Food products of animal origin are expected by nature to be contaminated with microorganisms, including some that are pathogenic to humans.[13] These pathogens may cause illness, ranging from mild gastrointestinal discomfort to severe acute or chronic illness or death. Extent, prevalence, and type of contamination are influenced by sanitary, hygienic, and processing conditions during handling of the products at all stages of the food chain. It is important to realize that control of pathogens and management of food safety risks should be based on an integrated approach that applies to all sectors from the producer to the processor, distributor, packer, retailer, food service worker, and consumer. Interventions applied during processing include sanitation, decontamination, heating, chilling, freezing, drying, fermentation, use of chemicals as acidulants or antimicrobials, packaging, proper storage and distribution, and appropriate handling and preparation for consumption. Proper application of control processes yields products that should be safe for consumption following proper cooking and serving. Consumers should be advised to properly handle and prepare all foods, including those of animal origin, and to follow labeling instructions. Foods should be stored and handled in conditions that minimize cross-contamination (i.e., in a clean and sanitary environment), properly cooked (e.g., ground beef cooked at 160°F), and stored or held at the correct temperatures (cold: under 40°F; hot: above 140°F), and for the indicated length of time.

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