Chapter 17 - Ante and Post-mortem Procedures, Dispositions, Monitoring and Controls - Meat Species, Ostriches, Rheas and Emus

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Table of Contents

Annex A: Ante-mortem examination (screening) - A training guide for plant employees

Annex B: High Line Speed Inspection System (HLIS) for Beef

Annex C: HACCP Based Slaughter Inspection Program (HIP) for Swine

Annex D: Specified Risk Materials

Annex E: Equine Information Document

Annex F: Red Meat Disposition

Annex F: Appendix 1

Annex G: Game Meat Preparation

Memorandum

List of Acronyms

AQL
Acceptance Quality Limit.
ATQ
Agri-traçabilité Québec
BSE
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
CAR
Inspection Report – Corrective Action Request
CCIA
Canadian Cattle Identification Agency
CCP
Critical Control Point
CFIA
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
CVS
Compliance Verification System
CWD
Chronic Wasting Disease
FSEP
Food Safety Enhancement Program
FTM
Finely Textured Meat
GIT
Gastro-Intestinal Tract
GMP
Good manufacturing practice
HAA
Health of Animals Act
HAR
Health of Animals Regulations
HACCP
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point
HC
Health Canada
HIP
HACCP Based Slaughter Inspection Program
HLIS
High Line speed Inspection System
IIC
Inspector in Charge
MIA
Meat Inspection Act
MIR
Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990
MOP
Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures
MSM
Mechanically Separated Meat
OTM
Cattle Thirty Months of age and Older (Over Thirty Months)
QC
Quality Control
QMS
Quality Management System
SRM
Specified Risk Material
STC
Septicemia / Toxemia / Congestion
STOP
Swab Test on Premises
TSE
Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy
UTM
Cattle under Thirty Months of age
VIC
Veterinarian in Charge
VM
Veterinarian

17.1 Introduction

This chapter covers ante and post-mortem examination and inspection procedures, disposition of animals, carcasses and their parts, and controls and monitoring in slaughter establishments for red meat species including ostriches, rheas and emus.

17.1.1 Amendment Process to Chapter 17

Suggestions and requests for change/improvements to this manual shall be forwarded to:

Meat Programs Division
National Manager
Policy Development
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
1400 Merivale Road, Tower 1, Floor 4
Ottawa, On
K1A 0Y9

Said proposals must be accompanied by supporting documentation, as applicable.

17.1.2 Terminology Used

Many terms and expressions used in this chapter are defined under various laws and regulations administered and enforced by the CFIA, e.g. Meat Inspection Act , Food and Drugs Act, Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, Canada Agricultural Products Act, Health of Animals Act and their associated regulations.

For example, the following terms: adulterated, animal food, carcass, meat, meat by-product, meat product, and prepared are defined under the Meat Inspection Act and its regulations.

The following definition is applicable to this chapter:

Animal means any animal in the class of mammals or birds that is slaughtered and processed as a meat product for human consumption and for which an inspection system has been established.

17.1.3 Plant Construction and Equipment

For all requirements concerning plant construction and equipment, please see Chapter 3 of this manual.

17.2 Hygiene in Slaughter Establishments

17.2.1 Introduction

Introduction

17.2.2 Compatibility of Operations

Operators shall use their HACCP system to analyze any potential biological, chemical and physical dangers due to incompatible operations.

17.2.3 Sources of Contamination and Cross Contamination

The operator is responsible for producing safe and non-adulterated food. He shall pay particular attention to, without being limited, the following points:

  • Dressing and defect removal procedures.
  • Common contact between exposed parts of carcasses and an unsanitized surface prior to carcass approval.
  • Common contact between carcasses and parts until post-mortem inspection is completed.

17.3 CFIA Stations in Slaughter Establishments

17.3.1 Ante and Post-Mortem Inspection Stations for Slaughter Operations

The following sections describe the minimum line staffing standards for the ante and post-mortem inspection. These standards are applicable provided inspection stations have been designed according to recognized ergonomic principles. Consult Chapter 3 of this manual for the minimal post-mortem inspection spacing requirements.

Additional resources may be agreed between the CFIA and the operator in order to meet specific operational requirements (e.g. slaughter of cull animals).

These standards may be modified due to conditions arising from industry inefficiencies that make the standards impractical at the line speed demanded by the operator of the establishment. Additional inspection procedures may be required for products meant for export. Refer to individual importing country's section in Chapter 11 of this manual for specific inspection requirements.

It is recognized that the staffing standards are practical at the low end of the line speed ranges. In establishments slaughtering at the upper end of the range, certain factors become critical in allowing adequate inspection to be performed with the allocated staff. These factors include:

  • inspection work station and kill floor layout, viscera pan size, etc.;
  • acceptable presentation of carcasses, heads and viscera for the purpose of inspection;
  • level of product contamination;
  • type of animals slaughtered (e.g. older animals tend to have more pathologies); and
  • the lairage time for the animals prior to slaughter.

Where a facility uses a mechanically driven chain for the continuous movement of carcasses along the evisceration line, the chain speed shall be assessed as the gross uninterrupted speed calculated over a 60 second cycle past a fixed point and shall not be calculated on the net number of carcasses dressed per hour.

When figures are indicated for the various inspection stations, they may be impacted by various facility configurations with respect to carcass presentation. The Veterinarian in Charge may re-distribute the recommended staffing numbers as he may so determine in conjunction with the Regional Veterinary Officer provided the total staffing number is not altered.

17.3.1.1 Inspection Stations and Staffing Requirements

The staffing numbers listed in this section are the minimum number of stations needed to staff the slaughter floor. Operational administrative requirements, ergonomic factors, special projects and physical layout of the kill floor may affect these numbers. Each site should be evaluated by the operational personnel to determine the appropriate staffing levels needed in each facility.

The CFIA inspection staff conduct ante-mortem inspection of all animals (100%) housed inside the establishment prior to their slaughter. Sometimes, animals are slaughtered almost immediately after their arrival. This "just in time" type of delivery may result in the stopping of the evisceration line in order to allow CFIA personnel to perform the ante-mortem inspection. In certain cases, the CFIA may establish a permanent ante-mortem inspection station subject to the cost recovery policy.

17.3.1.1.1 Table: Traditional Inspection Method

The ante-mortem inspection is performed by the CFIA personnel under the supervision of the Veterinarian in Charge. In certain situations, establishment of a permanent ante-mortem inspection station may be required (e.g. just in time slaughter).

Steers/ Heifers
Line Speed/Hour Head Inspector Viscera Inspector Carcass Inspector Veterinarian
1 - 8 steers 0 1
9 - 30 steers 1 1
31 - 45 steers 2 1
46 - 64 steers 1 1 1 1
65 - 90 steers 1 2 1 1
91 - 139 steers 2 3 1 1
Cows/ Bulls
Line Speed/Hour Head Inspector Viscera Inspector Carcass Inspector Veterinarian
1 - 8 cows 0 1
9 - 20 cows 1 1
21 -35 cows 2 1
36 - 60 cows 1 1 1 1
61 - 90 cows 1 2 1 2
91 - 139 cows 2 3 1 2
Calves < 70 kg (Dressed weight)
Line Speed/Hour Optimal Inspection Stations
Inspectors
Optimal Inspection Stations
Veterinarians
1 - 29 animals 0 1
30 - 65 animals 1 1
66 - 130 animals 2 1
Calves > 70 kg and < 180 kg (Dressed weight)
Line Speed/Hour Optimal Inspection Stations
Inspectors
Optimal Inspection Stations
Veterinarians
1 - 25 calves 0 1
26 - 50 calves 1 1
51 - 75 calves 2 1
Lambs and Kids
Line Speed/Hour Optimal Inspection Stations
Inspectors
Optimal Inspection Stations
Veterinarians
1 - 29 animals 0 1
30 - 65 animals 1 1
66 - 130 animals 2 1
Sheep and Goats
Line Speed/Hour Optimal Inspection Stations
Inspectors
Optimal Inspection Stations
Veterinarians
1 - 25 animals 0 1
26 - 50 animals 1 1
51 - 75 animals 2 1
Horses
Line Speed/Hour Optimal Inspection Stations
Inspectors
Optimal Inspection Stations
Veterinarians
1 - 12 animals 0 1
13 - 20 animals 1 1
21 - 50 animals 2 1
51 - 75 animals 3 1
Farmed game ruminants (bison, musk ox, elk, deer, reindeer, caribou etc.) and ratites
Line Speed/Hour Optimal Inspection Stations
Inspectors
Optimal Inspection Stations
Veterinarians
1 - 8 carcasses 0 1
9 - 20 carcasses 1 1
21 - 35 carcasses 2 1
17.3.1.1.2 Table: High Line Speed Inspection System (HLIS) for Beef

The ante-mortem inspection is performed by the CFIA personnel under the supervision of the Veterinarian in Charge. In certain situations, establishment of a permanent ante-mortem inspection station may be required (e.g. just in time slaughter).

Steers/ Heifers
Line Speed/Hour Head Inspector Viscera Inspector Carcass Inspector Floor Monitor Table Note 1 VM Table Note 2
140 - 180 1 2 1 1
(shared)
2
181 -250 2 2 1 1
(shared)
2
251 - 310 2 4 1 1
(shared)
2
311 - 375 3 4 1 1
(shared)
3

Table Notes

Table Note 1

Process monitoring non-stationary position.

Return to table note 1  referrer

Table Note 2

Includes the Veterinarian in Charge's position.

Return to table note 2  referrer

Cows/ Bulls
Line Speed/Hour Head Inspector Viscera Inspector Carcass Inspector Floor Monitor Table Note 3 VM Table Note 4
140 - 180 1 2 1 1
(shared)
2
181 - 250 2 2 1 1
(shared)
2
251 - 290 2 4 1 1
(shared)
2

Table Notes

Table Note 3

Process monitoring non-stationary position.

Return to table note 3  referrer

Table Note 4

Includes the Veterinarian in Charge's position.

Return to table note 4  referrer

Note: The term "shared" refers to the fact that both industry and the CFIA are involved in the process control activity.

17.3.1.1.3 Table: HACCP Based Slaughter Inspection Program (HIP) for Swine

The ante-mortem inspection is performed by the CFIA personnel under the supervision of the Veterinarian in Charge. In certain situations, establishment of a permanent ante-mortem inspection station may be required (e.g. just in time slaughter).

Hogs
Line Speed/Hour Optimal Inspection Stations
Inspectors
Optimal Inspection Stations
Veterinarians
1-25 carcasses 0 1
26-65 carcasses 1 1
66-200 carcasses 2 1
201-400 carcasses 3 1
401-500 carcasses 4 1
501-650 carcasses 5 2
651-800 carcasses 6 2
801-950 carcasses 7 2
951-1150 carcasses 8 2
Sows and Boars
Line Speed/Hour Optimal Inspection Stations
Inspectors
Optimal Inspection Stations
Veterinarians
1 - 15 carcasses 0 1
16 - 40 carcasses 1 1
41 - 70 carcasses 2 1

17.4 Maintaining Identity of the Animal

This section explains key elements of animal identification from their reception at the slaughter establishment to the disposition of their carcass and parts.

Every operator shall develop, implement and maintain a control program to ensure that the identity of every animal is maintained from its reception at the slaughter establishment up to the disposition of the derived carcass and parts following completion of post mortem inspection procedures.

17.4.1 Mandatory Identification for Cattle, Bison and Sheep

For cattle, bison, and sheep, it is a requirement under the Animal Identification provisions of the Health of Animals Regulations (subsection 177(1) of Part XV) that the operator of a slaughter establishment shall not receive, or cause the reception of, an animal that does not bear an approved tag, i.e. a tag as recognized under the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) and Agri-traçabilité Québec (ATQ). If an animal loses its approved tag on the way to the abattoir for slaughter, it is not necessary to apply a new approved tag provided that adequate information is maintained and documented by the operator to enable traceability. When an animal bearing an approved tag is slaughtered at an abattoir, the operator shall maintain the ability to identify the animal's carcass until the carcass is approved for consumption or condemned.

The CCIA/ATQ ear tag shall be removed and placed into a clean plastic bag which is attached to the fore shank of the carcass following hide removal. Alternative identification procedures may be approved by the Veterinarian in Charge. These procedures shall assure with equal confidence that the identity of the carcass and all its parts is maintained until their final disposition.

If a bison or a bovine bearing an approved tag is slaughtered at the abattoir or otherwise dies at an abattoir, the operator shall report the death of the animal and the number of the approved tag to the administrator of a national identification program for animals within 30 days after death (paragraph 184 (3) c) of Part XV of Health of Animals Regulations).

Records for the identity of slaughtered cattle shall also be maintained for a period of 2 years if an operator chooses to use birth date documentation to determine the age of the animals (refer to Appendix D of this chapter).

17.4.2 Correlating the Information from Ante-Mortem to Post-Mortem Inspection

Good control through effective communication between the operator, ante-mortem inspectors and post-mortem inspectors is essential. The CFIA verifies via CFIA/ACIA 1438 or an equivalent in-house form that animals presented for slaughter have received and passed an ante-mortem examination and an ante-mortem inspection. Further controls are necessary in the case of animals that were "held" after ante-mortem inspection. Carcasses of such animals must receive veterinary inspection.

As applicable, the inspector shall frequently check that all heads are properly identified with a system acceptable to the Veterinarian in Charge to maintain carcass-head identity.

Synchronization and correlation between carcass, harvested blood, head and other carcass parts shall be maintained until completion of inspection.

The operator must provide adequate facilities for viscera retention which is required by the veterinarian for carcass evaluation.

17.4.3 Control over Held Animals and Their Carcass

It is imperative that all suspects be properly identified throughout the slaughter process, i.e., from the yards or live animal receiving room to the final post-mortem inspection station. To achieve this, every operator shall develop, implement and maintain an efficient control program.

Adequate cleaning and disinfection is required in all cases where the slaughter of a suspect animal may have caused contamination of the facility and equipment.

Once the suspect animal is slaughtered, CFIA/ACIA 1464 tags are to be used for the purpose of identification of carcasses and their parts which require further inspection. These tags shall be used to identify the carcass, edible blood, head, feet and viscera, as necessary. Alternative identification procedures may be approved by the Veterinarian in Charge. These procedures shall assure with equal confidence that the identity of the carcass and all its parts is maintained until their final disposition is known.

Condemned meat products shall be identified by using a condemned tag CFIA/ACIA 1429) or another system approved by the Veterinarian in Charge. The condemned material shall be disposed of as soon as possible. When a carcass is condemned, no part of that carcass shall be approved for human food, including those previously harvested (blood, head, offal, etc.) When a carcass or its parts are condemned, they are to remain under the inspector's supervision until disposed of in the prescribed manner. Condemned material shall be handled in such a way as to avoid contamination of other meat products.

17.4.4 Use of Operator/Veterinary Held Rails

A carcass requiring a veterinary evaluation shall be identified with a "held" tag or any other alternate identification system developed by the operator and approved by the Veterinarian in Charge.

A carcass identified by a CFIA inspector with a visible pathological condition that does not pose a significant food safety risk or a carcass requiring only trimming due to dressing defects or bruises shall not be directed to the veterinary rail. Such carcasses shall be sent to the Operator Held rail and trimmed by the operator. The operator must develop an appropriate identification system in consultation with the Veterinarian in Charge to ensure carcasses are directed to the appropriate rail.

Refer to section 17.7.2.1 for more information on the veterinary and operators held rails.

17.4.5 Control and Removal of Identification Implants from Carcasses

The operator is responsible for determining whether a carcass contains an identification implant such as a microchip. Each implant must be removed from the carcass during dressing procedures and properly disposed to ensure it will not enter into the human food chain or the animal feeds chain.

Unless authorized by a CFIA inspector on a case by case basis, any carcass suspected to contain an identification implant shall not be presented to the CFIA for post mortem inspection until the implant has been removed from the carcass.

17.5 Ante-Mortem Examination (Screening) and Ante-Mortem Inspection

17.5.1 Purpose of Ante-Mortem Examination (Screening) and Ante-Mortem Inspection

Ante-mortem examination (screening) and ante-mortem inspection serve the following purposes:

  • To identify animals which are suspected of showing deviation from normal behaviour or appearance that could render the carcass unfit for human consumption. Some conditions including neurological abnormalities may be present that are not detectable on post mortem examination/inspection. The ante-mortem examination (screening) is extremely important because it permits the interception of diseased animals which, if permitted to enter the slaughter floor, could be responsible for contamination of facilities and equipment.
  • To identify animals which are suspected of having been treated with veterinary drugs such as antibiotics; or of containing chemical residues.
  • To identify heavily contaminated animals. This enables early action to be taken to resolve potential problems associated with this contamination in the slaughtering and dressing processes. This action could be, for example, a reduced line speed or the addition of personnel in appropriate areas.
  • To identify animals which are suspected of having a reportable or exotic disease.
  • To identify animals requiring special handling for animal welfare reasons.
  • To identify animals which could pose a threat to the health of personnel handling them.

