The European Union’s strategy in the scope of food safety adopts a comprehensive approach to food production, distribution and consumption throughout the entire production cycle. The strategy is based on three basic pillars, which are:
- Legal requirements in the scope of food and fodder safety,
- Scientific advice,
- Control procedures.
Production safety and constant supervision over all processes to guarantee high quality of product are a key aspect of poultry production. According to applicable laws, all poultry producers in the EU have an obligation to comply with strict poultry farming standards. Production processes are carried out under close supervision of veterinary services, in accordance with strict requirements applicable to each stage of production – from feeding, to ensuring animal welfare inside the farm, to slaughter, transport and packaging. All farms have an obligation to keep detailed records with regard to, among others:
- Stock maintenance,
- Pest protection products,
- Products used for cleaning and disinfecting the premises and technological equipment.
To ensure safety and high quality of meat, there are also strict animal health standards, including:
- a complete ban on adding any antibiotics, hormones or antimicrobial growth promoters to fodder;
- a ban on adding any components to compound feedingstuffs which affect the sensory or industrial value of meat from 3 weeks before slaughter;
- obligatory stock testing for Salmonella within 3 weeks before slaughter.
Strict safety regulations also apply at production plants with regard to freezing and packing poultry. Packing systems, based on the principle of keeping sterile conditions and minimising contact between meat and external factors, guarantee the highest quality of the final product, with excellent taste and smell. Such processes are subjected to random inspections and are carried out in accordance with applicable EU procedures. The final guarantee of safety of the end product are labels, which include comprehensive information about the entire production process – from the country of origin, use-by date, veterinary number and production batch, to packing method and storage conditions.
The abovementioned safety means guarantee full control over the entire poultry production cycle. Implementation of such systems based on record-keeping and monitoring livestock health allows producers and thus also consumers to receive a safe high-quality product.