Legislation of meat, wild and poultry products

Table 1 Legislation meat products food safety status

RegulationFoodstuffs animal
(EC) No 178/2002General principles and requirements of law establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down in matters of food safety
(EC) No 852/2004Food hygiene
(EC) No 853/2004Hygiene in the production of products of animal origin
(EC) No 2073/2005Microbiological criteria for food
(EU) No 1169/2011Provision of food for consumers
(EC) No 1333/2008Food
(EC) No 882/2004Official controls on with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules
(EC) No 1881/2006Determining maximum levels of certain contaminants
(EC) No 854/2004Official controls on food from animal products
(EC) No 2074/2005Implementing measures for special animal products
(EC) No 1234/2007as regards standards for poultry
(EC) No 2022/2388  amending Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 as regards maximum levels of perfluoroalkyl substances in certain foodstuffs
The legislation table will be renewed: An update will follow soon

Microbiological hazards meat

Table 2 Common microbiological hazards

GenusPathogenic speciesGRForm, mobilityO₂T (C.)T1 (C.)pH-OpH-RaWIllness
Aeromonashydrophilic, sobria, caviaeRod, mobileFa20-354,0-42,04,0-10,0>0.97Infection: diarrhoea, stomachache and vomiting.
Bacilluscereus+Rod (3-5 um length 1 um wide) spore forming, mobileAerobe (sometimes Fa)28,3510,0-48,06.0-7,54,9-9,3>0.91Poisoning (Tox. 1) and infection (Tox. 2)
Campylobacterjenuni, coliSpiral formed rod, mobile.Min. 3 % Max. 15 % opt. 5 % oxygen42-4530-476,5 – 7,54,9 – 9,5>0.98 Infection: Stomachache, diarrhoea, fever, sometimes meningitis.
Clostridiumbotulinum seven species categorized into toxins: A, B, C1, D, E, F, G)+Rod (4-8 um long and 0,9-1,2 um wide; type E 0,3-0,7 um wide), spore formingAnear.30-37P: 10-45 NP: 3,3-456,5-7,0P: 4.6-9.0 NP: 5.0-9.0P: >0.95 NP: >0.97Poisoning by this very toxic neurotoxin; is deadly unless it is treated in time.
Clostridiumperfringens (five types categorized on formed enterotoxins: A to E)+Rod (2-8 um long, 1um wide), spore-formingAnear. Low oxygen levels are also possible.43-4515-506-7,55,5-8,5> 0.95Infection: toxin forming in the small intestine leads to stomach and intestine complaints such as stomachache, diarrhoea, and low mortality.
Escherichiacoli (also O157:H7)RodFa30-3710-45.5 (EHEC)74,4-9,5> 0.95Infection by EHEC group of which E. coli 0157:H7 (hamburger ) is the most severe; the mortality is around 35%.
monocytogenes (11 species; 3 cause 90% of the infections)+Rod (0,5-2,0um long, 0,5um wide), mobile at 20-25°C.Fa3,0-37,00-4575-9 (at 4gr. C) 4,4-9,0 (at 30grC)> 0.92Infections of healthy individuals lead to flu . Infants, the Elderly, the ill and pregnant women might get severe symptoms when infected by Listera. (Meningitis, blood poisoning and abortion). In these risk groups is the mortality 30-50%.
PlesiomonasshigalloidesRodFa37-388,0-44,05-7,7Infection: stomach and intestine complaints (diarrhoea, stomachache, vomiting) could cause meningitis in sensitive individuals (very young children, elderly and immunodeficiency
SalmonellaTwo thousand three hundred species that might cause enteritis (stomach inflammation).Rod, sometimes mobileFa35-375,0-45,074,0-9,0>0.93Infection: intestinal inflammation. For the elderly, small children and sick, illness can be fatal.
Salmonellatyphus; paratyphusRodFa375,0-45,0>0.93Typhus, paratyphus are the most severe illnesses caused by Salmonella.
ShigellaSeveralRodFa377,0-46,05,0-8,0Infection: dysentery by inflammation of the intestinal wall. Severity is dependent on the Shigella species.
Staphylococcusaureus, not all species are pathogenic.+Coc (0.5-1um in diameter), coccus are formed in a grape-like cluster.Fa3710,0-45,06,5-7,55,2-9,0>0.85 opt: >0.98Toxin results in vomiting and stomachache. Compared with other infections are, the symptoms mild.
Yersiniaentero-colitica (some species are pathogenic)Rod, sometimes round, sometimes mobileFa32-340-447,0-8,04.6-9.0 at 25° C>0.96Infection: diarrhoea, a disease similar to appendicitis and is rarely fatal.

