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What is meant by food security?

Enough food for all people, with appropriate nutritional value and safe for consumption


What is meant by food safety?

Ensuring that both the food produced and sold in the UK and imported are safe to eat


Define HACCP

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point
A system which identifies, evaluated and control hazards which are significant for food safety


Outline the role of the food industry in ensuring food safety

Food producers and processors, retailers and catering businesses need to adopt improved practices during production, storage and transport


What legislation regulates food safety in the UK?

- The Food Hygiene Package (EC 852, 853, 854/2004)


What is GMP?

Good manufacturing practices
A specified and recorded method of operation designed to minimise the hazards and capable of control and being monitored (prerequisite programmes)


What is GHP?

Good hygiene practices


What is required in order to produce and comply with a HACCP?

- Design of appropriate food processing facilities
- SOPs and SSOPs


Compare possible locations of food processing facilities

- Urban: unpopular, smell, noise, effluent
- Industrial: marginally better, restricted expansion
- Rural: easy to expand but distance from final consumer


What services are required in food processing facilities?

- Water
- Electricity
- Road/rail access
- Security
- Sewage
- Other waste disposal


What regulation applies to water use/provision in food processing facilities/

EC directive 80/778


Outline the important properties of the internal surfaces of a food processing facility

- Impervious, easily cleaned
- Chemical resistance
- Biochemical and bacterial resistant
- Impact resistant
- Resistance to condensation
- Good ventilation and insulation
- Non-slippery
- Wear resistant


What is included in the GMPs?

- Maintenance programme
- Cleaning programme
- Potable water
- Pest control
- Staff training programme on hygiene
- Staff medical programme


Describe the features of the maintenance programme included in a GMP

- In place so all structures/equipment maintained properly
- Keep maintenance log
- Minor damage promptly repaired
- Surfaces and cutting boards smooth, equipment free from rust and dirt
- Floors and drains inspected, cleaned daily


Describe the features of the cleaning programme included in a GMP

- Must contain cleaning procedures
- Plant documented system may include schedule
- Audited by plant and MHS staff
- Daily sign off sheets for those responsible
- Frequency of cleaning for each area/equipment
- Responsible person identified
- Sequence of cleaning
- Chemicals used
- Verification by surface swabbing
- Poor cleaning procedure indicated means immediate investigation and corrective action taken


Describe the requirements within the GMP for potable water

- Plant operator needs to prove water is potable
- Plant documented system may include water sampling and testing from all outlets annually on rotational basis for bacteriological screening (3 parameters assessed), positive results lead to immediate re-sampling
- Mains inlet sampled and tested for same parameters annually as well as 3 more
- Water company requested to supply annual physico-chemical analysis of water in area


What 3 parameters are assessed for water outlets in food production facilities?

- Total viable count at 22C
- TVC at 37C
- Total Coliforms


What additional parameters are assessed for the mains water inlet in food production facilities?

- E. coli
- E. faecalis
- Sulphite reducing Clostridia


Describe the features of pest control within the GMP

- Bait stations checked monthly + external checks by contractor
- Diagram showing locations of bait stations
- All doors and windows pest proof
- Pest control records kept in plant office


Describe the features of a plant training programme within the GMP

- Training programme for all staff handling food
- Qualified member of staff provides in-house hygiene training
- Each employee attends basic food hygiene course given by authorised provider, sit exam and obtain certificate
- All people handling carcass after death need Certificate of Competence


Describe the features of a staff medical programme within the GMP

- Staff notify management if they or family have symptoms of illness that may be transmissible to other humans via handling of exposed meat
- All absences from work notified to management
- Any member of staff suffering V/D should not return to work until 24 hours after symptoms have cleared
- If lasted 3 days or more or been abroad, Drs certificate required before return to work
- Visitors to fill in health questionnaire on arrival


What body led the international acceptance of HACCP-based systems?

1993 Codex Alimentarius


What is the Codex Alimentarius?

- A governing body established to develop food standards under the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme
- Aims to establish international food standards to protect consumers, ensure fair practices, promote coordination of food standards work undertaken by international governmental and non-governmental organisation


What is the main aim of HACCP-based systems?

