26 June 1998

Safer poultry

INTRODUCING the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system throughout the poultry supply chain could make the UK a world leader in safe poultry production.

That is the opinion of Geoff Mead, recipient of the seventh Temperton Fellowship for poultry research, presenting his report on the safety of poultry products at a meeting in London last week.

According to Prof Mead, HACCP is being introduced by poultry processors, but to be fully effective it needs to be adopted throughout the supply chain.

"Poultry farms already operate to strict hygiene safety standards in response to retailer demands and government legislation.

"However, the introduction of a fully integrated HACCP system would enable the industry to optimise hygiene control and minimise microbial contamination of carcasses."

But he admitted that adopting HACCP required a strong commitment to food safety requirements by managers and staff, and providing training and implementing comprehensive programmes could take several years.