Author(s): Butler RJ, Murray JG, Tidswell S
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Abstract The aim of meat inspection in Australia is to contribute to the production of safe and wholesome food, comply with the requirements of importing countries, and support national animal health objectives. An analysis of the role of quality assurance (QA) in the meat inspection systems at federally inspected establishments shows that the position of Australia as a leading meat exporter is aided by a co-regulatory, QA-based approach to meat inspection, which is equally applicable to all species at slaughter. Technical developments in meat inspection at the national and international level during the 1990s led to significant enhancements in QA systems. Quality assurance is implemented through nationally uniform documented systems, which are designed to achieve consistent standards of meat safety. These systems are complemented by hazard analysis critical control point-based QA programmes which meet the quality-standards of the International Organization for Standardization. Quality assurance programmes aim for a 'whole of chain' approach, so that the system is implemented 'from the paddock to the plate', or from pre-harvest through to post-harvest, i.e., from on-farm practices to the refrigeration, storage and transportation stages. The QA elements of meat inspection employed in production systems in Australia have significantly contributed to the consistent achievement of meat safety objectives that are appropriate to contemporary risks.
This article was published in Rev Sci Tech
and referenced in Journal of Coastal Zone Management