Give level of assurance as close to 100% as possible of a food product not being contaminated with pathogens, toxins etc.


Give potential barriers to HACCP

- Knowledge and competence
- Training
- Human resources
- Planning
- Management commitment
- Funding


What is assumed with a HACCP based system?

That a system of GMP is already in place within the food production system


List benefits of HACCP

- Preventative system
- Systematic approach
- Increases confidence
- Effective use of resources
- Cost effective control system
- "due diligence"
- Internationally accepted
- Strengthens quality management systems
- Facilitates regulatory/external audits
- Demonstrates management commitment


What is contained in the HACCP document?

- Process flow diagram
- HACCP control chart
- Supporting documentation
- Documents deemed relevant e.g. team details, product infor, decisions


How does the HACCP work?

- Defines the process
- Identifies possible hazards
- Identifies points critical to product safety
- Manages and verifies the above points


What are the stages of HACCP production?

1: Hazard analysis (flow diagram)
2: Identification of critical control points (CCP)
3: Establishment of CCP criteria
4: Monitoring procedures of CCPs
5: Protocols for CCP deviations
6: Record keeping
7: Verification


Outline the preliminary tasks when writing a HACCP

- Define scope of study
- Select HACCP team
- Assemble product data and intended use
- Construct and confirm flow diagram
- List hazards and preventative measures


When defining the product for a HACCP, what should be included?

- Description of food product
- Flow diagram
- Product formulation (pH, Aw etc)
- Packaging
- Storage conditions
- Expected shelf life
- Processing
- Consumer practices


What is a hazard?

Any biological, physical or chemical property that may cause an unacceptable consumer health risk


Give examples of potential hazards in food

- Bacterial contamination, toxic residues
- Foreign bodies


What is required for hazard analysis?

- Identification of hazards
- Identification of measures that can be used to control hazards
- Information sources


What are critical control points in food production?

A location, step or procedure at which some degree of control can be exercised over a microbial hazard e.g. can be prevented, eliminated or reduced to acceptable levels


Outline the characteristics of Critical Control Points

- Essential for safety
- Kept to a minimum to ensure correct focus
- Occur where safety hazard must be controlled
- Each process has finite number


Outline typical criteria of CCPs to indicate process is under control

- Physical parameters e.g. temperature, time
- Chemical parameters e.g. pH, Aw, NaCl
- Sensory information e.g. odour
- Management factors: correct labelling with instructions for use, efficient stock rotation


What is meant by a critical limit?

A value which separates acceptability from unacceptability


Describe the characteristics of critical limits in CCPs

- Must be measurable by test or observation
- Criteria which must be met for each preventative measure at a CCP
- Not necessarily the same as existing processing parameters


Explain how critical limits for CCPs are set

- Upper or lower figure rather than range
- Needs to be measurable
- Use available information e.g. scientific literature
- Factors involved must relate to hazard/preventative measure


Give monitoring procedures for CCPs

- Physical
- Chemical
- Visual
- Microbiological


What is a key requirement of monitoring procedures for CCPs?

Must be able to detect loss of control


What is meant by control measures for CCPs?

Physical, chemical or other factors which can be used to prevent or eliminate an identified hazard or reduce it to acceptable levels


What is the aim of corrective actions for CCPs?

- Regain control
- Prevent deviation
- Correction following deviation (destroy, rework or sample)


What is required for effective implementation of HACCP?

- Personnel training
- Control and monitoring equipment
- Facilities
- Record keeping
- Protocols for CCP deviations
- Verification


What are the purposes of HACCP validation/record keeping?

- Define responsibility
- Monitoring
- Corrective action


Describe the process of HACCP verification

- Personnel with audit skills
- Assess all elements of plan (process flow diagram, HACCP control chart)
- Assess process area (preventative measures, process capability)
- Auditor should be independent of the HACCP team


Outline the principles of maintaining the HACCP system

- Ongoing audit
- Data analysis
- Keep on top of emerging hazards
- Update and amend HACCP
- Ongoing training
- Maintenance of documentation


What are the main components of Food Safety Objectives?

