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Research article2019Peer reviewedOpen access

Flexible distribution of tasks in meat inspection - A pilot study

Arzoomand, Naser; Vagsholm, Ivar; Niskanen, Rauni; Johansson, Anders; Comin, Arianna


The primary purpose of meat inspection is to ensure safe meat for human consumption. Moreover, meat inspection has become a key control point for animal welfare and a data collection point for baseline monitoring of the food chain, animal diseases, and meat quality. The rapid increase in herd size has increased the workload of farmers, slaughterhouses and meat inspectors. New, more cost-efficient ways of working are needed, and one option is revising the distribution of tasks during post mortem inspections. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the results of carcass assessments done by official auxiliaries (OA) to those done by official veterinarians (CV) during post mortem inspection of detained, slaughtered pigs. The comparison between OA and OV judgments focused on the full condemnation, local condemnation and approval of pig carcasses that were detained by the OA in the initial screening.The key findings were (a) a limited agreement between OVs and OAs; (b) a large intra-class variation among both OVs and OAs as groups; and (c) that the differences between OVs and OAs only affected the minor number of pig carcasses that were detained during the study period.The specific agreement between OAs and OVs was highest for total condemnation (68%), lowest for local condemnation (52%) and close to overall agreement for carcass approval (60%). While both the overall agreement and the agreement beyond chance were fair between groups, there was a large variation among OA-OV pairs. For example, four pairs had their pairwise kappa estimates not significantly different from zero.


Abattoir; Meat inspection; Carcass condemnation; Post mortem; Official veterinarian; Official auxiliary; Inter-rater agreement

Published in

Food Control
2019, Volume: 102, pages: 166-172 Publisher: ELSEVIER SCI LTD

      SLU Authors

      • Niskanen, Rauni

        • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

        Sustainable Development Goals

        SDG2 Zero hunger

        UKÄ Subject classification

        Food Science

        Publication identifier


        Permanent link to this page (URI)