined period. Hyper-variability of some VNTR loci both within herds and individual animals led to detection of multiple genotypes associated with single outbreaks. However with dense sampling, these genotypes could still be associated with specific clonal complexes thereby permitting inference of epidemiological links. MLVAbased epidemiological monitoring data were congruent with an independent classical veterinary epidemiology study carried out in the same territory. Conclusions: MLVA is a useful tool in ongoing disease surveillance of B. abortus outbreaks, especially when combined with accurate epidemiological information on disease tracings, geographical clustering of cases and chronology of infection. © 2015 Allen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source

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