17.5.2 Ante-Mortem Examination (Screening) and Animal Information Documents

17.5.2.1 Ante-Mortem Examination (Screening)

The operator is responsible for an initial ante-mortem examination (screening) of all classes of food animals upon their arrival at the slaughter establishment.

A control program as prescribed in the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 must be developed, implemented and maintained by the operator to ensure the proper delivery of this activity.

All red meat species of food animals, including ostriches, rheas and emus, must be examined by the operator within 24 hours of slaughter. Each animal shall be observed by a plant employee, more likely at the arrival, in motion from both sides, including the head and rear, in order to detect all anomalies.

The operator shall ensure that animals showing a deviation from normal behaviour or appearance during ante-mortem examination (screening) are individually identified, marked and placed in a designated (suspect) pen. The operator shall also ensure that suspect animals designated by the CFIA during ante-mortem inspection are individually identified, marked and placed in a designated (suspect) pen.

Plant employees performing ante-mortem examination (screening) shall record on a form CFIA/ACIA 1438 or an equivalent in-house form the following information for each lot or animal received at the slaughter establishment: the owner's name, address, lot identity and description, number of animals screened and the number of suspect animals segregated from the lot. For suspect animals placed in a designated (suspect) pen, the identity and description of the animal and a description of the condition(s) observed shall also be recorded. The CFIA personnel will complete the CFIA/ACIA 1438 form or the equivalent in-house form by adding information on ante-mortem findings and the disposition of the animal (e.g. condemned at ante mortem; approved to proceed for slaughter).

Plant employees performing this function must have been trained to do the examination as per Annex A of this chapter: Ante-mortem examination (screening) - A training guide for plant employees.

17.5.2.2 Control Over Hazards Associated with Receiving of Live Animals

The operator must ensure that hazards associated with food animals are properly identified and addressed in the HACCP system.

The operator shall ensure the hazard associated with exposure to chemical contaminants and the use of veterinary drugs are identified on the list of chemical dangers (FSEP Form 6 or equivalent) and controlled in the company's HACCP system. Proper control mechanisms must be developed so that animals received and slaughtered, and carcasses and their parts processed in the establishment are in compliance with the applicable requirements respecting the use of veterinary drugs in Canada.

All relevant information from the level of primary production shall be taken into account on an ongoing basis. The operator shall receive assurance from producers that animals presented for slaughter are acceptable for human consumption. This means that biological, chemical and physical hazards are identified and to the extent possible controlled at the farm level. Hazards that need to be managed at the slaughter establishment must be identified to the operator (e.g. broken needles).

Every operator shall develop, implement and maintain a control program to verify the accuracy and completeness of the animal information document received. This control program must also include the review of health status information on all livestock as a condition of slaughter eligibility.

The means of information transfer and the content of the document to be transferred from the producer to the operator, unless specified in this manual, shall be negotiated between the establishment operator and the producer. The transfer of animal health status information enables the operator to make appropriate operational adjustments such as order of production, segregation, line speed and/or personnel adjustment preparations necessary to enhance the operator's ability to process animals in a sanitary manner.

The CFIA suggests operators indicate in their HACCP plan that "Copies of completed information transfer documents are not to be made for distribution other than for internal use by the operator or the CFIA."

Also, a paragraph included to the proposed animal information document, worded in proper legal terms, on the following is warranted: "The information gathered with information documents is to be used for the intended purposes. Any use other than the intended food safety or disease control issues can be considered a breach of the right to confidentiality laws in Canada. Employees that use the information for other purposes can be prosecuted."

17.5.2.3 Equine Specific Animal Information Documents

Equine sent to slaughter establishments for human consumption must be presented with an acceptable identification and historical information document(s). For additional details refer to Annex E of this chapter.

The operator shall review all submitted Equine Information Documents (individual animal or lot documents) to determine if they are complete and the animals they represent are acceptable for slaughter. If the documents are accepted by the operator, the documents (or copies thereof) are submitted to the CFIA for review and official authorization of slaughter prior to slaughtering the animals.

After the operator and the CFIA review and accept the EID or Lot EID, the CFIA veterinarian will sign the EID/ Lot EID and document on the related CFIA/ACIA 1438, or the equivalent in-house form, that the EID/ Lot EID provided for the animal / lot has been reviewed and has been found to be complete and acceptable. In the case of SLEID submission, the operator shall ensure that the CFIA has the original or a copy of the relevant IEID for a correlation comparison.

Once ante-mortem inspection is completed and it is determined that the animals may proceed to slaughter, the CFIA veterinarian will sign the CFIA/ACIA 1438 or equivalent in-house form to authorize slaughter. No equine shall proceed to slaughter unless the associated CFIA/ACIA 1438 or equivalent in-house form is signed by the CFIA.

Any equine or lot of equine received at the establishment without the required information documents (EID or Lot EID) or with an incomplete or inaccurate document shall not proceed to slaughter. In addition, based on the information available to the operator (e.g. the review of the EID), animals that appear to be in non compliance with the applicable requirements respecting the use of veterinary drugs shall not proceed to slaughter. In both the above situations, the equine or lot of animals shall be segregated, identified and held by the operator. The operator will immediately inform the CFIA of the details of the deficiency (ies). The operator shall submit proposed corrective actions in writing which include details of the potential disposition of the animals to the Veterinarian in Charge (VIC) for approval. It is strongly suggested that the operator develop contingency plans for holding animals in the event that animals are presented for slaughter, but are not able to be slaughtered because of non acceptability reasons. Operators are reminded that any related contingency plans must be developed in compliance with animal welfare requirements.

17.5.3 Presenting Live Animals to Ante-Mortem Inspection

Following the ante-mortem examination (screening), the operator shall ensure that food animals receive an ante-mortem inspection by the CFIA.

No animal shall be slaughtered unless the animal has been subjected, within 24 hours before the time of slaughter, to an ante-mortem inspection performed by an official veterinarian or by an inspector under the supervision of an official veterinarian.

Once the ante-mortem inspection is performed, a CFIA/ACIA 1438 form or an equivalent in-house form shall be completed by the CFIA personnel.

No animal shall be slaughtered in a registered establishment unless authorized by an inspector. It is the operator's responsibility to ensure that only those animals that have passed ante-mortem examination (screening) and ante-mortem inspection by the CFIA, as required under the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990, are permitted to proceed to the slaughter floor.

Relevant information (e.g. Held animals, lot that needs a follow-up for residue monitoring, etc.) obtained at ante-mortem examination (screening) and ante-mortem inspection must be conveyed by the operator to the inspection staff personnel conducting post mortem inspection. This information is relayed by means of a properly completed CFIA/ACIA 1438, an equivalent in-house form, or any other method approved by the Veterinarian in Charge before carcasses are presented for the post-mortem inspection.

17.5.4 CFIA Ante-Mortem Inspection

No animal shall be slaughtered in a registered establishment unless the animal has been subjected, within 24 hours before the time of slaughter, to an ante-mortem inspection performed by an official veterinarian or by an inspector under the supervision of an official veterinarian. All animals including ostriches, emus and rheas shall be inspected by an inspector while they are at rest and 5 to 10% of such animals, from several lots, shall be examined on both sides while in motion.

During this phase of ante-mortem inspection, all animals showing a deviation from normal behaviour or appearance must be individually identified, marked and placed in a designated (suspect) pen by the operator in order to allow a detailed inspection by an official veterinarian.

Note: Foreign countries' requirements might mandate that a veterinarian performs ante-mortem inspection on all animals; both normal and abnormal animals. Refer to the specific countries requirements in Chapter 11.

The person who performs the ante-mortem inspection on a lot or animal must complete the corresponding form CFIA/ACIA 1438 or equivalent in-house form. The CFIA/ACIA 1438 form or the equivalent in-house form shall be completed by recording: information on ante-mortem findings and the disposition of the animal (e.g. condemned at ante mortem; approved to proceed for slaughter), the time and date of inspection and the signature or initial.

All animals screened out by the operator or held by the inspector are to be subjected to a detailed veterinary inspection and, when judged necessary, are to be suitably restrained for this purpose. Based on his findings, the veterinarian will make one of the following dispositions:

  • the animal is to be permitted to proceed for normal slaughter;
  • the animal is to be set aside for rest and/or treatment, or to go through an appropriate withdrawal time if a veterinary medication residue is a cause of concern, prior to slaughter, and further ante-mortem inspection, as appropriate;
  • the animal is to be deemed a suspect and is to be set aside for separate slaughter, along with other suspects, preferably at the end of normal slaughter;
  • the animal is to be deemed a suspect but, for humane reasons, is to proceed for immediate slaughter; or
  • the animal is to be condemned and euthanized.

17.5.5 Special Procedures

17.5.5.1 Animals Identified for Partial Dressing

Any abnormality noted during ante-mortem examination (screening) or the ante-mortem inspection that may be related to a food safety concern (e.g. lumps, abscess, etc.) will disqualify the animal from the partial dressing procedure. Refer to section 17.6.4.2 for additional details on partial dressing.

17.5.5.2 Animals Suspected of Harbouring Residues

The operator is responsible for segregating animals or herds when it is brought to his attention that animals have received treatment prior to slaughter and a doubt exists whether or not the observed withdrawal time was sufficient to clear the medication from tissues. All animals with a history of having been treated with a veterinary drug or exposed to a chemical contamination in such a way that their tissues could be unfit for consumption must be held at ante-mortem examination (screening) and considered as suspect animals.

Animals signalled by the seller to the operator as being of an uncertain status regarding the absence of chemical contaminants or veterinary drug residues in their tissues should not be slaughtered unless their slaughtering is discussed beforehand with the Area Residue Program Specialist. All details of the testing needed to clarify their status will have to be set before the slaughter, including the number and size of the samples to be collected, tests required, methods of analysis, name of laboratory, and cost recovery issues.

Refer to Chapter 5 of this manual for more instructions on dealing with an animal or a lot suspected of having been exposed to chemical contaminants or veterinary drugs that may affect the disposition of the carcass or its parts, and also for the specific procedures for pre-test animals.

17.5.5.3 Identified Reactors

This section is currently under review.

17.5.5.4 Handling of Non-Ambulatory Livestock at Federally Inspected Slaughter Plants

Any operators wishing to process animals that became non-ambulatory during transport (en route) or became non-ambulatory in the lairage, must have adequate facilities, equipment, trained personnel and procedures acceptable to the CFIA Veterinarian in Charge, to prevent further suffering of the animal prior to and during processing. These animals should be given priority for slaughter due to humane welfare considerations. It will be at the CFIA Veterinarian's discretion following ante-mortem inspection of the animal, to decide whether the animal can proceed to slaughter. If the company is unable to humanely process this class of animals or if the CFIA veterinary assessment can not be performed in a timely manner, the animal must be humanely euthanized by approved euthanasia techniques, in situ and properly disposed of as required in section 54 of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990, and described in Chapter 6 of this manual. In all cases, non-ambulatory animals must be made humanely insensible where they lie.

Please consult the CFIA Transportation of Animals Program - Compromised Animals Policy website for more details on the humane handling of animals upon arrival and within the abattoir.

Any animal, other than bovine, becoming compromised in the lairage after receiving a CFIA ante-mortem inspection may be stunned in place and moved for slaughter without a second ante-mortem inspection, provided that the CFIA Veterinarian is notified, approves the decision, and the procedure is in keeping with the afore mentioned acceptable procedures. All such animals must be clearly identified and presented for CFIA veterinary post mortem inspection as "suspect" animals unless otherwise directed by the attending CFIA Veterinarian.

Non-ambulatory bovines are not eligible for slaughter unless they pass an ante-mortem inspection by a CFIA Veterinarian. If the veterinarian can determine that a specific acute injury resulted in the animal becoming non-ambulatory, it can be stunned on site,transported to the kill floor for bleeding and dressing. If the CFIA Veterinarian cannot determine that a specific acute injury resulted in the animal becoming non-ambulatory, the animal shall be euthanized, and the carcass transported to the inedible section of the establishment in order to be properly marked as Specified Risk Material (SRM) (unless the SRM has been removed from the condemned animal) and disposed of as prescribed by the regulations. If indicated by the case definition for suspect or surveillance cases, specimens are to be collected for rabies and/or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) (see 17.5.5.5, Annex D of this chapter and Chapter 5 of this Manual for more details).

In the case where it is necessary to stun compromised over thirty months (OTM) bovine animals (or all animals if, under thirty months [UTM] and OTM cattle are not identified before stunning) in the lairage, at unloading or on transport vehicles due to humane reasons, the operator shall develop, implement and maintain an effective control system to collect brain tissues that has been externalized at the time of stunning. Leakage of brain tissue from the stun hole can be prevented using the CFIA approved methods. Refer to Chapter 17 Annex D for more details.

The previous requirements dealing with compromised bovine animals may not be applicable for all Canadian registered establishments. For example, it is not allowed to slaughter non-ambulatory cattle in those establishments that are eligible for export to United States. Refer to the appropriate section in Chapter 11 for additional details.

17.5.5.5 Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Controls

For the purpose of the surveillance of the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), some tissue samples might need to be taken on certain categories of bovines. Refer to Chapter 5 of this manual for a description of BSE surveillance targeted sampling procedures.

BSE suspects are to be condemned and are not permitted to proceed to the slaughter floor. Refer to Chapter 5 of this manual and consult the Animal Health District Veterinarian for guidance if a BSE suspect is found at ante mortem inspection.

17.5.5.6 Additional Ante-Mortem Procedures Related to Equine

Equine Owner Responsibilities

Information documents (individual animal EID and Lot EID) as described in Annex E of Chapter 17 of this manual represent the means of information transfer from the equine owner to the establishment operator and the CFIA.

The equine owner is to ensure that:

  • Individual Equine Information Documents are submitted to the establishment operator with the equine animal or that the lot equine information documents are submitted as outlined in Annex E of Chapter 17.
  • All equine information documents are complete, accurate and provide at least 180 days of history for the animal or animals presented for slaughter.
  • Equine animals with a historical record of non permitted drug usage shall not be presented for slaughter for human consumption.
  • Animals represented by equine information documents sent to slaughter have met all medication related withdrawal periods as shown in Annex E of Chapter 17, sections E.6 and E.7, or on the product label, and/or have met withdrawal periods provided via a licensed veterinarian, through a veterinary/client/patient relationship, who has enlisted and cited the aid of a body recognised by the veterinary community as being capable of determining medication related withdrawal periods such as gFARAD or a veterinary pharmaceutical department of an accredited Veterinary Medical College. In the case of a withdrawal determination, the withdrawal period/interval information provided from the recognised veterinary body is attached to the EID. See Chapter 5 of this manual for Canadian gFARADinformation.
  • EIDs are signed to confirm they have been reviewed for completeness and accuracy. The following two options are possible:
    1. The owner identified in part 2 (Medical History) of the EID has clear knowledge of the medical history pertaining to the equine represented by the EID. In this case the owner shall review the identification and medical history portions of the EID for completeness and accuracy and sign the owner's attestation in part 3 of the EID; or
    2. The owner identified in part 2 (Medical History) of the EID has entrusted the care of the equine identified on the EID to another person. In this case the entrusted person must have clear knowledge of the medical history pertaining to the equine represented by the EID, may sign the owner's attestation in part 3 of the EID in lieu of the identified owner (part 2 of the EID). The entrusted person shall review the identification and medical history portions of the EID for completeness and accuracy and clearly include their contact information (i.e. at least, name, title (e.g. trainer), address and phone number) under the signature block in part 3 of the EID, and sign the owner's attestation.
  • Refrain from transporting, or allowing to be transported, any compromised animal if the transportation will cause further injury, stress and/or suffering (Health of Animals Act and Health of Animals Regulations, Part XII paragraph 138 (2) (a)).
  • Animals are not entrusted to a transporter whose vehicle is not designed to transport equine animals or is in a state of questionable repair (Health of Animals Act and Health of Animals Regulations, Part XII paragraph 143 (1) (a)).
Responsibilities of an Operator Slaughtering Equine

Information document(s) provide the operator with the necessary level of confidence that identified potential biological, chemical and physical hazards associated with live equine animals have been recorded, and to the extent possible, prevented or controlled at the farm level and during transportation. Every operator shall develop, implement and maintain a control program within their HACCP system that ensures the validity and accuracy of information contained on EIDs they accept. The control program shall contain contact information for every transient agent doing business with the operator. The operator shall take the necessary action to ensure the validity of EID documents they accept via procedures such as the provision of information to transient agents related to enhancing the accuracy of EIDs, transient agent training, and supervision of the transient agent business procedures including periodically contacting previous owners via the contact information provided on EIDs to ensure accurate information was captured. The operator shall develop and implement effective corrective action(s) and take appropriate measures on animals and meat products as required in cases of non-compliance.

