ECA treated processing facilities keep meats fresher for longer and reduce the incidence of foodborne disease.
Are you in the food & meat processing business? How seriously are you taking foodborne disease prevention and do the following challenges ever cross your mind?
- Repeated food product quality test failures are costing me time and money!
- I need to extend the shelf life of my meats to be more economical!
- Why are my food products being increasingly recalled from the market?
- Does the Avian Flu outbreak in the Western Cape pose a threat to my merchandise in the near future?
The harsh reality is that food hygiene and disease in food prevention is not something to be taken lightly. As the world’s population grows, food and meat processing grows to meet the demand and brings with it challenges for food safety.
The World Health Organisation states:
“Food can become contaminated at any point of production and distribution, and the primary responsibility lies with food producers.”
Unfortunately, when it comes to foodborne disease prevention your processing facility is a prime breeding ground for:
- Foodborne botulism. Botulinum toxins are ingested through improperly processed food. The main culprits are meat products, such as ham and sausage.
- Salmonella. Resistant bacteria enter the food chain through animals, e.g. chickens, contaminated meat & other poultry. Contaminated water or ice is also a source of infection.
- E. coli infection – usually transmitted through consumption of contaminated water or food, such as under-cooked meat products.
- Campylobacter – a genus of bacteria – major cause of gastroenteritis following consumption of contaminated water.
As an owner or manager of a food and/or meat processing plant, you may also be interested to know that:
- Antimicrobial resistance is a growing concern – antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in animals may be transmitted to humans via food. Organisms are becoming resistant to chemicals, they’re ‘learning’ to adapt!
- Hepatitis A virus spreads typically through contaminated raw produce. (Infected food handlers could be the source of food contamination in your processing plant).
- Ascaris, Cryptosporidium, Entamoeba histolytica or Giardia, enter the food chain via contaminated water in your facility and contaminate fresh produce. The water used in your facility to clean and prep may also be contaminated with microorganisms or chemicals.
- Climate change is predicted to impact food safety – temperature fluctuations modify food safety risks.
- Almost 1 in 10 people in the world fall ill after eating contaminated food*
- More than 200 diseases are spread through food*
“…These challenges put greater responsibility on food producers and handlers to ensure food safety. Local incidents can quickly evolve into international emergencies due to the speed and range of product distribution. Serious foodborne disease outbreaks have occurred on every continent in the past decade, often amplified by globalized trade.” -The World Health Organisation
As you may already know, harsh chemicals used to clean surfaces or implements around food and meat processing is not an option – as this in itself poses a risk of food contamination.
So what’s the solution you ask?
Meat effected directly by ECA (ElectroChemical Activation) find an increase in shelf life, and ECA treated processing facilities have reduced/eliminated incidence of foodborne pathogens and diseases. This could be the food safety solution you’ve been after without even realizing it – a break-through in foodborne disease prevention.
* The World Health Organisation (DALYs).