Meat quality

Meat quality and disease issues in kangaroos

In August 2009, Russia placed a blanket ban on importing kangaroo meats, citing food safety issues. However the EU, which is globally recognised as the leader in food safety standards, are happy with the bacterial levels in Australian kangaroo product.

Field dressing may pose greater hygiene problems than abattoir processing. However, since free-ranging kangaroo populations have fewer disease problems than domestic stock (Andrew 1988), there is less potential for disease transmission.

Kangaroos are hosts to a number of parasitic worms, but only one, Dirofilaria (now Pelicitus) roemeri, can occur commonly. It poses no zoonotic risk and is removed at processing. The meat inspection process for kangaroos is similar to that for domestic stock.

Kangaroo meat is processed for human consumption under rigorous quality assurance protocols, which are required for licensing of operators and their equipment. Dr Paul Hopwood (Veterinary Science, University of Sydney) states that there are no reasons to consider the kangaroo industry any differently to that of domestic stock. Andrew (1988) found that kangaroo carcasses presented for meat inspection compared favourably with post-mortem findings in domestic stock processed at abattoirs. He also argued that there were no public health reasons why kangaroo meat could not be considered on a par with meat from domestic stock.
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