The CFIA's oversight of equine information documents reviewed by the operator allows CFIA staff to judge if the operator is taking the necessary corrective actions and preventive measures when evaluating incoming animal information in accordance with the written specifications contained in the HACCP system.

The CFIA or an approved designate may assess the effectiveness of the operator's control over the validity and accuracy of Equine Information Documents at the industry level. To assist the CFIA in this task, the operator shall provide the names and contact information of all owners and transient agents to the CFIA upon request. Operators of equine slaughter facilities shall develop and implement signed contractual agreements with equine owners and transient agents presenting equine for slaughter that make it permissible for the CFIA or approved designate to contact and conduct assessments of the means of record keeping, EID creation, EID maintenance and EID transfer including onsite verification.

The operator is responsible for evaluating all submitted information documents (Individual animal EID and Lot EIDs) as part of the ante-mortem examination (screening) process to ensure the forms are complete, all withdrawal periods have been met, and that there is no indication of non-permitted drug/substance administered to equine animals that are to be slaughtered for human consumption.

If the information document is incomplete the operator may contact the equine owner to obtain a complete information document.

After the operator has completed the review of information documents and found the animal(s) it represents acceptable for slaughter for human consumption, the information documents shall be provided to a CFIA Veterinarian for review. In the case of SLEID submission, the operator shall ensure that the CFIA has access to the original or has a copy of the relevant IEID for a correlation comparison.

After CFIA review, the operator shall file all information documents and keep them for a minimum of 1 year. Information document records shall be made available to the CFIA upon request.

During the operator's ante-mortem examination (screening), the operator shall verify the identity of animal(s) represented by the information documents by comparing the animal description on information documents to the live animal presented for slaughter. In the case of animals presented with a SLEID, the operator shall also verify that the animal identification listed on the SLEID corresponds to previously submitted and accepted IEID.

The operator shall develop and implement a control procedure that will link and maintain the identity correlation between the individual EID and the animal through the slaughter process including carcass cooling. In the case of Lot EIDs, lot identity shall be linked to carcasses presented as a lot. The basic premise of this control program is to ensure that carcass identity can be linked to animal identity and associated information such as medical records and chain of ownership to facilitate trace back if required.

Missing or Incomplete Equine Information Documents

Operators may choose one of the following two options for equine that arrive at their establishment for slaughter without a fully completed or acceptable information document:

Option no. 1

Slaughter the equine as a segregated lot and treat all derived meat products as inedible meat products (The operator shall ensure that potential chemical residues and veterinary drugs issues do not implicate and restrict the use of inedible material); or

Option no. 2

If assured that a fully completed EID will arrive, the operator may elect to hold the animal(s) in compliance with section 43 of the MIR. Compliance with animal welfare requirements is the responsibility of the operator. (Note that live animals imported into Canada as "slaughter only" are subject to time restrictions under the Health of Animals Act and Regulations limiting the amount of time they may remain alive in Canada). The VIC has the option of allowing slaughter with a complete faxed/electronic copy of revised information documents.

In the instance of a missing or incomplete Lot EID, the operator shall conduct an investigation to determine the root cause. A report, including follow-up action taken to avoid any reoccurrence, must be provided to the CFIA.

Operators may have the option of producing for Export Only product based on specified importing country requirements, in compliance with subsection 122 (2) of the MIR. A CFIA approved written control program addressing identification and segregation procedures for Export Only animals and products shall be developed, implemented and maintained by the operator.

The CFIA's Role

After the operator has verified that equine information documents are complete and acceptable they (or copies there of) shall be submitted to the CFIA. A CFIA veterinarian will review the information documents to ensure the necessary information (equine identification is listed; non permitted substances are not declared; any applicable withdrawal periods are listed and compatible with label declarations or Chapter 17 Annex E sections E.5 and E.6 or with a provided withdrawal interval determination from a recognized veterinary body such as gFARAD; owner declaration is signed; for Lot EIDs the previously accepted animal identification method is used; SLEID identity information correlates to a previously submitted IEID) is complete.

If equine information documents are acceptable to the reviewing CFIA veterinarian, they shall be signed and returned to the operator to be filed. If the veterinary review determines that the animal is not acceptable for slaughter and/or the information document is not complete, the CFIA veterinarian will note the deficiency on the information document, make a copy of the document with comments and return the document to the plant operator. The animal or animals represented by the unacceptable document shall not proceed to slaughter without acceptable information documents. See Chapter 18 and 14 of the Manual of Procedures for other applicable CFIA procedures. The operator shall investigate and determine why an incomplete/unacceptable information document was submitted as acceptable to the CFIA and take appropriate preventative actions.

During ante-mortem inspection the CFIA veterinarian will compare the identification listed on the individual animal EIDs or Lot EIDs to the animals presented for slaughter. A sufficient number of EIDs and/or Lot EIDs are selected by the CFIA for identity verification purposes to establish comfort over the operator's ante-mortem identification check. A copy of the information document or the original may be used for identification verification purposes by the CFIA. Copies of information documents however shall be given to the operator once oversight functions related to animal identification are complete.

17.5.5.7 Verification of the Equine Slaughter Operator's Control Over the Validity of Equine Information Documents

Industry Verification

An operator of an equine slaughter facility must have effective control programs and procedures to ensure claims made on Equine Information Documents they accept may be considered valid.

Operators of equine slaughter facilities utilize equine buying agents to obtain the vast majority of animals for slaughter. The equine buying agents obtain animals at public auction and from private sale. Equine buying agents and livestock auction market personnel are key players in the creation and transfer of Equine Information Documents. It is imperative that the information provided by equine owners and captured in the owner signed Equine Information Document provides an accurate medical history and identification of the animal. Operators must ensure equine owners and buying agents follow procedures outlined in Chapter 17 of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures and they provide an accurate Equine Information Document to the slaughter operator. Equine owners have been encouraged to create medical information records for their animals to aid in the Equine Information Document process to ensure accuracy of information.

To evaluate the operator's control over the validity of the information provided through Equine Information Documents, the CFIA will conduct verifications of the Equine Information Document creation and transfer process. The CFIA verification evaluations apply to owners, buyers, records and equine under the care/control of equine buyers or private owners at assembly points and premises; at public auction; and at private sale premises. The CFIA's Compliance Verification System (CVS) tasks have been created to guide and track verifications. In order to facilitate the CFIA verification activities at these locations, slaughter plant operators shall have a signed agreement from the owners and equine buyers presenting equine for slaughter at their facility accepting CFIA verification activities on premises holding equine.

Reporting Industry Deficiencies and Follow-up

Deficiencies found during the CFIA verification activities listed above may indicate a lack of an effective operator control over the validity of Equine Information Documents. As such, the verifying CFIA inspector shall contact the Veterinarian in Charge (VIC) at the intended operator(s) facility and provide the details of deficient findings. The VIC or designate shall provide the details of the finding to the plant operator. The operator shall take appropriate compliance action related to implicated animals or product if necessary as well as implement/enhance their ante-mortem control program procedures as required to enhance/assure the validity of EID information. The CFIA will conduct a verification of the operators control procedures and corrective actions related to the validity of Equine Information Documents using the appropriate CVS task.

Measures to Strengthen the Equine Information Document (EID) Traceability System for Equine Imported into Canada from the United States

A certificate, namely the Equine Certification Document (ECD), will be required for equine exported to Canada for slaughter or feeding purposes from the United States. The US accredited veterinarian will review the Equine Information Document (EID) representing each equine to be exported to Canada for slaughter or feeding at the time of export certification. The ECD shall be generated and signed by a veterinarian accredited within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to perform equine export certification duties. The ECD shall accompany export documentation to the slaughter establishment for slaughter horse importations or to the feedlot for feeder horse importations.

The Equine Certification Document shall state:

I name of accredited veterinarian have verified that all equine included on the Export Health Certificate number: number of Export Health Certificate, are accompanied with an Equine Information Document properly completed and signed by the owner.

Number of EIDs that accompany the Health Certificate: the total number of EIDs

Signature of Accredited Veterinarian

space
Signature

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Date

Business contact information of the Accredited Veterinarian including business name, address and phone number.

It is strongly recommended that the US accredited veterinarian utilize the statement above on their veterinary company letterhead which provides their company name, address and phone number to generate the Equine Certification Document (ECD).

Residue Finding Follow-up Procedures Related to EID Validity

Chemical residue results that indicate residues detected in equine meat products shall be investigated by the operator to determine if the implicated previously accepted EID contains declarations that may not be valid. The corresponding Equine Information Document shall be located by the operator. If discrepancy exists between declared drug usage and residues detected, the operator shall effect corrective actions to ensure the validity of Equine Information Documents they accept is strengthened. The CFIA shall conduct a verification of the operators control procedures and corrective actions related to the validity of Equine Information Documents accepted by the operator.

17.5.5.8 Tracking Animals Condemned at Ante-Mortem Inspection Until Disposal

When an animal is condemned during ante-mortem inspection by the CFIA, it shall be identified by a tag or other device showing the word Condemned or any other method accepted by the Veterinarian in Charge. In addition, full details (animal identification and permanent ID where applicable, owner's name and address, reason for condemnation), should be entered on the ante-mortem veterinary inspection report (CFIA/ACIA 1438) or equivalent in-house form.

Condemned animal shall be euthanized (see Chapter 12) and transported to the inedible section of the establishment.

All animals found dead are to be recorded and sent for rendering. Condemned animals, carcasses of such animals and found dead are not permitted to pass through the slaughter floor or other edible areas of the establishment.

Refer to Chapter 6 for information on the control applicable to inedible products, including denaturing procedures for carcasses of animals found dead or condemned at ante-mortem.

Additional measures must be adopted by operators to ensure removal of SRM from inedible material intended for animal feed, pet foods and fertilizers and their appropriate disposal. Refer to Annex D of this chapter for further information on removal and disposal of SRM.

17.5.6 Animals Housed within a Federally Registered Facility

Refer to Chapter 12 of this manual regarding animal welfare in registered establishments.

Under certain circumstances, the operator may wish to remove some animals from a federally registered establishment without being slaughtered. It is important to note that no food animal shall be removed from a registered establishment without the written consent of an official veterinarian. According to section 43 of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 (MIR), the operator is responsible to ask the VIC for a written authorisation before the animals leave the facility or to keep the animal(s) in the registered establishment for more than one week.

Animals imported for slaughter only may not leave the slaughter system as they do not meet live animal importation requirements and must be handled/housed as per subsection 12 (5) of the Health of Animals Regulations.

As per section 177 of the Health of Animals Regulations every operator will ensure that all cattle, bison and sheep leaving the facility bear an approved tag that allows the animal to be traced back to its farm of origin for traceability purposes and will keep records reporting any deaths. Should an animal destined for further transport die at the Federal Establishment, the operator, as per section 187 of the Health of Animals Regulations:

    1. may remove the approved tag from the carcass; and
    2. shall report the number of the approved tag to the administrator within thirty days after disposing of the carcass.
  1. In the case where an animal is not bearing an approved tag, the operator shall:
    1. collect enough information about the origin of the animal or carcass to enable the origin to be traced, including, if it is known by that person
      1. the farm, ranch or other place from which the carcass was removed and the date when the carcass was removed from that place, and
      2. the name and address of the owner or person having the possession, care or control of the carcass when it was removed from that place; and
    2. report that information to the administrator within thirty days after disposing of the carcass.

17.6 Slaughter Operations

17.6.1 Stunning of Animals

The Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 section 79 requires that all food animals, except for ritual slaughter (MIR section 77), be rendered unconscious (stunned) in a manner that ensures that the animal does not regain consciousness before death or be killed by an appropriate method prior to being bled. For more information regarding stunning methods, equipment and animal restraining methods see Chapter 12 of this manual.

Where it is intended that an animal will be passed for human consumption the following methods may not be used to humanely stun or render the animal insensible due to the risks posed from general dispersal of emboli which may contain brain tissue or foreign material such as hair and/or pathogenic micro-organisms resulting in the adulteration of the carcass and its parts:

  • any penetrating percussion device which injects air into the cranial cavity; and
  • any pithing method used as a supplemental follow-up procedure to one of the approved stunning methods.

For further guidance on the animal welfare requirements, please refer to Chapter 12 of this manual.

17.6.2 Control and Marking of Contamination During Dressing

The operator is responsible to ensure that all dressing procedures are conducted in a sanitary manner and result in non-adulterated meat products destined for human consumption or acceptable animal food.

Each operator shall develop, implement and maintain a control program with regard to the identification and the trimming of carcasses or their parts contaminated during the evisceration process.

Furthermore, each operator shall develop, implement and maintain a control program dealing with the risk of cross contamination from common contact between the meat products and equipment or any other contaminated meat product.

As part of this control program, contact between the carcass and stationary parts of the viscera table, foot guards, any potentially unclean equipment on the kill floor (e.g. high bench) or any other carcass shall be minimized prior to final carcass inspection. In plants where retaining guide bars, or similar devices, are necessary to stabilize the carcass during the dressing, the risk of cross contamination from common contact with equipment must be listed and analyzed according to this control program.

17.6.3 Dressing of Animals

17.6.3.1 Dressing - Generalities

This section provides generalities related to dressing procedures for all red meat species.

General principles:

  • Should a carcass or its parts become contaminated at any time during the dressing process, the plant employee performing the procedure that resulted in the contamination shall immediately identify and mark (or designate for marking) the affected carcass for trimming correction.
  • Contaminated facilities and equipment must be adequately rinsed and sanitized.
  • Pathological lesions shall not be removed (unless permitted by an inspector) until post-mortem inspection is completed.
  • Rail height must be sufficient to preclude carcass contamination from the floor or splashing during dressing and further handling. A minimal height of 30 cm between the floor and the carcass should be maintained during the dressing procedures. A minimal height of 20 cm between the floor and the carcass should be maintained in the cooler.
  • In some dressing procedures, filtered air may be injected under the hide to facilitate hide removal. Care shall be taken to prevent the introduction of contamination under the skin; the needle must be sanitized between each use and back-siphonage prevented.
17.6.3.1.1 Sticking and Bleeding

The landing area, where stunned animals are discharged from the knocking box, shall be kept as clean and as dry as possible. Sticking shall not occur in this area. After being rendered unconscious, the animals shall be promptly hoisted, conveyed to a properly constructed bleeding area, and then bled.

Sufficient space and time must be made available for bleeding so that blood will be confined to the bleeding area. The sticking knife shall be adequately rinsed and sanitized between each animal. Blood intended for edible purposes must be collected without contamination (i.e. by closed collection method), including, in case of OTM cattle, contamination by specified risk material (SRM).

Carcasses shall be spaced, from the bleeding area to the point of approval, in such a way as to prevent skinned carcasses contacting either unskinned or other skinned carcasses or parts.

17.6.3.1.2 Mammary gland, Prepuce and Penis Removal

Lactating mammary glands and mammary lymph nodes shall be removed cautiously in order to prevent the contamination of products, facilities and equipment.

The penis and prepuce must also be removed without contamination of the carcass.

Operators wishing to harvest mammary gland for human consumption should consult the section 17.6.6.1.19 for more details.

Operators wishing to harvest pizzle for human consumption should consult the section 17.6.6.1.12 for more details.

17.6.3.1.3 Brisket Opening and Evisceration

Care must be taken during these steps to prevent contamination.

Tools and equipment used to split the brisket or to open the abdominal cavity must be cleaned before being used. They shall be adequately rinsed and sanitized between each carcass.

Any contamination shall be trimmed from the midline before opening the abdominal cavity.

The carcasses and their parts shall be presented for inspection according to the presentation standard agreed with the Veterinarian in Charge.

Equipment used to present the viscera (e.g. tray, hook, table) shall be clean. Equipment must be adequately rinsed and sanitized before reuse if the viscera or carcass is condemned or the equipment is contaminated. Moving tables and trays shall be automatically rinsed and sanitized. The temperature gauges shall be visible to the viscera inspector.

