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Scientific Opinion on the public health hazards to be covered by inspection of meat from farmed game

Author(s): EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ)

Journal: EFSA Journal
ISSN 1831-4732

Volume: 11;
Issue: 6;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: meat inspection | farmed game | ante-mortem | post-mortem | contaminants | residues | surveillance

Salmonella spp. in farmed wild boar and Toxoplasma gondii in farmed deer and farmed wild boar were ranked as a high priority for meat inspection. Trichinella spp. in wild boar was ranked as low priority due to current controls, which should be continued. For chemical hazards, all substances were ranked as medium or lower potential concern. More effective control of biological hazards could be achieved using an integrated farm to chilled carcass approach, including improved food chain information (FCI) and risk-based controls. Further studies are required on Salmonella spp. in farmed wild boar and T. gondii in farmed wild boar and farmed deer. If new information confirms a high risk to public health from meat from these species, setting targets at carcass level should be considered. Palpation and incision should be omitted, as it will not detect biological hazards considered to be a high priority for meat inspection while increasing the potential spread and cross-contamination of the carcasses with Salmonella. Palpation and/or incision may be applied where abnormalities have been detected but away from the slaughter line. However the elimination of routine palpation and incision would be detrimental for detecting tuberculosis. As farmed deer and farmed wild boar can act as tuberculosis reservoirs, any reduction in the detection, due to changes in the post-mortem inspection procedures, will have consequences for the overall surveillance of tuberculosis. Monitoring programmes for chemical hazards should be more flexible and based on the risk of occurrence, taking into account FCI, which should be expanded to reflect the specific environmental conditions of the farms where the animals are reared, and the ranking of chemical substances, which should be regularly updated and include new hazards. Control programmes across the food chain, national residue control programmes, feed control and monitoring of environmental contaminants should be better integrated.
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