a. General. Examine the product for the presence of foreign material. Foreign material is any extraneous matter which does not organically belong where found, which has been introduced from the outside, or which does not naturally occur in the quantity found at the location examined. The possibilities for foreign material in meat and meat products include the following.
b. Ammonia Contamination. This contamination usually is associated with leakage accidents in cold storage facilities. The odor of ammonia is readily absorbed into the fatty tissue of a meat product. Trimming of the product may be acceptable in many cases. If the odor has been absorbed by the lean tissue, elimination of the odor is virtually impossible. Condemnation is then necessary. Packing and packaging offer some protection for meat items, but little research has been conducted to verify the degree of protection offered. Determination of acceptability of the product is best determined by allowing samples of the product to warm up to normal room temperatures.
c. Mechanical Contamination. Care is constantly exercised to avoid the contamination of meat and its products with metallic particles and similar foreign material. Otherwise, these materials adhere or drop into the meat as it progresses through the meat-packing plant. Contamination may be due to one of the following situations.
(1) The edges of shovels used in the handling of chopped and ground meat may wear thin, roll, and crumble into the meat product.
(2) Staples from metal-stitching machines are a source of contamination.
(3) Metal and plastic tag fasteners and wood and metal skewers used in the identification of carcasses in the slaughtering department are a source of contamination.
(4) Welds are another possible source of metal particles in meat.
(5) Glass is a source of foreign material in meat. Light bulbs are normally protected when suspended directly over choppers, grinders, mixers, or other exposed product.
(6) Flaking paint and rust are also constant problems in meat-processing plants.
(7) Grease or oil used to lubricate trolleys, conveyor chains, and gear boxes is also a source of contamination.
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