A concurrent diagnosis of microbiological food safety output and food safety management system performance: Cases from meat processing industries

P.A. Luning, L. Jacxsens, J. Rovira, S. Oses Gomez, M. Uyttendaele, W.J. Marcelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Stakeholder requirements force companies to analyse their food safety management system (FSMS) performance to improve food safety. Performance is commonly analysed by checking compliance against preset requirements via audits/inspections, or actual food safety (FS) output is analysed by microbiological testing. This paper discusses the usefulness of a concurrent diagnosis of FSMS performance and FS output using new tools; illustrated for three meat-processing companies. Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp. (food safety indicators), Escherichia coli, Enterobacteriaceae (hygiene indicators), and total viable counts TVC (overall performance) were analysed at ten critical sampling locations covering both product and environmental samples, using the Microbial Assessment Scheme diagnosis. Riskiness of FSMS context and performance of core FSMS activities were assessed using a diagnostic tool (including 51 indicators and corresponding grids with level descriptions). For the (large) beef meat processor, the FS output diagnosis showed too high TVC but the high activity scores of their FSMS indicated that this problem could be only solved by supplier measures. Likewise, for the (medium-size) poultry meat processor, the activity/context diagnosis showed a clear dependency on suppliers. However, the FS output diagnosis revealed a broader contamination problem, and additional measures to improve, amongst others, sanitation program, compliance to procedures, personal hygienic requirements seem necessary. The FS output diagnosis of the (small) lamb meat processor showed various contamination problems (but no pathogens) corresponding with various low activity levels in combination with he high-risk context. The combined diagnosis provided clear directions for improvement to move towards more advanced FSMS activity levels or to reduce riskiness in context
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-565
JournalFood Control
Volume22
Issue number3/4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • techno-managerial approach
  • listeria-monocytogenes
  • spp. contamination
  • campylobacter spp.
  • poultry
  • quality
  • hygiene
  • plant
  • beef
  • environment

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