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Microbiological criteria for fresh meat

Foodstuffs should not contain micro-organisms or their toxins or metabolites in quantities that present an unacceptable risk for human health. The safety of foodstuffs is mainly ensured by a preventive approach, such as implementation of good hygiene practice and application of procedures based on hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) principles. Regulation (EC) 2073/2005 contains microbiological criteria for carcases of cattle, sheep, goats, and horses. Testing against the criteria set down in the Regulation should be undertaken when validating or verifying the correct functioning of systems in place. In addition, FBOs should determine shelf-life by a strict testing programme to ensure that the criteria are met over the entire intended shelf-life of the product. FBOs must ensure compliance with microbiological criteria set out in Regulation (EC) 2073/2005.