Table 3 Viruses, rickettsia in meat products, derived from Hazard table Viruses, rickettsia, prions

Virus, ricket, prionOriginFood productMIDDiseasePreventive MeasurementsComments
Viral-gastro-enteritis (stomach flu with diarrhoea, stomach ache and vomiting) viruses (adenovirus, astrovirus, calicivirus, , Norwalk virus, rotavirus)HumanAll food products direct or through aerosols or vomiting by Human contaminated or faecal polluted → especially .A few virus particlesGastro-enteritis. Incubation time is 12-50 hours; infants and small children are extra sensitive to viruses.. Contaminated persons should prevent the handling of . Heating: several minutes at 85-90 ° C. Sensitive target groups should prevent consumption of shellfish.Norwalk virus is the most common among older children and adults. Rotavirus could be fatal for infants and young children. 30% of gastroenteritis is caused by viruses (not necessarily through food!).
PrionsSheep, elderly cows and humans.Organs containing central nervous system tissues (brains as an ).Degenerative diseases of the nervous system.Scrapie (at sheep), BSE (bovine) and Creutzfeldt Jacob (Humans) are caused by prions. Further relatively unknown. Transmission from animal to human (zoonoses) and the transmission from bovine to human is very probable.

Chemistry hazards meat

Table 4 possible chemical hazards derived from Hazard table Chemical

Chemical componentFood productLegislationComments
PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), Benzo(a)pyrene.Oils/fats, smoked meat products, aromas etc.Maximum levels according to Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006Formed during combustion processes (baking, roasting, BBQ). Carcinogenic PAHs induce cancer in the lungs and the digestive tract.
Dioxins: Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs), Polychlorinated dibenzofurans PCDFs and 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD).Meat (through Feed) and poultry, fish (especially fatty fish such as herring and salmon) and Vegetables, Oils/fats, dairy and eggsMaximum levels according to Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006Formed from chlorinated linkages during heating with low oxygen levels. Carcinogenic for humans and animals above a threshold level.
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxin-like PCBs (dl-PCBs)Meat (through Feed) poultry, fish (especially fatty fish such as herring and salmon), Vegetables, Oils/fats, dairy and eggsMaximum levels according to Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006Carcinogenic for animals and humans. Moreover, it might induce skin disorders, reproductive toxicity and liver diseases. PCBs burn above 1200 °C, are insoluble and are applied as plasticizers, paint, ink, lacquer, glue and insecticides.
Residues: (animal)medicines, antibiotics, anti-microbial substances, growth promotors and vitamins.MeatForbiddenInspection for each drug is a Maximum Residue Level (MRL) established with a specific accepted amount in , liver, kidney, fat, milk and eggs. The usage of Chloramphenicol and nitrofuran is forbidden in the EU and VS while still accepted in some Asian countries.
Residue: hormonesMeatForbiddenInspection (growth) hormones are generally not directly carcinogenic or genotoxic but still contain some ).
Components as a consequence of fat oxidation.herbs (products), dairy products (containing normal amounts of fat) and every other product known as a “fatty” product.Accepted, no direct consequences for public health.Fat oxidation causes off flavours of organoleptic characteristics. Through the reaction of oxygen with the formed aldehydes acetic acid, formic acid and propionic acid can be formed. This induces rancidity.
Maillard-reactionProtein-rich products Might cause a shortage of essential amino acid Lysine.
Growth promotors: anabolic steroids, categorized into three groups: estrogenic-, androgenic- and progestogenic steroids. Synthetic steroids: ethinylestradiol, diethylstilbestrol (DES), trenbolone, and Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA).Meat Energy used for the growth of the animal will be focused on the manufacturing of proteins at the cost of fats.
Growth promotors; Beta-agonists. Known as: clenbuterol, salbutamol and bromobuterol.Meat Responsible for the breaking down of fats and production of proteins (repartition drugs).

Table 5 Viruses, rickettsia in meat products, derived from Hazard table Other Biotoxins

Name OriginFood productIllnessComments
Biogenic-amine HistaminePlants, animals and microbesAlmost all food products are high in proteins. Histamine is formed from histidine by enzymes mainly from the Enterobacteriaceae.Influences physiological processes in the body. Consumption of biogenic amines could lead to poisoning. Symptoms: nausea, stuffiness, palpitations, eczema, unnatural blood pressure and headache.Often present in fish as histamine, a symptom similar to food poisoning.

Meat fraud

Meat fraud can be defined as the conscious or deliberate adaptation or alteration of some aspect of meat with the intention of obtaining a financial benefit. This is often done administratively, for example by adjusting the administration, packaging or with the aim of misleading the customer. Traditionally, the Dutch Food Safety Authority-IOD has a good information position in the meat sector. About half of all reports that the NVWA-IOD receives or collects annually are about meat fraud. The same applies to the criminal investigations carried out by the Dutch food safety authority-IOD: roughly half of these focus on meat fraud.

More information about food fraud can be found on the following link ‘Meat fraud

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