Recent changes in Food Standard Agency guidance have emphasised the need for the safe, controlled and hygienic handling of game, especially where it is destined for food. All parties involved in the supply chain, from those that shoot the game through suppliers and processors and on to retailers, are under greater scrutiny than ever to ensure they maintain hygiene standards from field to fork.
For over 30 years SMH Products has supplied expert solutions for decontamination and hygiene, ensuring people and the environment are protected from exposure to potentially hazardous substances. Building on this, a team with specialist knowledge and experience in the shooting and game industry has worked to develop a range of game hygiene products to enable individuals and small businesses to handle game carcasses in line with FSA guidelines and food safety best practice.
We aim to offer an end-to-end solution for game hygiene. This starts in the field, where a range of products such as disposable gloves, antibacterial wipes and food-safe carcass trays ensure the game is quickly and hygienically handled from the start.
For those that have to process larger species, we have carcass handling equipment including cradles, hoists and skinning attachments. Not only do these provide a necessary aid to limit manual handling but they also allow individuals to minimise the possibility of contamination taking place by keeping carcasses off the ground.
SMH also has a range of larders, starting with a static chiller aimed at the recreational shooter. Flexible in size so that they can take both large and small game, these units can be built to fit in a garage or outbuilding, making them ideal for those who need to have a chiller with the features necessary to satisfy the regulatory guidance on the storage of game, but don’t have the throughput for an industrial sized chiller.
These static chillers complete the range of larders currently available from SMH. The core products are trailer-based Mobile Larder Units (MLUs), providing a uniquely flexible solution particularly suited to game processing in remote areas, and we can also provide large-scale, static processing units, some up to 40ft in length, for higher volume processing and storage.
Explore the range of game hygiene products and solutions from SMH online, or contact the team direct.
Our standard build units are based on the principle of a one way ’flow’ to control contamination during carcass handling, preparation and storage, to ensure the end result is perfect.
Although the carcass is initially assessed for condition in the field, the first full formal inspection takes place back at the unit.
Here, checks can be made to ensure the overall health and condition of the animal. The inspection area is separated from the prep area and the chiller by self-closing magnetic sealed doors. This ensures that the animal is kept isolated from any other carcasses within the unit, reducing the possibility of cross-contamination between the animal and the prepared carcasses. Should there be an issue with the animal, e.g. a suspected notifiable disease, it can be kept separate until further investigation takes place.
The animal is prepared and cleaned inside the unit. Separate sinks for hand and equipment washing limit cross-contamination, and fibreglass walls and floors allow for full and thorough cleaning after use. All electrical equipment in the larder unit is IP rated to allow full wall and ceiling wash down.
A three stage drain traps any solid waste, and the remaining waste water can be filtered at this stage with 25 micron and 5 micron filters. This ensures that waste water can safely and easily be disposed of into the environment or drainage system without the risk of contamination.
The prepared and cleaned carcass is then moved into the chiller area where it is kept at below 7°C, complying with food hygiene regulations and best practice.
Every surface in the larder is carefully sealed and fibre-glassed over to ensure there are no cracks or crevices which could harbour dirt or waste materials.
The chilled carcass leaves the unit from the exit door, ensuring the inspection and preparation areas of the unit remain clean and ready to receive any incoming animals. A separate door to the chiller itself also allows removal of healthy carcasses from the chiller should anything need to be ‘held’ in the initial inspection area or indeed have been contaminated.
This access can be keypad locked, meaning multiple stalkers and game dealers can have access to the unit without the need to distribute sets of keys. Not only does this avoid keys being lost, but the keypads are easily reprogrammed for continued security.
Click here to read more about a series of static deer larder units we developed and built for the Forestry Commission.