If carcasses are eviscerated onto a moving top table, the eviscerator is to wear clean rubber boots which are adequately identified (preferably white) and dedicated for this purpose only and an apron. Another pair of boots or shoes must be used when leaving the table. The washing cabinet used by the eviscerator must be connected directly into a drain. Access to the table from the cabinet must be such that when the eviscerator leaves the cabinet he must step directly onto the clean, sanitized portion of the table or a clean stand, but never onto a contaminated table or platform. The eviscerating knife, boots, apron, etc., must be adequately rinsed and sanitized when contamination occurs. However, any contamination on the carcass must be trimmed, not washed.

17.6.3.1.4 Spinal Cord Removal

The spinal cord from OTM cattle carcasses must be completely removed before leaving the evisceration area; refer to Annex D of this chapter for more details. Particular attention needs to be paid to the extremities of the vertebral canal, since it is usually in these areas that pieces of spinal cord are found.

It is not required to remove the spinal cord from UTM cattle carcasses and any other red meat species carcasses. However, the spinal cord shall be removed from the vertebrae from any carcass or carcass part before it is used for the production of Mechanically Separated Meat or Finely Textured Meat.

Note: The Livestock and Poultry Carcass Grading Regulations may require the removal of the spinal cord for certain species.

17.6.3.1.5 Carcass Trimming and Washing

Carcass trimming must be done in an area designated for that purpose. The trimmed carcasses must be free of stick wounds, blood clots, bruised tissue, pathological defects, contaminants, and dressing defects.

The operator must develop, implement and maintain a control program to make sure carcasses are checked before washing and to ensure the trimming is complete and consistent.

After trimming, all carcasses shall be washed to remove blood and bone dust.

17.6.3.2 Dressing of Bovines

This section describes specific dressing procedures for bovine. Please also consult section 17.6.3.1 - Dressing – Generalities as well.

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE): certain control measures must be implemented by all operators involved in the slaughter of cattle regardless of the age of the animals slaughtered. Refer to Annex D of this chapter for detailed description of SRM control measures.

17.6.3.2.1 Feet, Hide and Horn Removal

The feet must be removed before the carcass is skinned. The hind feet are removed by skinning the area above and below the place where the leg is to be cut and thus removed without contacting the hide.

The horns and front feet are removed in such a manner as to avoid contamination of the carcass. The equipment used for removing the horns must be easy to clean and sanitize to avoid carrying contamination from one head to another.

During the removal of the feet and the hide, the skin shall be cut from the inside-out to prevent carcass contamination with hair and dirt, except for the necessary starting cuts. The knife used to begin skinning operations must be adequately rinsed and sanitized prior to re-use. Hide shall not contaminate meat products. Skinning should begin at the hind shanks after foot removal and proceed downward, reflecting the hide away from the carcass. If chains or other means of restraining the carcasses during hide removal are employed, these are to be sanitized between carcasses if they contact the exposed areas of the carcass.

Bovine hide can be harvested to manufacture products for human use (i.e. food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics etc.) or for inedible purposes provided the hide is not contaminated with SRM. Please refer to Annex D of this chapter for further guidance.

Hides shall be moved immediately to the inedible section of the establishment without becoming a source of contamination. If a chute is employed, it shall be adequately baffled; if a doorway is used, it shall be equipped with automatic door shutting mechanisms.

17.6.3.2.2 Bung (Rectum) Dropping

During hide removal, a circular cut is to be made around the anus, taking care to leave the anal sphincter intact. The subsequent cut freeing the anus and rectum from the surrounding tissue must be done with a clean knife. The rectum is then tied together with the neck of the bladder, and then inserted into a plastic bag to prevent contamination and they are then dropped into the pelvic cavity.

17.6.3.2.3 Head Removal and Cleaning

After the head is skinned it should be removed from the carcass without contaminating the exposed tissues. The employee who removes heads shall wash his hands, adequately rinse and sanitize his knives after each animal. Facilities shall be provided for the preparation of the head (i.e. removal of pieces of skin and washing).

Heads, including oral and nasal cavities, shall be thoroughly washed before making any further incision in the musculature. If additional rinsing of the buccal cavity is required to remove any remaining ingesta, this must be performed without contaminating any products including heads from other animals due to splashing. Head washing cabinets shall be connected directly into a drain. Head hooks shall be adequately rinsed and sanitized with 82°C water after every use.

The tongue shall be dropped and palatine tonsils shall be removed to expose the retropharyngeal lymph nodes. The head shall be presented with all lymph nodes in situ and exposed for proper post-mortem inspection. It is preferable that beef heads be hung by the lower jaw to facilitate access to the retropharyngeal lymph nodes.

Refer to section 17.6.6.1.16 of this chapter for the harvesting of edible products from the head.

17.6.3.2.4 Oesophagus Rodding and Tying

The oesophagus shall be rodded or otherwise separated from the surrounding tissues to prevent carcass contamination. Rodding separates the oesophagus from the trachea, lungs and surrounding tissue and permits removal through the diaphragm and thoracic cavity without rupture of the oesophagus during evisceration. To prevent contamination with rumen or abomasal contents (in milk fed calves), the oesophagus shall be effectively tied before evisceration. When the oesophagus is cut as in ritual slaughter, extra care must be taken to ensure the dressed carcass is not contaminated from digestive tract content leakage.

Rodding must be performed in a hygienic manner. The rod shall be adequately rinsed and sanitized between each carcass.

Refer to section 17.6.6.1.17 of this chapter for the harvesting of edible oesophageal musculature.

17.6.3.2.5 Carcass Splitting

Defects that may contaminate the saw or cleaver (e.g. fecal, milk, ingesta, abscess, etc.) must be sanitarily removed before splitting the carcass.

The splitting saw or cleaver must always be adequately rinsed and sanitized after becoming contaminated and after splitting a held carcass.

17.6.3.3 Dressing of Calves

This section describes specific dressing procedures for calves. Please also consult section 17.6.3.1 - Dressing – Generalities.

The dressing procedures are similar to those described for cattle, except that carcass splitting is not required.

For the purpose of labelling and fair practices, a veal carcass is defined in the Livestock and Poultry Carcass Grading Regulations. The dressed veal carcasses should be properly identified from the beef carcasses under an operator's control program.

17.6.3.4 Dressing of Ovine and Caprine

This section describes specific dressing procedures for ovine and caprine. Please also consult section 17.6.3.1 - Dressing – Generalities.

Ovine and caprine are dressed using the same dressing procedures as described for bovines, except that carcass splitting and bung tying are not required. The oesophagus must be ligatured to prevent regurgitation during evisceration.

Hide removal from ovine and caprine carcasses requires extensive hand-to-carcass contact; plant employees must prevent carcass contamination from dirty hands, knives, and pelts.

Goat carcasses may be scalded and dehaired with the skin left on, in which case the dressing procedure is comparable to the dressing procedure of hogs, except for the head that shall be removed.

17.6.3.5 Dressing of Farmed Game Animals (Ruminants)

This section describes specific dressing procedures for farmed game animals (ruminants). Please also consult section 17.6.3.1 - Dressing – Generalities.

The carcasses of ruminant farmed game animals are dressed using the same dressing procedures as described for cattle.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a reportable disease of wild and domestic cervids. Where applicable, all approved carcasses and their parts must be properly identified and detained pending laboratory results. Health Canada is in agreement with the World Health Organization (WHO) that at this time there is no scientific evidence to suggest that CWD in cervids can be transmitted to humans. However, it is recommended that any tissue which may come from CWD infected cervids should not be used or consumed by humans. Refer to Chapters 5 and 9 of this manual for more information.

17.6.3.6 Dressing of Horses

This section describes specific dressing procedures for horses. Please also consult section 17.6.3.1 - Dressing – Generalities.

The dressing procedures are similar to those described for cattle.

Rodding is not necessary due to the anatomy of the equine cardiac sphincter.

17.6.3.7 Dressing of Ostriches, Rheas and Emus

This section describes specific dressing procedures for ostriches, rheas and emus. Please also consult section 17.6.3.1 - Dressing – Generalities.

The dressing procedures are similar to those described for cattle except that splitting of the carcass is not required.

Note: For ostriches and rheas, to promote better bleeding, it is preferable to sever the major blood vessels (jugular veins and carotids) in the caudal cervical area near the thoracic inlet provided the thoracic cavity is not penetrated. Emus may be bled by cutting the major vessels near the cranial part of the neck similar to turkeys.

If the metatarsi and feet are saved for edible purposes, please consult section 17.6.6.1.1.

17.6.3.7.1 Feather Removal

The following choices are available to the operator:

  • feathers may be left on the carcass for skinning. In this case, the midline has to be cleaned (plucked) prior to opening; or
  • feathers may be taken off after stunning and bleeding, prior to skinning. Feathers must be removed in an acceptable manner such as dry hand picking or clipping.

All feathers and dander must be removed prior to evisceration. Feathers shall be collected in an acceptable manner and be rapidly removed to the inedible area. Dander contamination of the evisceration area is unacceptable and must be prevented. Defeathered carcasses shall be washed prior to opening.

17.6.3.7.2 Venting

The vent shall be carefully dissected from its attachment, encased in a plastic bag, and securely tied to prevent leakage of cloacal contents throughout the skinning and evisceration procedures.

17.6.3.7.3 Neck and Head Removal

The neck and the trachea must be presented for post-mortem inspection. The skin is removed from the neck. The neck and the trachea may remain attached to the carcass or may be removed. The head must also be presented for inspection.

17.6.3.7.4 Evisceration

It is suggested that for ostriches the evisceration begins by removal of the breast plate (rattus) by cutting the ribs on both sides of the plate. The breast plate is then pulled down to expose the thoracic viscera. For rheas and emus, the breast bone may be split along the midline. The heart, lungs and the liver should be removed first to minimize potential contamination from the gastrointestinal tract.

Evisceration continues with a midline abdominal incision caudal (posterior) to the breast plate as performed in beef cattle. Caution should be exercised not to perforate the friable intestine.

The bagged vent is pulled through the vent opening into the abdominal cavity. The liver (if not previously removed) and spleen are removed with the intestinal tract, separated, and placed for inspection in the viscera inspection tray. The intestinal tract must be placed in a separate tray for inspection. Heart and lungs are removed (if not previously removed) as a unit and placed with the liver and spleen for inspection. Kidneys must be observed in the carcass by an inspector, then removed from their crypts by the eviscerator and presented with the heart for inspection.

17.6.3.8 Dressing of Swine

This section describes specific dressing procedures for swine. Please also consult section 17.6.3.1 - Dressing – Generalities.

Although swine are usually dressed skin-on, they can also be dressed skin-off.

Subsequent steps of dressing are similar to those described for cattle.

17.6.3.8.1 Swine - Hide-On Dressing
17.6.3.8.1.1 Scalding, Dehairing, Singeing, Resin-Dipping, Polishing and Shaving

All of these operations have but one purpose: the removal of bristles, scurf and dirt, prior to the carcass being washed and subsequently opened. Any bristle removal necessary after the opening of the carcass must be done by skinning.

Toenails must be removed during these steps if they are still present on the feet. Feet must also be free of dirt, scurf and bristles. This is required even though the feet may not be subsequently harvested as an edible product. The interdigital spaces require special attention to ensure that they are completely free of dirt, scurf and bristles. Although the removal of the interdigital gland is no longer required in market hogs the operator may find that removal of the skin from the interdigital space is still necessary to satisfactorily remove all scurf and bristle.

If scald water additives are used, they must be approved for this particular use.

17.6.3.8.1.2 Pre-evisceration Wash

Washing shall result in the complete removal of any loose dirt, bristles, and scurf from the carcass prior to evisceration.

Once this washing is done and as soon as the carcass is incised for the evisceration, it shall not be washed again until the final approval.

17.6.3.8.2 Swine - Skin-Off Dressing

The process for hide removal is similar to the one described for cattle.

There must be an effective and approved method of carcass wash prior to the beginning of hide removal.

The feet shall be removed after the washing of the carcass but prior to the commencement of the hide removal process and in such a manner as to avoid contamination of the carcass. The hide must be completely removed prior to bunging or any other operations that involve opening of the body cavity.

17.6.3.8.3 Head Dropping or Removal

The head can either be partially severed from the rest of the carcass (dropped) or removed. In either case, the equipment used must be sanitized between each use. If heads or tongues or both are removed, they must be identified in such a way that identity is maintained until inspection is completed.

Heads from scalded swine must be free of all bristle, dirt and scurf. If this cannot be accomplished by scalding, dehairing, singeing and shaving, then it is necessary to scalp the head. This should be done after the pre-evisceration carcass wash to minimize contamination of exposed head tissue.

Heads, including oral cavity, shall be thoroughly washed before moving from the evisceration floor or being deboned on site. If cabinets are used for the head washing, they shall be connected directly into a drain and head hooks shall be adequately rinsed and sanitized with 82°C water after every use.

In skin off swine, after the head is skinned it should be removed from the carcass without contaminating the exposed tissues. The employee who removes heads shall wash his hands, adequately rinse and sanitize his knives after each animal. Facilities shall be provided for the preparation of the head (i.e. removal of pieces of skin and head washing). Head washing cabinets shall be connected directly into a drain. Head hooks shall be adequately rinsed and sanitized with 82°C water after every use.

Heads deboned on site must be cleaned in order to prevent contamination of harvested meat products. Racks (e.g. hooks or cones) for heads must be adequately rinsed and sanitized as required, in order to prevent contamination of meat products.

The mandibular lymph nodes must be presented for inspection.

Refer to section 17.6.6.1.16 of this chapter for the harvesting of edible products from the head.

17.6.3.8.4 Carcass Splitting

The carcass shall be split in the middle of the vertebral column up to the neck area so it is opened sufficiently wide enough to view the inside without pulling apart the ventral opening.

In order to reduce build-up of organic material and maintain microbial load at an acceptable level, the splitting saw shall be sanitized at an interval as determined by the risk analysis of the operator.

The splitting saw shall be rinsed and sanitized after each held carcass or when the saw is contaminated.

17.6.4 Special Dressing Procedures

17.6.4.1 Dressing on a Bed System

Bed or cradle-type dressing requires an excellent working technique due to the higher risk of product contamination when this system is used.

The same sanitary skinning principles outlined for the rail system apply to the bed system. After removing the head, the carcass is placed on a skinning bed. Care should be taken to avoid contamination of neck tissue at this time. Exposed tissue must not contact the floor, cradle or outside skin surfaces. When the carcass is being moved from the skinning bed, the exposed parts shall not contact the floor, cradle or other contaminated objects, including the outer side of the skin, employee boots and aprons, etc. The floor in this area must be cleaned after each carcass by washing and, if contaminated with pus or other septic material, by sanitizing. Washing must not result in splash contamination.

17.6.4.2 Partial Dressing of Animals

The policy on partial dressing of carcasses may apply to any species of food animals in order to meet special market needs as per the provisions given in the subsection 9(2) of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990.

If an operator wishes to prepare partially dressed carcasses for a species or class of animal for which a partial dressing policy exist in this manual (see the following sections), he must implement a control program in order to ensure that the requirements of the Regulations and this manual are met.

Should an operator wish to prepare partially dressed carcasses for a species or class of animal for which a partial dressing policy does not exist in this manual, the operator will submit to the Veterinarian in Charge a detailed description of the dressing procedure including the procedure for the presentation of the visceral organs and tissues to the inspection staff for routine post-mortem inspection as well as the proposed control program. This partial dressing procedure must be approved by the VIC in consultation with the Regional Veterinary Officer (RVO) as well as the Area and the National Red Meat Program Specialists.

Food animals identified for partial dressing shall receive thorough ante mortem and post mortem inspection. In case any abnormality relating to a possible food safety concern is observed in the carcass or its parts (e.g. lumps, internal abscess, etc.), the operator must ensure that the carcass is dressed in the traditional manner as prescribed by this chapter.

17.6.4.2.1 Partial Dressing of BBQ Hogs

Partial dressing of BBQ hogs consist of normal dressing procedures without splitting the carcass.

Partial dressing of BBQ hogs shall only apply to normal healthy stock of market age or younger.

17.6.4.2.2 Partial Dressing of Ovine and Caprine

This section is currently under review.

17.6.4.2.3 Partial Dressing of Calves

Hide-on partial dressing is not permitted.

Since June 4, 2004, the CFIA prohibits hide-on dressing of calves. This facilitates the inspection of carcasses at the time of dressing for the presence of injection sites and hormonal growth promotant implants.