- Risk analysis
- Microbiological testing


Outline egg production flock structure

- Pyramidal
- Top are great-grandparent breeding birds, high biosecurity
- Then grandparent and parent breeding lines, eggs sent to hatcheries
- Day one birds distributed to rearing and laying houses


What are the consequences of disease outbreak considering the pyramidal structure of egg production flocks?

Disease outbreaks, especially in great grandparent and grandparent flocks can have disastrous effects on egg production


What food products were associated with the most food borne outbreaks in the EU (2013)?

Eggs and egg products


What are the main zoonoses associated with eggs?

Salmonella (some Campylobacter, although this is more associated with poultry meat)


What are the main pieces of legislation regulating egg production and retail?

- Commission regulation (EC) 1234/2007
- Commission Regulation (EC) 617/2008
- Commission regulation (EC) 589/2008


What does Commission Regulation (EC) 1234/2007 cover?

Controls of eggs from Salmonella infected flocks of laying hens


What does Commission Regulation (EC) 617/2008 cover?

Rules for implementing EC 1234/2007 as regards marketing standards for eggs hatching and farmyard poultry chicks


What does Commission Regulation (EC) 589/2008 cover?

Rules for implementing 1234/2007 as regards marketing standards for eggs


When were the pieces of legislation regarding egg production implemented?

Implemented through The Eggs and Chicks (England) Regulatio 2009


Who are the regulations on egg production intended for?

- Eggs intended for human consumption
- Target egg producers with 350 laying hens or more


How are the egg production regulations enforced?

Undertaken by
- Egg Marketing Inspectors in England and Wales
- Egg and poultry Unit in Scotland
- Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) Quality Assurance Branch in NI


What are the grading requirements for eggs?/

- Must be graded before reaching market shelves, regardless of production system
- EU legislation considers 2 classes of egg quality: A and B


What are class A eggs?

- Eggs that have quality characteristics that make them suitable for direct human consumption
- Can be sold through supermarkets and other retail outlets
- Must have certain specific characteristics
- Must not be washed or cleaned before or after grading
- Cannot be treated for preservation
- Cannot be chilled in premises or plants where temperature is artificially maintained at less than 5degreesC


Describe the characteristics of the shell and cuticle, yolk, white, air space, germ, foreign matter and foreign smell of Class A eggs

- Shell/cuticle: normal shape, clean, undamaged
- Air space: height nod exceeding 6mm, stationary, if markets as extra may not exceed 4mm
- Yolk: shadow visible on candling, no discernible outline, slightly mobile on turning, returns to central position
- White: clear, translucent
- Germ: imperceptible development
- Foreign matter and smell not permissible


How can Class A eggs be additionally graded?

- By size
- By freshness


What are the different sizes of class A eggs?

- XL: very large, >73g
- L: large 63-73g
- M: medium, 53-63g
- S: smal, <53g


How are Class A eggs graded by freshness?

"Extra" or "extra fresh" can be used as an additional quality indication on packs containing class A eggs until the 9th day after laying of the egg


What are class B eggs?

- Ones that do not meet the quality characteristics for direct human consumption, cannot be marketed for this (unless heat treated/pasteurised)
- E.g. eggs from Salmonella enteritidis or typhimurium positive flocks, or unknown health status
- Eggs which are damaged or unclean


What are the options for ungraded eggs?

- Can be stamped with producer codes and sent firectly for food processing or industrial (non-food) processing
- Ungraded and unstamped eggs can be delivered from registered producer to processor under terms of specific derogations which may be requested by an Egg Marketing Inspector


What are egg codes?

Information printed on egg shell including data relevant for traceability
- Farming method, country of origin farm ID, quality standards


What is the egg quality standard in the UK?

Lion mark


How is farming method denoted on egg codes?

- First number of code
- 0 = organic
- 1 = free range
- 2 = barn
- 3 = cage


Other than the egg code, what must be included on egg stamps?

The best before date


Outline the exceptions to egg marking

- Do not apply in full to hen eggs sold directly to consumer for own use e.g. by producer on own farm, producer through door to door selling, producer in local public market
- In this case, cannot make use of quality or grading terms


What are the requirements regarding producer selling eggs at a public market?

