12.2  Meat hygiene

12.2.1  Abattoirs and meat transportation

Abattoirs, also known as slaughterhouses, are establishments where livestock are killed prior to human consumption. Slaughterhouses should be subject to inspection to ensure that the meat they produce is safe to eat. This includes inspection of live animals and also of the slaughtered animal carcasses. Before slaughter, the animals should be observed to check for any abnormalities in their appearance or behaviour that could indicate sickness. After slaughter, animal carcasses should be inspected by a qualified meat inspector who knows the signs of specific types of disease and which organs they may be found in. If the carcass passes the inspection it will be stamped with safe, indelible ink to indicate it has been approved for human consumption.

The carcass should be transported soon after slaughter, in a special vehicle, to a butchery or distribution centre. If such customised vehicles are not available, every precaution should be taken to avoid contamination of the meat during transportation. Even if the meat travels in a wheelbarrow it should be kept absolutely clean.

12.2.2  Hygiene in the butcher’s shop