Health and safety in the meat industry – learn the most important rules

Health and safety in the meat industry - learn the most important rules

Occupational health and safety in the meat industry are of particular importance, mainly due to the specific hazards that relate to workers who stay in such establishments for a long time. Learn the most important health and safety rules.

Both employees, animals and people who will eat food produced in the plant are exposed to many dangers in the event of health and safety deficiencies in the meat industry. Find out what are the most important rules that employees and employers of such places should adhere to.

Health and safety in the meat industry – learn the most important rules

Zagrożenia w przemyśle mięsnym

Threats that may affect the meat industry include factors related to:

  • the risk of microbial contamination – in plants related to the processing or slaughter of animals, toxins, viruses, fungi, allergens and substances produced by the mentioned micro and macroorganisms may be present,
  • noise, low temperature, high humidity and inadequate lighting,
  • dangerous or irritating chemicals,
  • processing and manual loading – risk of cuts, injuries and heavy objects falling on limbs or head,
  • moving parts of machines and technical devices used in the plant,
  • physical loads such as the need to constantly stay in the same position or performing repetitive movements,
  • electric shock, burn or explosion.

Fortunately, by introducing appropriate health and safety rules to the meat processing plant, you can minimize the risk of unpleasant effects of the above-mentioned hazards on employees. All you need to do is familiarize yourself with the health and safety rules in the meat industry and implement them, and then regularly check them.

Health and safety rules in the meat industry

The basic health and safety rules that must be strictly followed include, among others, constant monitoring of the technical condition of the building, machinery and equipment, and ensuring by the employer appropriate personal protective equipment for employees who are obliged to use them in accordance with their intended use.

It will be very important to take care of the cutting tools and to choose the right tools, such as sharpeners and knives, that will allow you to work safely. Before and after starting work, they should be cleaned and disinfected. In the event of damage to machines or tools, they should not be used and the defect should be reported to the employer as soon as possible.

Protection of the body, limbs and head - clothing for work in the meat industry

Whenever an employee comes into contact with sharp tools, he must absolutely use a metal apron and metal gloves. They will allow you to work safely – they will minimize the risk of cuts, cuts and other injuries, which are very easy to get in the case of the slightest reduction in alertness of any of the employees.

In the rooms serving as warehouses and storage rooms, the passageways must be clear so as to allow free movement of persons responsible for the transport of goods. It is good if the workplace has devices that facilitate this type of work, such as forklifts. They make it possible to slightly reduce the burden to which workers are exposed. You must also take care of:

  • leg protection – depending on the position, it should be adapted to the nature of the work. For rooms with high humidity and low temperature, you can opt for insulated rain boots. When working in a cold store or warehouse, it will be necessary to choose footwear with an anti-slip sole, a steel toe cap and a reinforced structure of the shoe, while for people dealing with administration, EVA foam shoes will be suitable, which perfectly absorb the loads associated with standing work.
  • body protection – can be used in the form of disposable or reusable protective clothing. Disposable clothes ensure a high level of hygiene, do not generate problems with their washing and cleaning, but require regular replacement. Reusable clothing perfectly protects against temperatures, dirt and is very easy to clean, but it is slightly heavier than, for example, aprons or foil overalls. Both, however, are very popular solutions.

What is HACCP in the meat industry?

The HACCP system is more than just basic health and safety rules. It is related to ensuring a higher level of food and consumer safety thanks to the use of a whole set of good practices that should be implemented by all companies striving for consumer trust and compliance with the current legal order – compliance with the HACCP principles became obligatory on January 1, 2006. for all enterprises related to the food industry. The HACCP system can actually be reduced to seven key points, which are:

  1. analyzing potential threats and finding ways to effectively prevent them,
  2. identifying specific control points in production that will be constantly checked to reduce risk,
  3. searching for criteria, values and rigid guidelines to be followed at control points,
  4. creating a control system – appointing people responsible for measurements and their appropriate level, as well as constant observation of work in the plant and verification of all irregularities,
  5. determining corrective procedures to be implemented when critical standards at control points are exceeded in any way – such procedures may lead to, for example, failure to accept delivery or the need to dispose of raw materials from a given batch unfit for consumption,
  6. finding the right method that will allow you to control the correct operation of the system in accordance with the HACCP assumptions – these may be, for example, regular microbiological tests,
  7. conscientious keeping of documentation, books and work registers in accordance with the principles of HACCP.

The HACCP system brings many measurable social and economic benefits. Since the implementation of good practices related to it became obligatory, working conditions and the level of safety in production plants related to the meat industry have significantly improved in Poland. It is thanks to this set of practices that you can be sure that the food produced in the country is safe and edible. Properly kept HACCP documentation also allows you to prove, if necessary, that the contamination of food or consumer poisoning does not come from the plant.