17.6.5 Presentation of Carcasses and Parts for Post-Mortem Inspection

The operator shall present all carcasses and some of their parts in such a way as to permit proper and efficient post-mortem inspection. Carcasses and their parts shall be presented according to the presentation standard as agreed before hand with the Veterinarian in Charge.

The operator shall develop, implement and maintain a control program as prescribed by the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 to ensure proper and consistent presentation of carcasses and parts that requires a post-mortem inspection. This control program shall include monitoring procedures, corrective actions and preventive measures to be taken when deviations to proper presentation occur.

The operator shall ensure that:

  • all parts presented are within reach of the inspector when it is necessary to handle them for inspection;
  • no part is hidden by contamination to an extent that it hinders the inspection; and
  • 50% or more of each carcass part is readily visible without manipulation by the inspector.

In the case where a part of a carcass is missing or incomplete, the veterinarian or inspector may take into consideration the nature of this part, the condition of the carcass and the rest of the viscera, and the health status of the herd of origin to determine the disposition of this carcass and its parts. Corrective and preventive measures must be implemented by the operator to avoid such situations.

Where the dressing of the carcass includes its splitting, the carcass shall be split prior to receiving a CFIA carcass inspection, unless otherwise prescribed in this chapter.

For plants operating under:

  • High Line Speed Inspection System (HLIS) for beef, see also Annex B of this chapter;
  • HACCP Based Slaughter Inspection Program (HIP) for Swine, see also Annex C of this chapter.

17.6.6 Preparation of Carcass Parts for Human Food, Animal Food, Pharmaceutical or Research Use

This section describes the preparation of those parts which are removed from a carcass during the dressing process.

Unless otherwise indicated in section 17.6.6.1 or defined as SRM, any carcass part derived from an approved carcass can be identified as edible. However, before harvesting any carcass part for human food which is not listed in section 17.6.6.1, approval must be provided by the Area Red Meat Program Specialist.

Submission of a proposal to the CFIA must include:

  • the demonstration through the HACCP system that potential hazards to human health are adequately controlled for this particular activity;
  • applicable GMP and examination procedures, including the monitoring program; and
  • assurance that parts are clearly identified and maintain their integrity all along the production/distribution chain up to the consumer.

Some general principles apply to the preparation of carcass parts harvested for other usage (e.g. animal food, pharmaceutical use, research use). Refer to sections 17.6.6.2 and 17.6.6.3 for more details.

17.6.6.1 Carcass Parts Collected for Human Food

Unless otherwise specified in Section 17.7 of this chapter, the operator is not required to present carcass parts to the CFIA for inspection. Only carcass parts harvested under hygienic conditions, derived from approved carcasses, and free of pathological lesions may be identified as edible meat products. The identity of these parts shall be maintained until the corresponding dressed carcass is approved. Part from several carcasses can be collected into one container pending approval of the carcasses. If such is the case and in the event a carcass is condemned, all parts collected in that particular container shall be condemned.

The operator shall ensure that all parts including those inspected by the CFIA, receive a thorough examination under a written Control Program as prescribed by the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 to verify that any visible defects (e.g. lumps; tumours, abscesses; parasitic lesions; adhesions; scar tissue; fecal, ingesta, or milk contamination, etc.) are removed before these meat products are identified as edible. In some cases, presence of one defect (e.g. abscess) may lead to rejection of this carcass part for the purpose of human consumption. Refer to the disposition criteria included in this section for more details.

Edible products that contain a combination of different parts (mixed, grounded or comminuted) must ensure that the label accurately and clearly identifies the names of all parts (See Chapter 7 for details concerning usual name of a meat product). Once identified as an edible meat product, the sale of such product to any customers including pet food manufacturers would not be restricted.

It is important to note that although several parts of a carcass may be salvaged and sold as such for human consumption, their incorporation into prepared meat products in a registered establishment would constitute adulteration (e.g. spleens, brains). Refer to Section 21 of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 for more details.

17.6.6.1.1 Feet

Feet may be harvested for human food provided the following conditions are met:

  • feet are scalded and cleaned;
  • hooves are removed from feet; and,
  • the proximal end of the foot (i.e. the exposed surface of the articulation), which has been contaminated during the scalding and cleaning process, is resected to remove the contaminated portion.

Note: Feet from approved carcasses that have not reached edible status shall be shipped with a CFIA/ACIA 1452 and an official seal from one registered slaughter establishment to another registered establishment for scalding, cleaning, trimming and further preparation as an edible meat product.

Alternate methods of preparing feet as specialty products (e.g. Korean style long beef feet) can be acceptable. The preparation method must be submitted for review and approval by the Veterinarian in Charge. As required, he will consult the Regional Veterinary Officer (RVO) and the Area Red Meat Program Specialist. The product must meet consumer specifications. The name of the product must adequately describe the product and include (as part of the name) the expression "Specialty Product". The product must be produced under a written quality assurance program that includes, among other relevant components, appropriate corrective actions for both organoleptic and microbiological monitoring should the product be found out of compliance with production specifications.

17.6.6.1.2 Brains

Brains must not be contaminated (e.g. bone splinters, hide, hair, etc.) and the blood clots must be removed.

Brains from OTM bovine are considered Specified Risk Material (SRM).

17.6.6.1.3 Thyroid Gland and Laryngeal Muscles

The thyroid gland and laryngeal muscles cannot be harvested for edible purpose.

17.6.6.1.4 Hearts

Hearts shall be cut open or inverted to permit the complete removal of all blood clots.

Hearts shall be trimmed as follows:

  • The aorta and other major blood vessels are to be removed to within 2 cm of their origin from the external surface of the heart to the end of the cut vessels.
  • The atria do not need to be routinely trimmed, except to accommodate removal of the major blood vessels and, if applicable, the os cordis (heart bone).
17.6.6.1.5 Livers

Livers from all species, except horse due to their high cadmium contents, may be prepared for human food. The gall bladder shall be removed from the liver but can be harvested separately as edible.

Minor scar lesions on the surface of porcine livers (i.e. milk spots, parasitic scar lesions) can be left on the offal if this is acceptable to the buyer or otherwise be removed.

The operator shall open the hepatic ducts longitudinally and examine them for the presence of liver flukes.

Livers with defects such as parasites (e.g. flukes), lump, tumour, abscess (1 or more) shall not be harvested for human consumption.

17.6.6.1.6 Lungs

Lungs which contain water from the scalding tank cannot be harvested as edible products.

The operator shall split the trachea and main bronchi to examine for parasitic infestation and presence of contamination. This activity may be performed on the evisceration floor. Lungs selected from hooks/tables/trays destined for edible use must be kept separate from other edible organs and products until the trachea is opened and washed and the lung has passed the operator's acceptance evaluation.

Lungs with defects such as parasites, lump, tumour, abscess (one or more) shall not be harvested for human consumption.

17.6.6.1.7 Spleen

Spleen with defects such as lump, tumour, abscess (one or more) shall not be harvested for human consumption.

17.6.6.1.8 Portions of Gastro-Intestinal Tract

Appropriate measures to achieve a complete control of hazards associated with contamination and cross contamination of other meat products during all steps of their preparation, including control of aerosols and movement of employees shall be implemented should an operator wish to harvest portions of gastro-intestinal tract for human consumption.

17.6.6.1.8.1 Harvesting

All portions of gastro-intestinal tract can be harvested as edible for human consumption. Note that the distal ileum of bovines of all ages is considered SRM and cannot be harvested for edible and inedible purposes. Refer to Annex D of this chapter for more details.

The opening, emptying and cleaning of the portions of gastro-intestinal tract shall be performed in an area that is physically separated from the evisceration area. The air flow and the movement of the employees assigned to these tasks shall be designed to prevent cross contamination.

17.6.6.1.8.2 Cleaning

Portions of gastro-intestinal tract shall be emptied and cleaned as soon as possible. These products achieve an edible status once the following steps are completed:

  • Portions of gastro-intestinal tract shall be rinsed with potable water until the water dripping from the product is clear.
  • After rinsing, the product shall be trimmed to remove any visible contamination or defect (e.g. parasites, parasitic lesions, inflammation, foreign bodies, lump, etc.).
  • After cleaning, the product shall be examined by a responsible plant employee, prior to further handling.

Cleaned portions of gastro-intestinal tract can be sold as is.

Occasionally, the cleaning step may be followed by a refining process (see 17.6.6.1.8.3). In this case, the examination and the trimming can be performed once the refining process is complete.

17.6.6.1.8.3 Refining

Once cleaned, portions of gastro-intestinal tract often undergo further refining treatments with water and chemicals to enhance their appearance, to meet certain specific market needs or to meet regulatory requirements.

Refining as a process varies greatly according to desired outcome and usually consists of scalding with warm water or chemicals, or both. When chemicals are used for refining, they must be safe and suitable and be used according to the manufacturer's recommendation.

It is no longer mandatory to register non-food chemicals. The existing Reference Listing of Accepted Construction Materials, Packaging Materials and Non-Food Chemical will continue to be accessible on the CFIA website but will no longer be updated. Please refer to Chapter 3, Pre-requisite Programs for the requirements for acceptable non-food chemical products.

Refining, when done to enhance the visual appearance of a product, is optional. However, Canadian regulation prescribes refining in certain situations and some importing countries impose testing of the finished products for pathogens, making it important to do some form of refining. The operator is responsible to demonstrate to the inspector that specific requirements of the importing country have been met in case of export.

In Canada, refining is a mandatory step and must achieve complete removal of the mucosa of the gastric compartments of ruminants and of the monogastric stomach when the intent is to use these by-products in the fabrication of prepared meat product. Refining to remove the mucosa is also mandatory in the preparation of casings.

17.6.6.1.9 Casing Preparation

Casings may be prepared from cleaned portions of gastro-intestinal tract , bladders and oesophagi of all red meat species covered in this chapter (excluding those parts that are considered SRM) as long as it's prepared in compliance with subsection 15 (2) of Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990.

The not fully cleaned portions of gastro-intestinal tract for casings shall be shipped with a CFIA/ACIA 1452 and an official seal, as the product has not yet reached an edible status, the cleaning step not being completed. Portions of gastro-intestinal tract shall be refrigerated pending further processing, if not otherwise preserved, as they are sensitive to deterioration during storage. Saturated salting of portions of gastro-intestinal tract and casings will have an effective anti-microbial and preservation function.

In the case of a urinary bladder, it may be identified and used as a natural casing for a meat product if the content and mucous lining are removed and it is washed and tested for cleanliness. It shall also be inverted and placed in brine for at least 12 hours and subsequently rinsed with water.

17.6.6.1.10 Kidneys

Kidneys from food animals may be harvested as an edible product.

However, current Health Canada policy does not permit the harvesting of horse kidneys for edible purposes due to their high cadmium content.

Kidneys from ostriches, rheas and emus shall also be condemned unless growers/processors desire to save kidneys as edible and provide data indicating that levels of heavy metals (primarily Cadmium) are within a range acceptable to Health Canada.

Kidneys shall not be used in the production of particular meat product, unless prepared in accordance with section 14 of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990.

17.6.6.1.11 Uteri

The uteri of any animal can be harvested for edible purposes. Only non gravid uteri of nulliparous animals (animals which have never been pregnant) can be collected.

17.6.6.1.12 Testicles and Pizzle

This section is currently under review.

17.6.6.1.13 Fatty Tissues

The sanitary collection of clean fatty tissue for edible purposes from approved dressed carcasses and approved detached portions shall be carried out as speedily as possible and refrigerated or rendered without delay after collection.

Fat which is directly sent to edible rendering, does not have to be cooled to 4°C before shipping. However, the operator must handle and send the fat to the rendering facility in a manner which ensures its wholesomeness and prevents its rancidity.

17.6.6.1.14 Tails

Tails from all animals may be harvested as an edible product.

17.6.6.1.15 Heads for Edible Retail Sale

This section is currently under review.

17.6.6.1.16 Meat from Heads Deboned at the Time of Slaughter

This section is currently under review.

17.6.6.1.17 Oesophagus Meat

The oesophagus can be harvested by cutting through its musculature distally adjacent to the rumen/stomach without cutting into the mucosal lumen. The oesophagus is then pulled away from the rumen/stomach.

17.6.6.1.18 Blood

Blood is highly perishable and must be handled carefully to avoid contamination during collection. The operator can use a closed container connected directly to a cannula or a hollow knife in order to avoid contamination (e.g. hairs, dust, foreign material, etc.) of the harvested blood. Simply holding an open pail under the carcass is not acceptable. The equipment used for the collection of blood, which is done either on an individual or lot basis, shall be adequately rinsed and sanitized between each carcass or lot, as appropriate.

Blood clotting is prevented by either using approved anti-coagulants or mechanical defibrination. The latter must be done with suitable beaters (not with hands), which are rinsed and sanitized after each carcass.

Blood intended for edible purposes shall be identified to the carcass until that carcass is determined to be edible, as prescribed by section 52 of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990. Any condition found on the post-mortem examination which requires whole carcass condemnation makes it necessary to also condemn the blood.

17.6.6.1.19 Udder and Mammary Glands

These parts can be harvested for edible purposes as long as they come from nulliparous animals (animals which have never been pregnant).

17.6.6.1.20 Thymus gland

Thymus gland may be harvested as an edible product.

17.6.6.2 Inedible Carcass Parts Collected for Animal Food

Inedible parts collected for animal food need not be trimmed to remove contamination, hide, bone splinters, blood clots, parasites or minor pathologies of aesthetic nature such as dry adhesions or scar tissue.

For certain pathologies, utilization for animal food is authorized only after removal of the lesions.

Parts collected for animal food shall be denatured, labelled and stored in accordance with the policy in Chapter 6.

The specified risk material (SRM) cannot be harvested for animal food purposes.

17.6.6.3 Foetuses and Carcass Parts for Pharmaceutical or Research Purposes

The salvage of carcass parts for pharmaceutical or research use may be permitted if such salvage does not interfere with sanitary operations in the establishment. Whole foetuses or their parts may also be allowed to be salvaged for pharmaceutical or research purposes. Refer to Annex D of this chapter for procedures on disposal of bovine foetuses or SRM recovered from bovine foetuses and new born calves.

It is not permitted to salvage parts or foetuses when they, or the carcasses from which they originate, have been condemned because of a zoonotic condition. Similarly, it is not permitted to salvage parts or foetuses originating from animals licensed to slaughter because of a zoonotic condition on the farm of origin, e.g. brucellosis, rabies, etc.

It may be acceptable to harvest bile directly on the kill floor provided the procedure is performed in a hygienic manner. The harvested bile must be conveyed without delay to the inedible products area for preparation and packaging.

If salvaged products are derived from condemned or contaminated carcasses or carcass parts, these products must be harvested in a hygienic manner and conveyed without delay to the inedible products area in compliance with section 54 of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 for preparation and packaging.

Operators wishing to salvage products (carcass parts or foetuses) for pharmaceutical or research purposes must develop, implement and maintain a control program to ensure maintenance of acceptable hygienic standards.

17.6.6.4 Carcass Parts for Artistic or Educational Purpose

A slaughter plant operator may provide carcass parts to an educational institution or to an individual for artistic purposes. Only healthy parts from inspected and approved carcasses shall be collected. The plant operator is responsible to provide only parts of an acceptable hygienic status and shall instruct the buyer, in writing, on the basic hygienic principles with which products should be handled.

Under certain conditions, it is possible to provide OTM bovine skulls from edible carcasses. Consult the CFIA Animal Health District Office or the Veterinarian in Charge for more details on requirements.

17.6.7 Application of the Meat Inspection Legend

The use of the Meat Inspection Legend is only permitted in connection with edible meat products in a registered establishment.

The Meat Inspection Legend shall be applied to the carcass before cooling. Only one legend per carcass is necessary on each unsplit carcass or one legend per side if the carcass is completely split before cooling.

The Meat Inspection Legend shall not be used on inedible meat products or on containers of inedible meat products.

Note that a meat product that would not qualify as edible in Canada may be exported provided the requirements of the importing country are met. In this case, the product is labelled with the Meat Inspection Legend and the label bear the mention that the product is destined for export in compliance with subsection 122(2) of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990.

See Chapter 7 for more information on labelling and usage of the meat inspection legend.

17.6.8 Delayed Evisceration

Evisceration and dressing of carcasses can sometime be delayed for extended periods during the slaughter operation, for example, following a mechanical failure.

In the event the evisceration is completed more than 120 minutes following the bleeding, a microbiological risk evaluation of the carcasses and their parts will be required by the operator to verify that microbial levels are acceptable and to demonstrate that quality of the meat products has been maintained before being released into commerce.

