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   UK Specialty Meats Given Clean Bill Of Health
by Rory Harrington, Food Production Daily
Posted: Friday, October 2, 2009 at 11:26AM EDT

Almost 99 per cent of ready to eat (RTE) specialty meats sold in the UK are safe to eat, according to a new report published by the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

However, the study also highlighted that a small proportion of the meats contained dangerous levels of listeria monocytogenes and salmonella. The research said contamination was likely to have occurred during processing as a result of incomplete elimination or cross contamination before the point of sale.

Sample results

The 12-month survey carried out the UK’s HPA and local health authorities examined nearly 2,500 RTE specialty meat samples that included continental sausages, as well as meats that had been cured, fermented and dried. These had been collected from markets and specialist food shops throughout the UK. The meats were tested for Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, other Listeria, Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli.

Some 25 samples were deemed unsatisfactory due to the presence of one of the above, while dried meats had the lowest bacterial contamination where all samples were found to be of satisfactory or acceptable quality, said the report.

To read the rest of this story, please go to: Food Production Daily

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