- If less than 50 birds and sells at public market
- Does not have to mark eggs with producer code
- Must display name, address, best before date and storage advice (chilled) after purchase
- Individual markets may have on rules requiring stamping of producer code on hen eggs


Outline the import of eggs or egg products

- Import to EU from third countries only permitted from certain countries
- Must meet EU legislation criteria and UK rules
- Each batch must be from approved country, and enter EU through Border Inspection Post where vet checks must be carried out
- Egg products must be accompanied by a public health certificate, come from establishment approved by competent authority of exporting country


Outline the Lion mark Quality Assurance scheme

- Verifies that eggs are produced from laying hens vaccinated as pullets against Salmonella enteritidis
- Includes autditing of facilities, on-farm and packing station hygiene controls, effective traceability system
- Registered trademark, only used by subscribers to British Egg Industry Council on eggs produced in accordance with UK and EU law, and British Lion Quality Code of Practice


When was the British Lion Quality Code of Practice introduced?

1998 (approx 85% of eggs produced in UK meet this standard now)


When was the National Control Plan for eggs introduced?

1st Jan 2009


What is required under the National Control Plan for eggs?

- Eggs shall not be used for direct human consumption as table eggs unless they originate from commercial flock of laying hens subject to national Salmonella control programme
- Flocks confirmed to be infected with S enteritidis or typhimurium cannot be sold as fresh eggs at retail
- CAn only be used if heat treated or pasteurised


Outline the prevention of Salmonella infection in laying flocks

- Re-stock with birds from reliable, Salmonella test negative sources
- Routine Salmonella sampling
- Decontaminated feed and water
- Vaccination (live/inactivated)
- Pest control in place
- Good biosecurity
- Good farm management


Compare the pathogenicity of Salmonella and Campylobacter

- Salmonella more serious, but less common
- Campylobacter more common


What is the role of vets in the control of Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry?

- Provide audit and consultancy services as part of farm assurance schemes
- Food safety and microbiological criteria important parts of these schemes


Outline the economic impact of Salmonella

- If farm tests positive, may need to dispose eggs
- Loss of value of eggs also significant


Outline the economic impact of Campylobacter

- Incidence ~500, 000/year
- Economic cost ~£900/year (FSA)
- 80% of cases can be attributed to poultry and 54% of supermarket chickes test positive for campylobacter


What are the 2 Salmonella strains of significance with regards to poultry?

- Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica
- Serotypes Typhimurium and Enteritidis


Outline the 2 groups of serotypes of Salmonella, give examples

- Host-restricted: cause systemic disease and animals can become carriers, cause typhoid like disease in animals
- Non-host restricted: usually self limiting, cause acute enteritis, e.g. Typhimurium, Enteritidis


What serotypes are the main cause of Salmonella infection in the EU and UK and why?

- Enteritidis in EU
- In UK, other serotypes are main cause due to reduction of Enteritidis in the UK by vaccination


Outline the transmission of Salmonella within poultry

- Horizontal transmission
- Vertical transmission (colonises all parts of reproductive tract and egg)


What are potential sources of S. Enteritidis in laying farms?

- Hatchery (long term recycling)
- Feed
- People
- Equipment
- Vehicles
- Wildlife and pests
- Environment


What are the clinical signs of S. Enteritidis infection in poultry?

- Typhilitis
- Perihepatitis
- Pericarditis


Outline S. Enteritidis prevalence in poultry flocks

- Pandemic lasting over 2 decades
- Driven by S. Enteritidis phage type 4 (others, e.g. PT13 also involved)
- Fall in human salmonellosis conicided with vaccination against PT4 and biosecurity of egg laying flocks


What are the 3 most common zoonotic species of Campylobacter?

- C. jejuni (+++)
- C. coli (+)
- C. igri


How is Campylobacter transmitted in poultry flocks?

Horizontal transmission, vertical is negligible or non-existent


What is the infectious dose of Campylobacter for humans and chickens and compare with Salmonella?