The presence of a greenish hue in the kidney fat and on the peritoneal wall and a soft and flaccid diaphragm are indications that the carcass' quality has been compromised by the delay in evisceration.

17.6.9 Additional Slaughter Controls Over Fecal, Ingesta and Milk

Operators of Federally Registered Establishments cannot identify as edible any contaminated meat. Possible contamination of the meat products is prevented by ensuring hygienic procedures during dressing and evisceration. When contamination inadvertently occurs, it will be promptly removed by the operator in a hygienic manner.

Fecal, ingesta and milk may contain pathogens that render meat products adulterated. Accordingly, operators must demonstrate, in an auditable format through carcass evaluation, that carcasses are free of visible fecal, ingesta and milk (as applicable to the species slaughtered) after final trimming but prior to final carcass washing, as referred to in section 17.6.3.1.5 of this chapter.

In the event that fecal, ingesta or milk is detected at the evaluation, all carcasses produced since the last successful evaluation must be identified by the operator and subjected to procedures that will ensure the identified carcasses are free of visible fecal, ingesta and milk.

Also upon detection of visible fecal, ingesta or milk during this evaluation, the operator must investigate the root cause of the defect and implement effective corrective actions. Records of these evaluations (including detection of fecal, ingesta or milk); root cause investigations and their corrective actions; and procedures to identify and return potentially affected carcasses to freedom from visible fecal, ingesta and milk defects must be maintained in an auditable format and made available to the CFIA on request.

The operator shall re-evaluate their HACCP system to incorporate carcass evaluation (after final trimming but prior to final carcass washing) and fecal, ingesta and milk control procedures, as appropriate.

17.7 Post-Mortem Examination and Post-Mortem Inspection

17.7.1 Post-Mortem Examination and Post-Mortem Inspection Principles

The following principles should be respected:

  • Routine post-mortem examination or inspection of red meat carcasses is based on the examination of heads and their lymph nodes, thoracic and abdominal viscera and their lymph nodes, and the exposed parts of the carcass. A more minute veterinary inspection is made of organs and the carcass including body lymph nodes, where applicable, when significant abnormalities are observed during routine examination or inspection or when the carcass is that of an animal identified as a suspect on ante-mortem.
  • Where a carcass is presented for post mortem examination or inspection and it has been partially dressed under an approved procedure, a diligent post mortem examination or inspection shall be performed to ensure that those organs and exposed carcass parts that are presented have no abnormalities present. Should any abnormality relating to a possible food safety concern be observed in the carcass or its parts, the veterinarian shall require that the partially dressed carcass be subjected to a full dressing procedure.
  • When it is obvious that a portion will be condemned, it is still necessary to conduct the full routine examination or inspection, e.g.: incision of lymph nodes and masseter and internal pterygoid muscles is still required on a contaminated beef head.
  • When significant deviations from the normal are observed, the dressed carcass and all its corresponding detached parts shall be held and referred to a veterinarian for final inspection and disposition.
  • Subsection 83 (3) of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 (MIR) provides authority for the veterinarian to direct either the operator or an inspector to remove the blood, carcass or portions of a carcass demonstrating certain deviations from normal appearance without being referred to the veterinarian for detailed examination.
  • Because of the volume of the gastrointestinal tract, it is permissible for an operator, and by mutual agreement with the Veterinarian in Charge, to dispose of bovine stomachs and intestines that appear normal as condemned material instead of holding them.
  • It is the responsibility of the inspection staff to take immediate action if management does not adhere to its responsibilities. Such action could be to demand that the rate of slaughter be slowed down, to temporarily suspend inspection services until management has corrected the situation, etc.
  • Veterinary inspection includes assessing the degree of involvement in the case of many diseases and conditions. In order to determine if a disease or condition is localized or generalized, the appropriate lymph nodes shall be examined. The following are examples of some of the lymph nodes which might be examined: caudal deep cervical, superficial cervical, hepatic, renal, superficial inguinal (scrotal or mammary), medial and lateral iliac, subiliac, deep popliteal, etc.

17.7.2 Roles and Responsibilities

Every operator shall ensure that carcasses and their parts are presented for post-mortem examination or inspection in such a way as to permit proper examination by plant personnel or CFIA inspectors. To that effect, the operator and the Veterinarian in Charge shall agree on an adequate presentation standard. This standard may be presented as a schematic or with a picture.

All operators slaughtering swine as only species must control their slaughtering and dressing procedures by complying with the HACCP Based Slaughter Inspection Program (HIP) requirements for Swine (see Annex C of this chapter).

All beef plants operating at line speeds above 140 carcasses per hour must control their slaughtering and dressing procedures by complying with the High Line Speed Inspection System (HLIS) requirements for beef. Refer to the Annex B of this chapter for a detailed description of the High Line Speed Inspection System (HLIS) for beef.

The operator is responsible for removing all dressing defects as well as certain specific pathologies. This can be done on the main evisceration line or on the operator held rail as long as both procedures meet acceptable sanitary practices.

The CFIA is responsible for identifying 2 types of defective carcasses, those classified as CFIA/Operator managed portions and those classified as CFIA or veterinary managed conditions. The operator is responsible for identifying and managing defective carcasses and parts classified as Operator Managed Portions.

Although identification of fecal, ingesta and milk contamination is the operator's responsibility, CFIA will continue to perform oversight of operator's identification activities at the carcass inspection station.

17.7.2.1 Held Rails

The operator shall provide 2 separate held rails for the purpose of managing retained carcasses.

Carcasses placed on the Operator Held rail shall be of two types for the purposes of managing and removing portions that are affected by certain defects that are deemed to be inedible. These 2 categories shall be referred to as:

  • CFIA/Operator managed portions; and
  • Operator managed portions.

Carcasses placed on the Veterinary held rail shall be for veterinary disposition purposes only.

17.7.2.1.1 Operator Held Rail
17.7.2.1.1.1 CFIA/Operator Managed Portions

These are carcass portions that are affected with defects that do not meet edible standards and are generally the result of visible pathological conditions that do not pose a significant food safety risk. Under the current traditional inspection system, a CFIA inspector will detect and identify carcasses with these defects. The CFIA will not provide continuous direct oversight of the activities occurring on the CFIA/Operator rail. However, at least once per shift, the CFIA will validate that the activities relating to portion removal and carcass control are being properly applied. The following list of defects is currently deemed to be a joint CFIA/Operator-managed responsibility:

  • Skin conditions (thickening, ringworm, necrosis, dermatitis, frostbite, etc.) – porcine hide-on dressing.
  • Skin infections – porcine hide-on dressing.
  • Bruising or fracture without necrosis – all species.
  • Tarsal arthropathy (swelling of one or two joints) – all species.
  • Melanosis – all species.
  • Localized swelling – all species.
  • Hydronephrosis and renal cysts – all species.
  • Granulomatous lymphadenitis detected at a single primary site – porcine.
  • Atrophic rhinitis (without purulent nasal discharge) – porcine.
  • Abscessed head – all species.
17.7.2.1.1.2 Operator Managed Portions

The operator is fully responsible for dressing carcasses in the prescribed manner as well as detecting and removing all dressing defects as well as certain prescribed pathologies. Where these defects pose a food safety risk, such as in the case of fecal, ingesta or milk contamination the controls necessary for ensuring the complete removal of these affected portions must be defined by the establishment's HACCP system.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of dressing defects and pathologies that must be treated as part of the operator's control program as prescribed by Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990. The operator is responsible for the identification and removal of all these defects.

  • Cutaneous lesions resulting from processing (e.g. overscalding, mutilation), skin thickening (hyperkeratosis), frostbite, contact dermatitis, urine burn, etc – porcine.
  • Skin conditions (thickening, ringworm, necrosis, dermatitis, frostbite, etc.) – hide-on dressed - carcasses other than porcine (e.g. lamb).
  • Defects in the dehairing process, resulting in the need to remove the skin – porcine.
  • Contamination: hair, stains (bile, oil, etc.), gastro-intestinal contents, milk, etc. – all species.
  • Minor bruising – all species.
  • Any dry adhesions – all species.

If it is determined by the operator that it is not feasible to trim a carcass which has a dressing defect, i.e. contamination, burnt, mutilated or overscalded, these carcasses may be disposed of as inedible. The CFIA will not provide a condemnation certificate for these defects. The operator is responsible to record the number of carcasses disposed of along with the type of defect and submit these numbers to the VIC monthly.

17.7.2.1.2 Veterinary Held Rail
17.7.2.1.2.1 CFIA/Veterinary Managed Conditions

All carcasses which are identified with a pathological condition which necessitates veterinary inspection shall be removed from the main rail to the veterinary held rail. Carcasses requiring only trimming due to dressing defects or bruises are not permitted to go on the veterinary rail. Depending on the nature of the defect and in accordance with the instructions from the Veterinarian in Charge, it may also be necessary to hold the offal and viscera of the affected carcasses.

There shall be no contact between visibly contaminated carcasses on the veterinary held rail until the veterinary examination is completed and final disposition is determined. Where partial approval is given, the veterinarian ensures that the parts to be condemned are completely removed by the operator before the carcass leaves the held rail. Condemned carcasses and all their parts must remain under inspection control until the operator disposes of them in accordance with the veterinarian's instructions.

The operator shall ensure that only dressed carcasses leave the held rail.

Where the operator requests a certificate of condemnation for a carcass, the operator is responsible to maintain an identification system that will allow the veterinarian to adequately describe the carcass on the certificate including its weight if necessary.

In the case of partial condemnations by the CFIA the removed parts may be weighed and recorded by the operator. The veterinarian will not monitor the weighing or collection of information by the operator and no condemnation certificate will be issued by the CFIA. As in the case of operator-managed portions, the CFIA is not involved in the commercial settlement process that occurs between the producer and the processor.

17.7.3 Post-Mortem Inspection of Bovines

17.7.3.1 Head Inspection

It is strongly suggested that the head be inspected before the carcass has been inspected in order to facilitate the operations.

The inspection shall not commence until the head is clean, properly prepared, (free of hair, pieces of skin, contamination, horns, palatine tonsils removed, etc.) and presented in a satisfactory manner.

The inspector must perform a visual examination of the head, including the eyes and the tongue, to detect any abnormality.

The tongue shall be palpated to detect abscesses, actinobacillosis, and other abnormal conditions.

An incision shall be made through the center of the each internal pterygoid and external masseter muscles. Such incision should be made parallel to the mandible and right through the muscle (exposing at least 75% of the muscle's surface). The incision should expose predominantly the muscle tissue and to minimum extent the connective tissue (3:1 ratio) in order to detect parasitic lesions (e.g. Cysticercus bovis).

The medial retropharyngeal, lateral retropharyngeal, parotid and mandibular lymph nodes are to be exposed, examined visually and carefully incised. Two to three incisions/slices right through the nodes is considered sufficient.

Consult the Annex D of this chapter for more details concerning the age determination.

17.7.3.2 Viscera Inspection

The lungs should be visually inspected and palpated to detect chronic pneumonia, abscesses, tumors, etc. The right and left tracheobronchial, cranial and caudal mediastinal lymph nodes shall be incised and examined.

The liver shall receive a visual inspection and be thoroughly palpated. The hepatic lymph nodes shall be incised and examined.

The exterior and interior of the heart (i.e. the valves and the endocardium) shall be visually inspected.

In order to detect parasitic lesions (e.g. Cysticercus bovis), the cut surface of the heart musculature of all cattle and calves over the age of six weeks shall be visually inspected by one of the following methods:

  • By making one incision that passes through the interventricular septum from base to apex in order to open the heart and expose both ventricles.
  • By everting the heart and making three shallow incisions in the heart musculature.

Extra incisions of the heart may be performed when deemed necessary by the inspector or the veterinarian (e.g. Animals suspected of being affected with Cysticercus bovis).

The mesenteric lymph nodes are to be visually examined. Mesenteric lymph nodes should be incised by the inspector when it is enlarged or when the inspector or veterinarian found suspicious lesions in other lymph nodes during the routine inspection. If incision of the lymph node reveals the presence of a granulomatous lesion, the lesion should be collected and submitted to the laboratory for bovine tuberculosis surveillance. Refer to Chapter 5 of this manual for more information on sampling submission for bovine tuberculosis surveillance program.

The spleen shall be visually examined and palpated; it may be incised if a complete examination is found to be necessary. Kidneys may be examined, either in the carcass or separately, for example with the other viscera. In either case they shall be fully exposed by the operator prior to inspection and visually examined by the inspector.

The reticulum, rumen, omasum and abomasum are to be visually inspected. The rumino-reticular junction shall be visually examined to detect any abnormalities that may affect this area of the gastro-intestinal tract such as existing inflammatory conditions, abscesses, presence of protruding foreign bodies as a result of reticular puncture, etc.

17.7.3.3 Carcass Inspection

The inspection of the carcass is performed after the viscera have been removed, but before carcass washing. The inspection consists of a careful examination of the external surfaces of the carcass, the internal cavity, including a visual inspection of the iliac lymph nodes and of the cut surface of the vertebrae, as applicable.

If the kidneys have been left in the carcass, they shall be visually inspected.

17.7.4 Post-Mortem Inspection of Calves

All inspection procedures are similar to those described for cattle, except for the following description.

The inspection for Cysticercus bovis may be omitted in the case of calves less than six weeks of age. Incisions of the internal pterygoid and external masseter muscles and incision of the internal surface of the heart (endocardium) are not necessary.

For calves older than six weeks of age for which incision of the external masseter muscles is undesirable for marketing reasons, follow all other post-mortem procedures applied to cattle with two exceptions:

  1. Incisions of the internal pterygoid and external masseter muscles are not performed unless the animal is suspected of being infected with Cysticercus bovis; and
  2. Three additional incisions from the internal surface of the heart (endocardium) are performed on top of the routine incisions described in bovine.

Refer to Chapter 5 for information regarding the disposition of veal carcasses with evidence of hormonal growth promotants.

17.7.5 Post-Mortem Inspection of Sheep, Lambs and Goats

Routine inspection procedures for adult sheep and goat consist of a visual examination of the dressed carcass, head, and viscera. In addition, the lungs, heart, and liver shall be palpated.

The retropharyngeal lymph nodes shall be incised except for partially dressed carcasses, where it may be easier to incise the parotid lymph nodes. The mesenteric lymph nodes shall be observed. In addition, the bronchial, mediastinal, hepatic, and superficial body lymph nodes (subiliac, superficial inguinal or mammary, superficial cervical) are to be routinely visualized and palpated.

Lymph nodes shall be incised whenever palpation is inadequate to determine the absence of abscesses indicating caseous lymphadenitis or if granulomas are suspected. Granulomas consistent with a Tuberculosis lesion shall be submitted to the laboratory (see Chapter 5).

Inspection of lambs is performed using the same procedure, except that:

  • the examination of the superficial body lymph nodes on partially dressed lamb (skin on) carcasses is done by palpating the subiliac and prescapular lymph nodes.

17.7.6 Post-Mortem Inspection of Horses

The inspection of the head must also include the guttural pouch. Careful examination must be made of the abdominal walls for encysted parasites, of the neck region for fistulous conditions near the first two cervical vertebrae, and of the axillary and subscapular spaces of white and gray horses for melanosis.

All other inspection procedures are similar to those for cattle, except:

  • An examination for C. bovis is not required.
  • The mesenteric lymph nodes are to be examined visually and palpated. Any abnormality that is detected shall be further investigated by incision.

17.7.7 Post-Mortem Inspection Farmed Game Animals (Ruminants)

All inspection procedures are similar to those described for cattle.

17.7.8 Post-Mortem Inspection of Wild Game - Reindeer, Caribou and Musk Ox

The CFIA has agreed to provide inspection services to groups involved in the hunting of these species where a post-mortem inspection of the carcasses is needed to allow marketing of the meat of reindeer, caribou and musk ox. Requests shall be addressed to the Area Red Meat Program Specialist for an evaluation.

17.7.8.1 Head Inspection

A visual inspection of the head to detect any gross abnormality must be completed. In the case where heads and/or tongues are saved for human consumption, mandibular lymph nodes shall be exposed, examined visually and then incised, and the tongue palpated.

17.7.8.2 Viscera Inspection

The lungs shall be visually inspected and palpated. Associated lymph nodes shall be incised and examined. Special attention should be given to presence of hydatid cysts.

The liver shall be visually inspected and palpated. Both liver flukes and cysticerci may be expected.

Hearts shall be examined visually and then incised longitudinally by at least four deep incisions to permit visual inspection for parasitic and other lesions.

