Thorough cleaning of meat and poultry plants – from floors and walls to conveyor belts and grinders – is one of the most important steps processors take to make meat and poultry safe, and yet it is one of the most misunderstood aspects of meat production.
New American Meat Institute (AMI) polling found that only 34% of Americans know that meat plants are cleaned and sanitised daily. In fact, in most plants an entire eight hour shift is dedicated to sanitation each day a plant is open. Now, a new Glass Walls video takes viewers inside a typical facility to show exactly how the process is done.
“As part of our efforts to increase transparency and show what happens in meat plants, we want people to see how thoroughly plants are cleaned everyday,” said AMI Senior vice president of Public Affairs and Member Services Janet Riley. “We clean each piece of equipment after use, though we ensure it isn’t just visibly clean, but microbiologically clean before we process. The steps we take in our plants are similar to those a hospital would take to clean an operating room. While I pride myself on having a clean kitchen at home, my efforts pale in comparison so what happens every day in meat and poultry plants.”
“Sanitation in the Meat Industry” is the fourth video in the AMI Glass Walls series and features a guided tour of the sanitation process from start to finish led by John Butts, Ph.D., vice president of research at Land O’Frost. The process includes taking apart each piece of machinery; scrubbing the equipment, ceilings and floors with foam cleansers; testing for microbes and USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) inspection and approval before a plant can reopen for business.
AMI’s Glass Walls videos also feature tours of beef, pork and turkey plants led by animal welfare expert Temple Grandin, Ph.D., professor of animal science at Colorado State University. Those videos have been viewed nearly 300,000 times on YouTube.
The new video is available here.