Hygiene principles



The aim of this guide is to introduce the basic principles behind reducing the potential of a food hygiene hazard to cause adverse human health effects. This guidance covers the whole process from culling through to processing and transport. Detailed information is provided in supporting guides identified in table 1.

HACCP – (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point)

All who are involved in producing and preparing food, which includes stalkers operating under the exemptions provided for in the EC Food Hygiene Regulations, are responsible for making sure that, as far as possible, the food supplied is safe to eat. Those involved in processing (as opposed to those who only ever supply in-skin carcasses) also have to put in place food safety management procedures based on the HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point) principles.1 (Note: A Critical Control Point (CCP) is a point, step or procedure at which controls can be applied and a food safety hazard can be prevented, eliminated or reduced to acceptable (critical) levels).
To produce safe food for consumers, all the important safety hazards that are associated with the production of food need to be prevented, eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level. These food safety hazards may be biological, physical or chemical (see table 1 ).

hygieneThe HACCP principles provide a systematic way of identifying food safety hazards, making sure they are being managed responsibly by the food business operator and showing this is being done day-in, day-out. In short this involves the following steps:

  • Plan: Decide what needs to be done to maintain food safety and write it down;
  • Do: Do what you said you would do;
  • Check: Check that you are doing what you planned to do and write down what was checked and when;
  • Act: Take action to correct any food safety problems and write down what has been done about the problem and when.

Hygiene Hazards

In order to produce safe food for consumers, the hazards associated with the production of food need to be identified, then prevented, eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level. These food safety hazards are categorised in table 2.

Temperature conditions
Certain types of bacteria can double their number within 30 minutes. The number of bacteria required to cause illness on a healthy adult can be as few as only 10 (E.coli). Temperature controls must be maintained to minimise the hazard.
Temperature effect:
ºC to -20ºC bacteria dormant
ºC to +7ºC bacteria grow slowly
ºC to + 63ºC DANGER ZONE bacteria multiply explosively
ºC bacteria mostly destroyed.

table 1

Category of hazard Example Risk Supporting Guides
Biological -
Bacteria/ Parasites
  • Harmful food poisoning bacteria such as (E. coli O157, Salmonella and Campylobacter) Carried in the gut of healthy animals and then excreted and carried on hide/hair
  • Tuberculosis
  • Liver fluke
  • Transferred to meat during gralloching, extraction, lardering and preparation
  • Transferred through worker’s hands, knives, surfaces, water
  • Can grow during production, processing, storage and transport if temperature conditions in particular are suitable. (See box below)
  • Although there are no human health implications associated with fluke infestation part or all of the liver may be removed for aesthetic reasons
  • BPG Deer Health
  • BPG Notifiable Diseases
  • BPG Carcass Inspection
  • BPG Gralloching
  • BPG Mechanical & Manual Extraction
  • BPG Lardering
  • Residues from feed additives
  • Residues from veterinary medicines (such as Immobilon)
  • Splashing/contact cleaning fluids
  • Contact with petrol/oil in vehicle
  • Residues may not be broken down by cooking process and can poison humans;
  • Residues transmitted to people when raw or undercooked meat consumed
  • See BPG Diversionary & Supplementary Feeding
  • Jewellery, tags, clips, rubber bands
  • Fragments of bullet and bone
  • Dust, rust, dead insects
  • Live insects, fly blow
  • Cause physical injury if ingested
  • See BPG Lardering
  • table 2
Basic actions to reduce hygiene hazard
Prevent contamination from individuals to food products by:
  • Tying hair away
  • Operator maintaining a high degree of personal hygiene
Wash hands to prevent contamination:
  • Before starting work
  • After touching raw food especially meats
  • After going to the toilet
  • After a break or leaving the larder
When working in food areas :
  • Wear clean clothes or protective garments
  • Not touch their face or hair
  • Cover cuts and sores with clean waterproof dressings
  • Do not cough or sneeze over food products
  • Do not wear jewellery, which may fall into food
Prevent contamination from you to food product through cuts and skin ailments by:
  • Covering cuts with blue food safe dressings and wear gloves
  • Seeking medical advice
When suffering from diarrhoea/vomiting/stomach upset/skin condition:
  • Do not work in the larder or food preparation area nor handle food.
  • Ensure any individual who shows signs of this kind leaves the food preparation area right away
  • Anyone suffering from these symptoms should not return to work until 24 hours after the symptoms have stopped
When returning from the field with dirty/soiled clothing: Wear washable apron or change into clean clothes and clean foot wear before beginning work in the larder
Prevent cross contamination when using knives/saws by:
  • Cleaning tools thoroughly between carcasses

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Key to symbols

  • This symbol highlights a legal requirement. It is an offence not to comply.
  • This symbol highlights an action or task required in order to safeguard public safety, food safety and animal welfare.  
  • This symbol highlights an action or task required in order to carry out the task effectively.

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