Model-based comparative assessment of the Australian and European hygiene monitoring programmes for meat production
The main purpose of this work is to quantitatively compare the efficiency of the microbiological monitoring programmes at process level of Australia and Europe, using a model-based approach. Based on data collected from a literature review and from the Australian and the European control programmes in meat production lines, a probabilistic model was built to describe contamination levels of Aerobic Colony Count (ACC) / Total Viable Count (TVC) and E. coli / Enterobacteriaceae in cattle and sheep. This model accounted for the most relevant differences between the control programmes, as well as for the main sources of variability. This quantitative tool was then used to simulate possible outcomes over one year and to compare the time response (i.e. time needed to detect the first alert) of the system for different scenarios of contamination. The main conclusion was that, despite the two monitoring programmes being different in certain aspects, an equivalent level of hygiene control can be achieved by calculating and adjusting the necessary M-values (i.e. microbiological load cut-off).