A Comparison Between Ritual and Conventional Slaughter in Regard to Animal Welfare and Meat Hygienic Quality

Sorin Daniel Dan, Oana Lucia Reget, Marian Mihaiu, Gilad Halbani, Alexandra Tabaran


The slaughter process in its current form is responsible to numerous physiological impacts on the animal and as a consequence affects the quality of the meat which is produced. The kosher slaughter is performed by a Rabbi (a certified Jewish religious priest) employed by the meat processing facility. The aim was to compare different types of slaughter methods and restraining techniques in order to determine the positive and negative sides of each method and to assess the hygienic quality of the meat produced from this method of slaughter. The information regarding kosher slaughter was gathered from one slaughterhouse located in Israel, Haifa city, and specific aspects related to the conventional slaughter technology, was acquired from a slaughterhouse located in Maramures County, where we critically observed the cattle slaughter technology, with focus on stunning and bleeding steps. In order to compare the hygienic quality of kosher beef with conventional beef the research material consisted by 40 samples of beef, half of the samples were represented by kosher beef and the other half (conventional beef) were used as control. Total viable and Enterobacteriaceae count were performed from the collected samples according with standards methods. In case of conventional slaughter, with respecting of good hygienic practices (GHP), bleeding will not open the esophagus and trachea, preventing thus the possibility of contamination. Stunning performed in conventional slaughter could increase the risk of contamination of carcasses with prions in case of penetration of the skull. In case of kosher meat, the results regarding total plate count revealed values between 2.78±0.6 log cfu/cm2 and 3.40±0.2 log cfu/cm2. In case of  Enterobacteriaceae germs, we noticed that 3 samples shown a negative results. For the rest of the samples, the microbial load ranged between 2.54±0.62 log fcu/cm2 and 3.1±0.32 log fcu/cm2. In comparison, the conventional meat (control), present an elevated total microbial load, ranged between 4.77±0.56 log cfu/cm2 and 5.34±0.21 log cfu/cm2. The Enterobacteriacee load ranged between 4.1±0.56 log cfu/cm2 and 5.33±0.2 log cfu/cm2. Ritual kosher slaughter is a humane way of sacrificing animals for human consumption although there are many parameters which need to be carefully monitored in order to guarantee the welfare of the slaughtered animals. And thus, inherently this method is prone for animal welfare violation. Microbiological risk regarding total plate and Enterobacteriaceae count in case of kosher compared with conventional meat is low.


ritual slaughter, kosher meat, animal welfare, hygienic quality

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15835/buasvmcn-vm:12250

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