Proper cleaning and effective sanitation is an essential component of processing poultry, as it contributes significantly to the prevention of product contamination with microorganisms that cause food-borne disease and spoilage. Rapid expansion of production volume, increased further-processing and introduction of diverse ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat products, sophistication of the processing equipment, implementation of HACCP and microbial finished-product standards, and, more importantly, expensive product recalls have necessitated greater control over the cleaning and sanitation process.
A sanitary process should effectively protect raw and/or cooked products from physical (i.e. metal, plastic, bone, packaging materials etc.), chemical (residues of cleaning and disinfection chemicals, lubricants, coolants etc.), and biological (food-borne pathogens and/ortheirtoxins) hazards. In spite of this, many hazards continue to find their way into the processing environment and ultimately into the finished products. Microorganisms are naturally introduced into the poultry processing environments in high numbers with the live birds and, when the conditions are suitable, form growth niches by actively multiplying within the system.
It is generally accepted that processing equipment should not be a direct orindirect source of microbial contamination. Many regulatory and advisory bodies have introduced hygienic design and processing guidelines. This presentation will review the recently introduced sanitary processing equipment design principles and equipment checklist by the American Meat Institute.
Aplant designed, equipped, operated and maintained with internationally accepted hygienic and sanitary standards will produce safe and wholesome poultry products forthe consumer.