Mesenteric lymph nodes shall be visually examined and palpated.

Kidneys shall be exposed and examined visually.

17.7.8.3 Carcass Inspection

A careful examination of the internal and external surfaces of the dressed carcass shall take place prior to washing of the carcass. Visual inspection shall include the joints, outer muscle surface, the body cavities, the diaphragm and its pillars. Pillars of the diaphragm must be incised in order to detect parasites (e.g. Cysticercus spp.).

The prefemoral lymph node shall be palpated to detect pathology resulting from warble migration.

17.7.9 Post-Mortem Inspection of Hogs

17.7.9.1 Head Inspection

A visual examination of the head shall be performed and the mandibular lymph nodes shall be incised and examined.

17.7.9.2 Viscera Inspection

The intestines, stomach, spleen, mesenteric lymph nodes, left tracheobronchial lymph node, hepatic lymph node, lungs, liver, kidneys and heart are to be visually examined. Kidneys must be fully exposed prior to inspection and can be presented either in the carcass or separately (e.g. with the other viscera).

17.7.9.3 Carcass Inspection

The inspection of the carcass is performed after the viscera have been removed, but before carcass washing. The inspection consists of a careful examination of the external surfaces of the carcass, the internal cavity, including a visual inspection of iliac lymph nodes and of the cut surface of the vertebrae, as applicable.

If the kidneys have been left in the carcass, they shall be visually inspected.

For unsplit carcasses (partial dressed BBQ hogs), if any abnormality is observed on the carcass or its parts that may relate to food safety, the carcass shall be immediately disqualified from being approved as a partially dressed carcass and shall be split for post mortem inspection.

17.7.10 Post-Mortem Inspection of Ostriches, Rheas and Emus

17.7.10.1 Head Inspection

The head, eyes, sinus openings and the neck shall be visually inspected.

17.7.10.2 Viscera Inspection

The abdominal and thoracic air sacs must be visually inspected in situ. The heart is visually inspected, palpated, and incised through the interventricular septum to expose the inner surfaces for inspection. The lungs are visually inspected and palpated on all external surfaces. The liver and spleen are visually inspected and palpated. The kidneys are visually inspected and palpated in the carcass (in situ) or separately (e.g. with the other viscera). The oesophagus and gizzard must be visually inspected.

17.7.10.3 Carcass Inspection

The inspection of the carcass is performed after the viscera have been removed, but before carcass washing. The inspection consists of a careful examination of the external surfaces of the carcass and the internal cavity.

17.8 Special Inspection Procedures

17.8.1 Animals Ordered to be Slaughtered Under the Health of Animals Regulations

17.8.1.1 Compensation for Animals Ordered to be Slaughtered

This section is currently under review.

17.8.1.2 Handling of Animals Ordered to be Slaughtered

This section is currently under review.

17.8.1.3 Specimen Submission from Animals Ordered Slaughtered

This section is currently under review.

17.8.2 Enhanced Inspection Procedures of Bovines for Cysticercus bovis

17.8.2.1 Index Case

If on routine examination, one or more carcasses in a lot are found to be affected with lesions suggestive of Cysticercus bovis, all affected carcasses and their parts shall be held pending laboratory confirmation. As bovine cysticercosis is a reportable disease under the Health of Animals Act, the identity of the owner and the origin of the cattle must be established for follow up. As soon as a probable lesion is detected, the inspector shall record the permanent identification number or, if it is missing, all pertinent information which would assist in identifying the origin of the carcass(es), e.g. ear tags, brands, etc.

17.8.2.2 Laboratory Confirmation

Please consult Chapter 5 for more information on submission of tissues for laboratory confirmation.

Laboratory reports will reflect the results of histological examination of the submitted lesions and will consist of one of three possible options:

  • 1) The lesion was not caused by C. bovis. The pathologist will describe the lesion observed, adding the statement that the etiology of the lesion was not C. bovis. In this case, the carcass(es) from which the lesion originated may be considered not to be infested and should therefore be released without further treatment.
  • 2) The lesion was caused by C. bovis. The pathologist will describe the lesion observed adding a statement which indicates that the etiology of the lesion was C. bovis.
  • 3) C. bovis cannot be ruled out as a possible cause of the lesion. In this case, the pathologist will describe the lesion observed adding a statement which indicates that the lesion is consistent with that caused by C. bovis. For post-mortem judgement purposes, these carcasses must be considered infested.

Note: When at least one (1) carcass from a lot of cattle is considered to be infested, all carcasses which originate from that lot and which exhibit gross lesions suggestive of C. bovis shall also be considered to be infested.

17.8.2.3 Slaughter of Bovines from Cysticercus Bovis Infested Premises

Cysticercosis is a reportable disease under the Health of Animals Regulations. Subsequent lots of cattle which originate from infested premises and which are sent to slaughter under licence shall be subjected to a more detailed examination than usual by thorough slicing of:

  • the heart;
  • the external and internal muscles of mastication;
  • the muscular portion of the diaphragm;
  • the tongue and the oesophagus; and
  • the musculature exposed during the dressing operations of the carcass.

All carcasses exhibiting gross lesions suggestive of C. bovis shall be considered infested and disposed of accordingly. Laboratory confirmation is not required for this action.

Under the Health of Animals Act and its regulations, compensation is paid for carcasses which are licenced to slaughter and subsequently condemned or treated due to Cysticercosis. To implement this policy, the following procedures shall be followed:

  • Cattle licenced to be slaughtered at an establishment should be accompanied by a copy of form CFIA/ACIA 1509 (License for Removal of Animals or things) and be appropriately identified.
  • On arrival at the establishment, the animals shall be segregated from other cattle until slaughtered at a time which is mutually acceptable to plant management and the Veterinarian in Charge.
  • The Veterinarian in Charge of the establishment shall fill out CFIA/ACIA 5179 (Ante-mortem and Post-mortem Inspection Report) immediately after the slaughter of the licenced cattle. Each carcass and its disposition shall be recorded on the CFIA/ACIA 5179.

Depending on the basis of payment at the abattoir, the Veterinarian in Charge shall provide the district veterinarian with the live weight of the animals or the dressed weight and grade of the carcasses, for all animals licensed to be slaughtered. To assist in the estimation of the value lost as a result of condemnation or freezing, infested carcasses may be held until they have been graded. Appropriate action will be taken to ensure that infested carcasses are graded as soon after slaughter as feasible. In addition, the Veterinarian in Charge shall provide the district veterinarian with details regarding the total amount of money paid to the producer by the plant management, supported by a copy of the invoice under which the payment was made.

17.9 Reserved for Future Use

17.10 Microbial Controls

Operators are expected to manufacture meat products that do not bear excessive amounts of microbial organisms and do not pose a health risk due to the presence of microbial pathogens. To achieve this goal certain microbial control interventions are available and a number of monitoring programs are required to verify the hygienic aspect of dressing procedures.

17.10.1 Testing for Generic E. Coli

Red Meats exported to the USA are required to be tested for generic E. coli according to the USA section of Chapter 11. The CFIA is considering adopting a similar testing protocol.

17.10.2 Testing for Salmonella

Red Meats exported to the USA are required to be tested for Salmonella according to the USA section of Chapter 11. The CFIA is considering adopting a similar testing protocol.

17.10.3 E. Coli O157:H7 Policy

Because of the potential severe consequences linked to the presence of E. coli O157:H7 in raw beef, all operators of meat registered establishments handling raw beef are required to clearly indicate in their HACCP system that E. coli O157:H7 is a likely hazard associated with raw beef. The operators are also to implement pathogen reduction step(s) to manage the risk, if not already in place, to validate their HACCP system as per established guidelines and to implement verification procedures. Inspection personnel will take appropriate regulatory measures if procedures are found incomplete or ineffective.

See Chapter 4 for a description of the E. coli O157:H7 policy.

17.10.4 Microbial Control Interventions for the Treatment of Carcasses and Their Parts

Only microbial control interventions approved by Health Canada can be used to treat raw carcasses and their parts in establishments registered under the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990.

The operator must further validate the intervention to demonstrate that the actual operating conditions in the establishment are meeting Health Canada's approved outcomes (e.g. the intervention can be considered as a processing aid, rather than a food additive).

Approved microbial control interventions (processing aids and food additives) for use in Canada are listed in the document entitled "Antimicrobials used on meat and poultry surfaces - Comparison of antimicrobial interventions used in the US and in Canada" prepared by Health Canada. A copy of this document can be obtained by contacting the Chemical Health Hazard Assessment Division of Health Canada at CHHAD_BCS@hc-sc.gc.ca. A request can also be made to receive amendments via electronic mail.

In addition to listing interventions, as far as possible, the Health Canada's document normally details process parameters that would support the use of the intervention as a processing aid.

17.10.4.1 Approval of Microbial Control Intervention

The operator who wishes to use a microbial control intervention in a registered establishment shall present a proposed control program to the Veterinarian in Charge or the Inspector in Charge who will contact the Area Program Specialist regarding the review and approval of the program. The proposed control program will need to be assessed and may involve a review by the National Program Specialist and Health Canada. In the case of a microbial control intervention that is not currently approved by Health Canada, the submission should include relevant scientific data. Requests for use of a new antimicrobial substance (food additive or a processing aid), not listed in the comparative table mentioned above, should be submitted to Health Canada for approval. Petitioners may refer to the Guide for the Preparation of Submissions on New Food Additives.

Requirements for submitted data are similar for food additives and processing aids. If an application is considered a processing aid, a letter of opinion will be issued. If an application is considered a food additive, an amendment to the Food and Drug Regulations may be necessary.

Operators should be advised that issuance of a letter of opinion for processing aid applications will depend on the quality and completeness of the data submitted to Health Canada.

17.10.4.2 General Principles for the Use of Microbial Control Interventions

The following general principles for the use of microbial control interventions must be respected:

  • The microbial control intervention must be approved by Health Canada for the intended use. Approved interventions appear on Health Canada's list entitled "Antimicrobials used on meat and poultry surfaces - Comparison of antimicrobial interventions used in the US and in Canada".
  • The microbial control intervention must be validated for use in the establishment.
  • Chemical components entering into contact with meat products must be of food-grade quality and the operator must demonstrate that residues on the meat products have no health significance (e.g. they conform to Food Chemicals Codex specifications where such specifications exist).
  • The microbial control intervention must not affect the organoleptic characteristics of meat products offered for sale to consumers.
  • Treated meat products must be appropriately labelled (e.g. use of a food additive versus a processing aid).
  • The use of a microbial control intervention must not create a health and safety risk to any person entering the establishment. Health and safety requirements that must be implemented by the operator are detailed in Chapter 3 of this manual.
  • Hazards associated with the use of a microbial control intervention must be controlled by the establishment Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system.
  • The operator must develop, implement and maintain a control program for the validated microbial control intervention that describes, as applicable, the:
    • equipment used and methods to assure the intervention does not create any health and safety hazard (see Chapter 3 of the Manual for requirements);
    • type, dosage, and concentration of the product used;
    • formula for preparing solutions;
    • operating parameters required to achieve performance, for example:
      • the site where the microbial control intervention is applied (e.g. pre-evisceration, post-evisceration before chilling, etc.);
      • the rate of application of the solution including flow rate and pressure;
      • the temperature of the solution;
      • the length of time meat products are directly exposed to the solution;
      • the meat products dripping time after exposure to the solution; etc.
    • actions to be taken if the system is found to be operating out of compliance;
    • training provided to plant employees;
    • cleaning procedures, validated by bacteriological tests, for cleaning all pipes, tanks, pumps, etc. where microbial control solutions are recirculated;
    • testing of solutions as delivered (to a minimum of every 4 hours) to verify compliance with established limits (e.g. time, temperature, and minimum concentration to ensure efficacy);
    • actions to be taken in the event of a line stoppage (e.g. removal of carcasses and products from tanks, spraying cabinets; other treatment required, for example: segregation and, as applicable, the disposal of affected carcasses or parts subjected to excess time and/or temperature and/or concentration of treatment solution, or storage of the affected product pending submission of all information requested by the CFIA and/or Health Canada (HC) including test results (conducted at the operator's expense), as required for a health risk assessment; and
    • monitoring of the process with respect, but not limited, to:
      • frequency of monitoring;
      • records to be maintained (e.g. the method of application of the microbial control product, i.e. concentration limits; temperature limits; immersion/spray/exposure time; flow rate and pressure; rinsing procedures); and
      • deviation procedures when the intervention is found out of compliance.

17.10.5 Chlorine and Chlorine Derivatives for Treating Potable Water

This section is currently under review.

17.10.6 Steam or Hot Water Vacuuming

Fecal, ingesta and other extraneous (such as hair and wool) contamination may be removed using knife trimming and/or vacuuming with hot water or steam. The proper use of hot water or steam vacuuming can reduce bacterial load; however, in order to reduce the spreading of bacterial contamination to adjacent areas, this type of intervention shall only be used before a full carcass decontamination intervention such as a post-evisceration carcass wash with a microbial reduction solution (e.g. lactic acid spray) or a steam or hot water carcass intervention. The operator will develop and incorporate control procedures for monitoring, deviation and verification purposes into their HACCP system.

Vacuuming with hot water or steam is limited to removing visible fecal and ingesta contaminations with greatest dimension of 2.5 cm or less. Fecal and ingesta contamination exceeding 2.5 cm must be removed by knife trimming before a decontamination intervention is performed by vacuuming with hot water or steam. The removal of open abscesses, septic bruises, parasites and parasitic lesions, and lactating udders must be done only by knife trimming.

The minimum standards for equipment used as a hot water or steam vacuum system are as follows:

  • The system must provide accurate temperature and vacuum readings. Once the temperature and vacuum parameters are set at the beginning of operation, controls shall be in place to ensure and demonstrate that the system continues to function properly and without significant fluctuation throughout the day.
  • The system must be capable of delivering and maintaining water or steam temperature at a minimum of 82°C at the carcass surface. The temperature recording device should measure the hot water or steam temperature as close to the carcass surface as possible.
  • The vacuuming pressure must be set in such a manner that it can sufficiently remove any steam and water from the surface of the vacuum area to prevent dripping.
  • To ensure that the vacuum head is sanitized between each use, the vacuum head must be subjected continuously to a minimum of 82°C during its use. Alternatively, the vacuum head can be sanitized in 82°C water between carcasses. Alternate sanitation procedures shall be approved by the Veterinarian in Charge in consultation with the Regional Veterinary Officer and the Area Red Meat Program Specialist before their use is allowed.

17.11 Refrigeration of Carcasses and Carcass Parts

Refrigeration, which includes both chilling and freezing, plays an integral role in the production and storage of meat products and its importance cannot be over-stressed. Because refrigeration is involved so extensively in many operations, many references will be found in other chapters and sections of this manual, and these will be indicated as cross-references in the text of this section. There are, however, several aspects of refrigeration which will only be dealt with here.

The primary purpose of refrigeration is to preserve meat products by slowing down the chemical and enzymatic changes which occur in tissues after slaughter, and by slowing down or stopping the multiplication of microorganisms which might give rise to spoilage or food poisoning.

Carcasses and parts shall be chilled according to a cooling process which achieves the performance requirements described respectively under section 17.11.4 and 17.11.7. Cooling performance requirements are designed to prevent the outgrowth of pathogenic bacteria and spoilage organisms that can be caused by inadequate cooling practices. Refrigeration of the environment in which meat products are handled is important to achieve the performance requirement. Chilling operations shall be performed according to the applicable HACCP system, and the corresponding written and validated program to control retained water.

17.11.1 Condensation

A major problem experienced with refrigeration is condensation, which occurs when relatively warm, humid air strikes a cold surface or mixes with cold air (e.g. on the kill floor, at the entry of the cooler). Condensation can be reduced by insulating cold surfaces, increasing air circulation within a room, and by reducing the flow of warm air into refrigerated areas. In rooms where condensation occurs, measures must be taken to protect meat products. This latter type of control may consist of the use of drip pans and ducts, the wiping or sponging of surfaces and the placement of exposed product in areas where the dripping of condensation does not occur.

17.11.2 Performance of Cooling Installations

By the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990, refrigerate means to lower the temperature of a meat product to, and to maintain the temperature at, 4°C or lower. Finished products must be kept refrigerated.

17.11.3 Product Temperature Requirements at the Time of Shipping

Red meat products (including carcasses, primal cuts, sub-primal cuts, trim cuts and edible offal) shipped from a federally registered establishment must be fully chilled (to 4°C or less) or frozen (to 0°C or less) prior to shipping; unless alternative cooling processes or a specific shipping agreement exists.

