Microbial safety of meat in the European Union

Birgit Nørrung, S Buncic

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The two most frequently reported zoonotic diseases in humans in the EU in 2005 were Campylobacter and Sahmonella infections with incidences of 51.6 and 38.2 cases per 100,000 population, respectively. Reported human infections caused by Yersinia spp., Verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli, and Listeria monocytogenes had comparably lower incidences of 2.6, 1.2 and 0.3 cases per 100,000 population, respectively. Meat and meat products are important sources for these infections but knowledge on exactly how important they are compared with other types of food, drinking water and environmental exposure is quite limited. Occurrences of zoonotic pathogens in raw meat are variable, although most often are between 1% and 10%, depending on the organism, geographical factors, farming and/or meat production practices, etc. Zoonotic pathogens in meat have to be controlled through a complete, continuous farm-to-fork system. It is of utmost importance to control faecal contamination of carcasses through efficient HACCP-based process hygiene management systems. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMeat Science
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)14-24
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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