- Much lower than Salmonella
- 500 cells in humans
- 10 cells in chickens


Describe the colonisation of broiler chickens with Campylobacter

- Rarely occurs before 2 weeks of age
- Lag phase where are not infected unless given very large dose, reason unknown
- Low infective dose for chickens (10 cells) with freshly passaged strains
- rapid colonisation of entire flock within 24-48 hour period due to airborne spread and coprophagy


What are potential sources of Campylobacter for poultry flocks? (give the main 5 first)

- Other chicken houses
- Domestic animals
- Vehicles
- Wild animals
- Visitors
- External structures, storeroom, anteroom, ventilation
- Equipment, drive, ditches, other buildings


Explain the role of transport and processing in Campylobacter colonisation in poultry flocks

- Most flocks partially depopulated at ~36 days, clear at 42d
- Catching crews go between farms using same equipment
- Poor/no cleaning of vehicles between farms
- Transport crates contaminated with high numbers of Campylobacter cells (dipped in contaminated water)
- Disinfection mats have no effect as only clean the wheels of the vehicle)


What are the clinical signs of Campylobacter in poultry?

- Considered a commensal
- May cause vibrionic hepatitis


What are the main methods for the control of Salmonella in poultry?

- Reduction of environmental contamination
- Vaccination
- Chemotherpy
- Others


What are potential risk factors in poultry production that may lead to Salmonella colonisation?

- High stocking density
- Poor hygiene (Salmonella can survive in dust for long periods)
- Chain feeders
- Presence of rodents


How does the presence of rodents contribute to the colonisation of Salmonella in poultry flocks?

- Salmonella can multiply in rodents
- Very high levels will overcome vaccination


Describe the reduction of environmental contamination with Salmonella

- Washing alone little effect, heat treatment improves, formalin best but not 100% effective
- Rodents: intensive baiting/trapping
- Dust and faeces (all-in all-out system if possible)
- People and equipment: clean overalls/boots/equipment per barn, foot dips, hygiene training


Describe vaccination in the control of Salmonella

- Live attenuated preferred (stim humoral and CMI)
- 3 doses (day old, 2-6 weeks old, prior to onset of lay)
- Some emerging Salmonella strains less affected by vaccine
- Vaccination reduces Salmonella colonisation but need holistic approach


Describe chemotherapy in the control of Salmonella in poultry

- Not allowed unless treatment of specific disease
- Choice of antibiotic based on susceptibility testing and integrases leading to resistance
- Dysbiosis may lead to re-infection and prolonged excretion of Salmonella


Outline other methods in the control of Salmonella in poultry

- Acid-treated feed
- Sanitised water (UV, acid, filtration, chlorination)
- Competitive exclusion products (e.g. Aviguard,, but render live vaccines ineffective)
- Air disinfection (chloramine T, v expensive , rare)
- Red mite control


What legislation is implemented by the Control of Salmonella in Poultry Order of 2007?

EU regulation 2160/2003
- Restrictions imposed on flocks/produce which test positive for certain serotypes, esp. Enteritidis and Typhimurium serotypes


Outline the role of strict biosecurity in Campylobacter control in poultry flocks

- Can be successful bit difficult to maintain
- Almost impossible in organic/free range flocks


Give strict biosecurity measures employed in the control of Campylobacter in poultry flocks

- Dedicated PPE for each house
- Improved facilities and protocols for hand hygiene
- Step-over barriers between clean and dirty part of ante room
- Better drainage


Compare the control of Salmonella and Campylobacter in poultry flocks

- Different routes of transmission, no vertical in Campylobacter
- No vaccine available for Campylobacter and competitive exclusion is not possible


Outline cleaning methods for the control of Campylobacter in poultry flocks

- Electrolysed wash: minimal effect
- Organic acid wash: would need >8% concentration, strong smell
- Chlorine wash: organic matter limits efficacy, must be used with clean water


Outline the transport and slaughter of poultry in order to control Campylobacter

- Collect and slaughter positive flocks at the end of the day
- Reduce transport crate contamination


Outline control methods at retail to minimise Campylobacter infection in people

- Modified Atmosphere packaging (minimal effect)
- Irradiation (aka cold pasteurisation): eliminates Campylobacter but unpleasant odour
- Freezing of positive carcasses
- Shaming retailers to take action
- Ensure consumers prepare meat correctly and advice on cleaning


Give examples of less common methods of Campylobacter control in poultry

- Biological control e.g. bacteriophages that infect Campylobacter, predatory bacteria
- Physical treatments e.g. crust freezing, steam
- Farmer and catching team education