Hygiene assessment system (HAS) scores: an analysis of the available data from English slaughterhouses
Garcia Pinillos, R. and Jukes, D. J. (2008) Hygiene assessment system (HAS) scores: an analysis of the available data from English slaughterhouses. Food Control, 19 (8). pp. 806-816. ISSN 0956-7135
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.foodcont.2007.08.007
As control systems have developed and the implications of poor hygienic practices have become better known, the evaluation of the hygienic status of premises has become more critical. The assessment of the overall status of premises hygiene call provide useful management data indicating whether the premises are improving or whether, whilst still meeting legal requirements, they might be failing to maintain previously high standards. Since the creation, for the United Kingdom, of the meat hygiene service (MHS), one of the aims of the service was to monitor hygiene on different premises to provide a means of comparing standards and to identify and encourage improvements. This desire led to the implementation of a scoring system known as the hygiene assessment system (HAS). This paper analyses English slaughterhouses HAS scores between 1998 and 2005 outlining the main incidents throughout this period, Although rising initially, the later results displayed a clear decrease in the general hygiene scores. These revealing results coincide with the start of a new meat inspection system where, after several years of discussion, risk based inspection is finally coming to a reality within Europe. The paper considers the implications of these changes in the way hygiene standards will be monitored in the future.