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
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
(1) The edges of shovels used in the handling of chopped and ground meat
may wear thin, roll, and crumble into the meat product.
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.
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
Flaking paint and rust are also constant problems in meat-processing
(7) Grease or oil used to lubricate trolleys, conveyor chains, and gear boxes
is also a source of contamination.