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FSSAI Standards for Meat Products

FSSAI Standards for Meat Products

FSSAI Standards for Meat Products

Meat is a very important component of the food basket of India for ensuring the nutritional and nutrient security of the burgeoning population. Producing and processing meat in a hygienic environment is a prerequisite for quality meat production. The Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has notified minimum standards for meat quality. In this article, we look at the standard set by the FSSAI for meat products that are fresh, chilled, or processed.

FSSAI Registration/License

The Food Safety and Standards Act sets the standards for food manufactured and consumed in India. The FSSAI Act also regulates the manufacture, storage, distribution, sales, import, and availability of wholesome food and other matters that are related to food and food safety by issuing FSSAI registration to various businesses.

Definition of Meat Products under FSSAI

Under FSSAI, meat products are divided into fresh meat, poultry, and processed meat. Fresh meat is meat that has not undergone any chemical treatments with preservatives to extend its nature of freshness. Processed meat is meat that has undergone various methods like salting, drying, processing, or fermenting by non-heat treatment and also by using preservatives.

FSSAI Guidelines for FBO

All food business operators involved in the meat food chain from farm to fork should follow the basic principles of safety and hygiene.

Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations 2011, in Part IV of Schedule 4 outlines specific Hygienic and Sanitary Practices to be followed by Food Business Operators engaged in the manufacture, processing, storing, and selling of meat and meat products.

This covers requirements to be followed by slaughter-houses, meat processing units, and retail meat shops which include location, equipment and machinery, sanitary facilities, ante-mortem, and post-mortem inspection, animal welfare, personal hygiene, and health requirements, and others

All FBOs engaged in the meat business are required to strictly follow these guidelines and register themselves and obtain licenses from the authorized licensing authorities (Municipal corporation, Pollution control board, APEDA, FSSAI, and State food authorities as the case may be) for their units.

FSSAI Standards for Meat Products

FSSAI has set meat and poultry product standards and safety requirements including microbiological criteria, food additives, processing aids, and contaminants limits for meat and meat products (including poultry) under Food Safety and Standards Regulations. All the traders engaged in the meat business should strictly follow these regulations.

Microbiological criteria for Meat and Meat Products

Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations 2011 prescribes the Microbiological criteria for Meat and Meat Products.

Meat -Microbiological criteria

Food additives & Processing aids for Meat and Meat Products

Refer to the following documents to know more about the Food additives & processing aids for Meat and Meat Products:

meat -food additives & processing aids

Safe production practices

Controlled use of antibiotics and veterinary drugs

FSSAI has notified the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, toxins, and Residues) Amendment Regulations, 2018 specifying ‘Tolerance Limits’ of antibiotics and other veterinary drugs in meat/meat products and poultry. The FBOs dealing in this business should have control over the use of these antibiotics and drugs to ensure that the final product shall comply with these regulations.

Certification of animal feed/poultry feed/feed supplement

As per FSS Act, animal feed does not come under the mandate of FSSAI. However, BIS has a voluntary standard for the same. All the producers of animal feed should obtain BIS certification for their feed to ensure safe meat production. Organic feed production system and raising meat animals under the organic system by following the National Program for Organic Production (NPOP) guidelines of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) needs to be promoted for the health and safety of consumers.

Procedure to Maintain Meat Products

There are some measures that are to be followed in meat storage and handling under FSSAI. Fresh meat should be chilled between 0-7 degree celsius and frozen meat should be stored at -18 degree celsius or below. All frozen meat should be consumed within 10 days.

Further, all meat products should be stored under proper labeling and with adequate segregation to maintain temperature control at the time of storage. All raw materials, food additives, and ingredients should follow the regulations of the Food Safety and Standards Act. The containers used for storing must be made of non-toxic material. There should be an adequate supply of water and proper facilities for safe and clean storage of water. The water should be examined beforehand to detect the presence of chemicals and bacteria and this should be done by a NABL Accredited laboratory.

Other Requirements for Meat Products

The following are some of the special FSSAI regulations for meat products.

  • Phosphate salts can be added to the ingredients by means of injection, pumping, massaging, tumbling, marinating, or mixing and the salts can be added only 0.5% to the products.
  • Words like “must be cooked”, “cook and serve”, “raw product”, and “and uncooked” or words related to this phrase must be imprinted on the products of meat for the customers’ information.
  • Cooking instructions like the temperature at which it should be cooked must be mentioned in the packaging.
  • Some meat products can be consumed as ready-to-eat food and therefore instructions and expiry dates should be given on the labels of the products.
  • The food products that are frozen during storage should carry the words, “previously frozen”. This is applicable to both packaged and non-packaged meat products.
  • Veterinary drugs should be used for products such as animal husbandry, dairying, and fisheries.
  • Genetically modified techniques should not be used on the meat of animals or poultry birds.
  • Certain cow’s meat or bone meal, internal organs, blood meal, and tissues should not be used for manufacturing the meat product.
  • Appropriate inspection and certification should be done on products that are to be imported.