Excellent idea by HOGDOGS to have this posted up as a reference.....
The FDA mandates that those of us in the wholesale seafood business participate in what they call a HACCP program. While that is a typical ugly government acronym the process it stands for is useful, and not just in our industry but any time food is being processed.
The basics of it are that you should assess your potential hazards (H) and then analyze (A) where they are most likely to occur and then determine were the critical (C) control (C) point (P) in the process is.
In essence you think through what it is you are going to be doing, determine which part(s) of the process is/are the most likely to damage or make unsafe the food and then address those points aggressively.
From reading the responses so far it's almost as if the majority of us have read the FDA manual. We know that at the top of the list is to get the animal cooled off as quickly as possible and we also know to be diligent in protecting it from contamination. We know too that when storing it we have to be carefully of what we store it in and for how long we store it.
We seem to have the basics down.
With that, (And do understand that in our business we toe the line even if we know the line is unreasonably restrictive..... because a law suit would be the end of it all. ) it is still worth noting that even at elevated temperatures meat does not spoil as fast as we may imagine.
This is not to say that you may not damage the eating quality or that you may not significantly reduce the number of days that it can be stored after it is processed. Because both of those things do happen when bacteria gets a running start, but these unwanted occurrences are not the same as the meat being unsafe.
The mantra in our industry is "time & temperature" to keep product safe for as long as possible. The same holds true with what we shoot.