Ensuring food safety in poultry production

Photo credit: Kenchic

By Dan Muranga

Poultry, particularly chicken, is a beloved source of protein worldwide, enjoyed in countless culinary preparations across the globe. However, maintaining its safety is crucial to prevent foodborne illnesses caused by bacteria such as Salmonella.

As a microbiologist in the poultry industry, I often emphasise the importance of food safety, a critical concern for both consumers and producers. Ensuring public health in this context is an ever-evolving challenge, given the constantly changing nature of food safety threats.

To promote public health, the poultry industry is subject to stringent regulations from various regulatory bodies.

At Kenchic, we implement several measures to ensure food safety throughout the farm-to-fork process. Key among these is maintaining strict biosecurity at all stages. This includes rigorous sanitation procedures for equipment, vehicles, and workers’ boots and clothing.

Proper record-keeping and regular training keep our staff knowledgeable about good biosecurity practices, helping prevent the introduction of harmful microorganisms into poultry production. Healthy farming practices also ensure that our birds are less likely to carry harmful bacteria.

Kenchic employs Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) systems, an internationally recognised accreditation. HACCP is a systematic approach to identifying and preventing potential food safety hazards in the processing of poultry and poultry products. Adhering strictly to HACCP ensures that all processes are within critical control points, which are closely monitored and regulated to promote general public health.

Our products are well-packaged, with clear storage instructions provided, ensuring safe handling post-processing.

Our quality control laboratory plays a crucial role in promoting food safety. As an ISO 17025-accredited microbiology laboratory, it operates across various stages of the production process. The lab performs numerous tests under health plans, food safety regulations, and other compliance requirements, ensuring we stay ahead of food safety challenges. This proactive approach reassures the public about the quality of our products and promotes good health within our flocks and day-old chicks.

Our veterinary experts support the team and the entire company, working closely with the laboratory, farms, farmers, the processing plant, and various regulatory bodies to ensure food safety.

Food safety is everyone's responsibility. By understanding the risks associated with poultry and taking measures to mitigate them, everyone can continue enjoying poultry without fear of contracting foodborne illnesses.

Dr Dan Muranga is a Microbiologist with Kenchic.

Photo credit: Kenchic