[Quality care in meat production. 'From Von Ostertag to total quality care'].Tijdschr Diergeneeskd. 1994 Feb 15; 119(4):93-8.TD
Von Ostertag developed the scientific basis for the system of meat inspection which is still applied over practically the whole world. The decision as to whether meat is fit for human consumption is based on observations made by the veterinarian or his/her assistant before and after slaughter. This system has worked well for years, particularly in the time when various infectious zoonoses were important. Recently, however, the system has been found more and more lacking. For example protection of the consumer from residues and enteropathogenic microorganisms is insufficient. A new analysis of the risks, which are, in fact what meat inspection is about, must be carried out. The costs of inspection are no longer considered to be in the right proportion to the actual level of public health protection. It is useful and necessary to provide the consumer with adequate guarantees, not only with respect to safety, but also with respect to the quality of the products and even the way in which they are produced (environmental aspects, well-being of animals, responsible use of feedstuffs and animal handling systems, etc.). The situation in the animal production sector (health status of the herd, animal health care, consumer/market orientated production, etc.) also makes a different set-up necessary. The traditional meat inspection as the last step in animal production must make way for a system whereby the whole of production can be taken into account and the consumer can be given a total package of all relevant desired guarantees, paired with all relevant information on production methods and products.