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Doctoral thesis - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Who you gonna call? Examining the possibilities of remote veterinary meat inspection

Almqvist, Viktor

Abstract

Demand for locally produced meat from small-scale slaughterhouses and game-handling facilities brings severe logistical challenges in meat inspection, since such facilities are often situated in rural areas and the costs and time associated with inspection visits to remote establishments are significant. With advances in technology, it might be possible to conduct meat inspections remotely via video link. 
This thesis aims to determine the performance of remote inspections, both ante mortem and post mortem, where a guided, untrained assistant present at the slaughterhouse relays video and sensory impressions to a veterinarian off-site. Performance was evaluated based on agreement between remote and on-site inspections. As part of this, a practical technological solution, with emphasis on a less-is-more approach, was conceived, assembled and tested in practical use.  
Comparisons between methods were conducted using Cohen’s kappa-based statistics. On directly comparing findings under 26 different inspection codes or classifications recorded by two veterinarians conducting inspections on 400 carcasses and organs of pigs at a Swedish large-scale slaughterhouse, it was found that the level of agreement between the two methods was generally high, with most findings scoring ‘almost perfect agreement’. When ante mortem inspections were evaluated in a similar way, it was concluded that, due to extremely low prevalence of findings, ante mortem inspections are difficult to perform remotely under current conditions.  
In conclusion, remote post mortem veterinary inspections appear very promising, but the method needs to be evaluated further.

Keywords

post mortem; livestock; slaughter; official veterinarian; video; augmented reality; inspection; remote

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2021, number: 2021:72
ISBN: 978-91-7760-821-9, eISBN: 978-91-7760-822-6
Publisher: Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Environment and Health

UKÄ Subject classification

Food Science

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/113996