17.11.4 Cooling Performance Standards for the Chilling of Carcasses and Cuts

As a general rule, refrigeration of carcasses must begin promptly after the end of carcass dressing and product must be cooled as quickly as possible.

For carcasses and cuts (primary cuts, sub-primary cuts, cuts and trims), the operator shall ensure and demonstrate in an ongoing manner that they are achieving compliance with the following cooling performance standards:

  • The cooling of carcasses and products is continuous, that is, the temperature of the carcass must be continually lowered until it reaches the standard.
  • The surface temperature of carcasses is 7°C or less within 24 hours of the end of carcass dressing.
  • After reaching a surface temperature of 7°C, the product's internal temperature must continue to go down in a continuous manner to 4°C or less. This should take place as quickly as possible and the cooling media shall be maintained at a maximum temperature of 4°C.
  • Before the product is cut, the internal temperature (warmest part) of the carcass is 7°C or less. The carcass must be chilled in such a way to make this possible.
  • Product temperature requirements are met at the time of shipping.

17.11.5 Alternative Cooling Processes for Carcasses and Cuts

Alternative cooling processes are defined as cooling processes which do not meet the cooling performance requirements defined above. Operators who wish to apply for acceptance of an alternative cooling process should present the draft project to the Inspector in Charge or the Veterinarian in Charge who will, in collaboration with the Regional Veterinary Officer and the Area Red Meat Program Specialist, to complete the primary evaluation. The proposal will need to be assessed at the headquarters level, and may involve a review by Health Canada. The proposal must be supported by scientific data provided within the submission. Operators should be advised that the time required reviewing and accepting an alternative cooling process will depend on the quality and completeness of the submitted data and will be lengthy. The alternative cooling process cannot be used prior to having been accepted by the National Red Meat Program Specialist.

17.11.6 Shipping of Incompletely Chilled Meat Products

17.11.6.1 Shipping Between Registered Establishments

The CFIA has received requests to permit the shipping of certain specific types of meat products (i.e. carcasses, primal cuts, sub-primal cuts, trim and edible offal) between registered establishments before the meat products have been fully chilled (to 4°C or less) or frozen (to 0°C or less).

This process is not considered an "Alternative cooling process" as long as all the criteria listed in 17.11.4 are met, however the following conditions must be met to allow this practice:

  • The product complies with the specific standard described under section 17.11.4.
  • The operator presents a written document to the Inspector in Charge or the Veterinarian in Charge in which the respective responsibilities of each of the establishments involved in the cooling of the product are outlined.
  • Those shared responsibilities are endorsed by a representative of each of the establishments involved and are revised annually or whenever a change in procedures or responsibilities takes place.
  • The establishment which ships the meat products has included in the HACCP system controls over the following (see notes below):
    • refrigeration of product prior to loading;
    • temperature of meat products at the time of load-out;
    • product temperature during shipping; and
    • time between transport vehicle/container loading and unloading.
  • The establishment which receives the meat products has included in the HACCP system controls over the following:
    • temperature of products when unloaded;
    • temperature of products during further chilling (until the product has reached a temperature of 4°C).

Notes:

  1. The establishment's HACCP system will determine where to place the appropriate control points for hazards related to chilling of product and shipping of incompletely chilled product between establishments. The establishment's hazard assessment, critical control point determination, validation and ongoing verification processes will need to include real-time data collected during actual shipping and which reflects worst-case conditions. This will need to include physical data (for example, temperature curves), microbiological data (for example, total plate counts, generic E. coli swab results, etc.) and other data (for example, Total Fatty Acids for products used in edible rendering).
  2. If an establishment ships incompletely chilled product to more than one establishment, the controls will need to be validated and verified for each of the receiving establishments.
  3. Generic E. coli testing which is done on carcasses shipped before 12 hours, must be done at each of the establishments which receive the carcasses. These results will need to also be provided to the abattoir of origin.
  4. In the case of registered storages which receive a non-fully refrigerated product for blast freezing, the approval is conditional to the availability of sufficient CFIA inspection resources to provide required additional inspection activities.

17.11.6.2 Shipping Between a Registered Establishment and a Non-Registered Establishment

This section is currently under review.

17.11.7 Cooling Performance Standards for Carcass Parts

For the purpose of this section:

The term "carcass part" is designated as all edible portions (offal, trims, meat, meat by-products) removed during dressing of the carcass.

The term "surface of concern" is designated as the surface of a carcass part that is exposed to contamination. For the purpose of validation of a cooling process used for carcass parts, the surface of concern, as a microbiological stand point, refer to:

  • the outer surface of each part when all surfaces are fully exposed to the cooling medium (e.g. the outer surface when parts are loosely placed on trays, racks or packed in ice, and are not immediately placed into cartons); or
  • the thermal center of the product mass when the surfaces are not fully exposed to the cooling medium (e.g. when parts are placed into cartons).

Carcass parts can be cooled in potable water, air chilled, packaged immediately after harvest or after partial chilling and blast frozen on site or in a remote location shortly after harvest. Using carbon dioxide in the packaging, or chilling individually vacuum packed offal in brine tunnels are also acceptable options.

Every operator shall develop, implement and maintain a control program to ensure compliance with the following cooling performance standard:

  • The cooling of the carcass part is continuous at the level of its surface of concern.
  • The surface of concern is 7°C or less within 12 hours after the carcass part is harvested.
  • The temperature of the carcass part must continue to go down in a continuous manner to 4°C or less after the standard is met. This should take place as quickly as possible and the cooling media (during the cooling from 7°C to 4°C) shall be maintained at a maximum temperature of 4°C.
  • Product temperature requirements are met at the time of shipping.

17.12 Retained Water in Carcasses and Carcass Parts

Raw single-ingredient meat product includes dressed carcasses and all their parts (e.g. trimmings, tails, livers, hearths, kidneys, feet, etc.), ground meat and mechanically separated meat, either fresh or frozen.

In the United States of America, raw single-ingredient meat products, including carcasses, carcass parts, offal, etc. are not be permitted by FSIS to retain water resulting from post-evisceration processing unless the establishment preparing those products, demonstrates with data collected in accordance with a written protocol, that any water retained in the products is an inevitable consequence of the process used to meet applicable food safety requirements. In addition, the establishment is required to disclose on the label the maximum percentage of retained water in the raw single-ingredient meat product (see Chapter 11 for export requirements to the US).

17.12.1 Retained Water from Post-Evisceration Process: General Principles

In Canada, processes (e.g. chilling, pathogen reduction interventions) where offal retains water are tolerated on the condition that the operator develops and implements a written, validated retained water control program as per the FSIS policy. However, carcasses and cuts cannot retain water as the result of post-evisceration processing in excess of naturally occurring moisture.

Except for carcass spray chilling processes (see section 17.12.6), once an operator collects valid data indicating less than 0.5% water is retained by the washed and chilled carcasses as shipped or when packaged as portions, no further moisture retention monitoring procedure is required other than a single annual test to verify that less than 0.5% water is retained by the washed and chilled carcasses. Test data and a copy of the corresponding carcass washing and chilling procedures under which data was collected shall be maintained on file and be copied to the Veterinarian in Charge.

A separate evaluation of each species of livestock carcasses including ostriches, rheas, and emus shall cover young (e.g. calves) as well as for mature livestock (e.g. one for heifers, steers, cows, and bulls) is necessary to determine if a particular process promotes water retention.

A no-retained-water statement may be included on the label when product has not been exposed to a post-evisceration process that adds water. Further information on labelling is contained in Chapter 7 of this manual.

The CFIA does not require establishments to use any specific method to make a retained water determination. The method chosen in calculating water absorption and retention, however, should be reproducible and verifiable. For example, an operator may use physical water pick-up tests, weighing the meat product before the direct contact with water and again just prior to final packaging and labelling. Likewise, an operator may make a retained water determination based on laboratory analysis for naturally occurring and total water content of carcasses before and after the application of water for food safety purposes. Further details on laboratory testing is contained at the end of Annex Y-1, US section, Chapter 11, of this manual.

17.12.2 Exemptions for Some Processes Where Water Is Used

The following are examples of post evisceration processes involving the use of water exempted from the retained water policy:

  • flushing digestive tracts (stomachs, small intestines, large intestines, rectum, etc.) to remove content;
  • scalding of stomachs, tongues, and lips, intestines, and rumen parts; and
  • washing the heads.

However, if the scalded, flushed or washed products are then chilled by contact with water and/or ice, then the chilling procedures (only) would require a written and validated retained water monitoring program.

The final carcass wash and antimicrobial wash with organic acids solutions are not exempted and shall be evaluated as to the possibility of an inadvertent moisture pick up.

Note: On a case-by-case basis, the Veterinarian in Charge, in consultation with his or her Regional Veterinary Officer and the Area Red Meat Program Specialist will evaluate other post evisceration processes involving the use of water to determine whether the resulting products require a retained water monitoring program.

Washing offal (e.g.: hearts, livers, etc.) under a shower to remove excess blood is unlikely to promote water retention when followed by chilling on hooks and as such, data collection is not necessary but a warm packing process without dripping after a shower could need to be validated.

17.12.3 Validation of a Process

Common steps like final carcass wash, antimicrobial treatment with solutions of bactericides and cooling of offal in water have a potential to promote the pick up and retention of moisture. Red meat plants shall validate their particular process even if only to demonstrate that moisture pick up does not happen.

Data shall be collected according to a written protocol that contains the elements listed in the checklist "Proposed Moisture Retention Protocol" (Attachment 1, Annex Y, US Section of MOP Chapter 11). Once data is collected, the operator shall examine the data and assess if water is being retained or not.

For offal, if some retained water is the inevitable result of the harvesting or cooling system, a moisture retention monitoring program shall be implemented to ensure moisture retention is maintained to the lowest level.

For red meat carcasses or cuts, if water is retained as a result of the process where it is applied, the process shall be corrected so that no moisture pick up resulting in moisture retention occurs. Validation of the corrected process shall follow once it is implemented.

17.12.4 Monitoring Water Retention in Offal

The CFIA considers that it is possible for all red meat (including ratites) offal cooling processes to achieve a performance where a maximum of 8% of water is retained by the offal.

Once the validation determines the level of retained moisture to be at or above 0.5%, the sample size, sampling frequency and accept/reject criteria for the applicable retained water control program(s) shall be at least equivalent to that specified for poultry giblets, detached necks and salvaged portions described in of Chapter 19 - Poultry Inspection Programs.

The operator using a post-evisceration process that results in water retention in a raw single-ingredient meat product shall maintain on file their written data-collection protocol as well as their monitoring records.

17.12.4.1 Roles and Responsibilities in Monitoring Water Retention

The operator's role and responsibilities are:

  • write and validate a proposed monitoring program to control the amount of water for each applicable single-ingredient meat product for which water is added and retained as a result of post-evisceration contact with water;
  • label the product according to the requirements of chapter 7;
  • submit each written and validated monitoring program to the Veterinarian or Inspector in Charge for CFIA acceptance;
  • operate each retained water monitoring procedure according to the corresponding CFIA accepted retained water monitoring program and so as to ensure compliance with the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 and this manual;
  • inform the Veterinarian or Inspector in Charge whenever changes will be made to operations covered by a CFIA accepted retained water monitoring program;
  • obtain CFIA acceptance for any amendments to a CFIA accepted retained water monitoring program;
  • maintain a copy of all CFIA accepted retained water monitoring programs on-site; and
  • retain all associated records for 12 months on site.

The CFIA Veterinarian or Inspector in Charge's responsibilities:

  • assess (in consultation with the Regional Veterinary Officer and the Area Red Meat Program Specialist) submitted new or amended proposed retained water monitoring programs and accept those which are deemed to be satisfactory;
  • verify that operations conform to the CFIA accepted retained water programs, check company records and physically monitor the weighing process. Records are to be kept of the verification inspections performed and of the results and retained at least 12 months; and
  • verify retained water is declared on the labelled products: e.g. parts of dressed carcasses, offal.

17.12.5 Monitoring Processes where Moisture is Retained

Once validation demonstrates less than 0.5% water is retained as a result of a process, the following applies, except for carcass spray chill monitoring where a special program applies (see next section).

The operating parameters of the process shall be continuously monitored and controlled as part of the HACCP system.

A single annual test to verify that less than 0.5% water is retained by the single ingredient red meat product or chilled carcasses shall be done according to the protocol developed for validation. Test data shall be maintained on file and be copied to the Veterinarian in Charge.

17.12.6 Carcass Spray Chill Monitoring

Carcasses of red meat are not allowed to retain added moisture. Because of the possibility of increasing the weight of the carcass over its hot dressed weight, the following requirement is being imposed on establishments using or contemplating the use of spray chilling for red meat.

The possibility of reduced shelf life in product chilled in this manner is considered to be a quality assurance problem unless a food safety risk is demonstrated.

Management are to put in place a documented control program for moisture pickup in carcasses involving the random selection and weighing of sample carcasses prior to leaving the coolers for shipping or further processing to assure that their weight does not exceed the green weight as recorded on the kill floor after trimming and before carcass washing.

17.12.6.1 Sample Size

The sample size in the following table is based on "Sampling Plans Indexed by Acceptance Quality Limit (AQL) for Lot-by-Lot Inspection", ISO/ 2859-1, (Identical to Canadian Government Specifications Board (CGSB) Standard on Inspection by Attributes 105-GP-1 or Military Standard 105-D (MIL-STD-105D) of the United States Department of Defence). However, the Acceptance Quality Limit (AQL) has not been determined from a baseline survey but has been found to be very low in practice resulting in an AQL of 0.40 being selected for this test. Therefore, throughout the table, the accept number is always zero (0) and the reject number is one (1).

Management are to divide the carcasses into lots of a designated size. The maximum lot size that can be defined is the production from one kill shift. The number of carcasses that make up the sample depends on the lot size according to the following table:

Number of carcasses to be weighed
Lot size Normal Reduced
25 2 2
26-150 8 3
151-280 13 5
281-500 20 8
501-1200 32 13
1201-3200 50 20
≥3201 80 32

17.12.6.2 Selection of Sample and Weighing

The carcasses to make up the sample are selected at random, prior to the final wash and leaving the kill floor and are identified. Their weights are noted and totalled. In plants where computer tracking systems or their equivalent are installed the information generated by these systems may be used as an alternative for identifying and tracking carcass weights. After chilling, and before further processing or shipping the carcasses are re-weighed and the total combined weight of the sample carcasses is calculated. If the combined weight of the sample carcasses making up an individual lot after chilling is equal to or less than the combined hot green weights of the same sample carcasses taken prior to the final carcass wash when leaving the kill floor then the process is considered to be in control.

To account for scale variability a tolerance of no more than 0.5% over the hot green weight is permissible in the weight of the sample lot after spray chilling. If the combined chilled weights of the sample lot are greater than the combined hot green weights of the sample lot plus a tolerance of 0.5% then the process is considered to be out of control and corrective actions are to be implemented.

17.12.6.3 Interpretation of Results

Although a tolerance of 0.5% is permitted to allow for scale variability on an individual lot basis if any increases over hot, green weight after spray chilling occur routinely then the process will be judged to be out of compliance and corrective action required.

17.12.6.4 Corrective Actions

Corrective actions will include immediately notifying the Veterinarian in Charge or inspection staff of the establishment that the process is out of control. The establishment will begin an immediate investigation of the non-conformance and steps will be taken to correct the process by adjusting spray chill, etc., if required, and the Veterinarian in Charge shall be advised of the corrective action taken.

Product out of compliance shall be detained until brought back into compliance with applicable retained water requirements in the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 and this manual.

17.12.6.5 Switching Rules

Initially the normal sample size is to be used until 5 consecutive lots have been found in compliance. At this time the company may switch to the reduced sample size and sample only one out of 5 consecutive production shifts. If at any time a lot is found to be out of compliance, sampling using the normal sample size must be resumed until 5 consecutive lots are in compliance.

17.12.6.6 Record Keeping

The company must keep records indicating the date of slaughter, sample carcass identity, hot green weight and weight prior to further processing or shipping. Records of action taken when non-compliance is detected must also be kept. All records should be retained for at least 12 months.

17.13 Check Trim Station

The operator shall establish a check trim station after the carcass final wash in order to verify that any defect has been removed from carcasses, including detained carcasses, prior to shipping or further processing in the establishment. Refer to Chapter 3 for design and construction requirements for the check trim station.

The check trim station may be a permanent or mobile station. A minimum of 540 lux of shadow-free lighting must be provided.

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