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Managing Meat Safety at South African Abattoirs

Authors: R. Govender, D. Naidoo, E. M. Buys


The importance of ensuring safe meat handling and processing practices has been demonstrated in global reports on food safety scares and related illness and deaths. This necessitated stricter meat safety control strategies. Today, many countries have regulated towards preventative and systematic control over safe meat processing at abattoirs utilizing the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles. HACCP systems have been reported as effective in managing food safety risks, if correctly implemented. South Africa has regulated the Hygiene Management System (HMS) based on HACCP principles applicable to abattoirs. Regulators utilise the Hygiene Assessment System (HAS) to audit compliance at abattoirs. These systems were benchmarked from the United Kingdom (UK). Little research has been done them since inception as of 2004. This paper presents a review of the two systems, its implementation and comparison with HACCP. Recommendations are made for future research to demonstrate the utility of the HMS and HAS in assuring safe meat to consumers.

Keywords: Food Safety, abattoir, HACCP, co-regulation, meat hygiene

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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