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Food safety on the slaughterline: inspection of pig heads
  1. J. V. Petersen, DVM1,
  2. F. Sørensen, DVM1,
  3. J. K. Andersen, DVM,PhD2 and
  4. H. Knudsen, DVM3
  1. 1 Veterinary and Meat Hygiene Advisory Section, Federation of Danish Pig Producers and Slaughterhouses, Axelborg, Axeltorv 3, DK-1609 Copenhagen V, Denmark
  2. 2 Division of Microbiological Safety, Institute of Food Safety and Toxicology, Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, Mørkhøj Bygade 19,2860 Søborg, Denmark
  3. 3 Food and Veterinary Authority, Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, Søndervang 4, 4100 Ringsted, Denmark


This paper summarises information on the current inspection procedures for pig heads on the slaughterline and their impact on food safety, and considers the implications for food safety of certain lesions. It is argued that although a modified slaughter and inspection technique would decrease the contamination of the carcase with pathogenic microorganisms, leaving lesions in the head undiscovered would be of little or no importance either for human health or for the overall supervision of animal health.

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