Chapter 19 – Poultry Inspection Programs
19.1 Introduction

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19.1.1 Amendment Process

Suggestions and requests for change/improvements to this policy may be made by anyone within the Agency or in Industry. Proposed amendments to this policy shall be forwarded to the applicable Poultry Area Program Specialist.

Proposals must be accompanied by supporting documentation, as applicable.

Upon receipt, all proposals must undergo review by the National Poultry Specialist, and must be subsequently approved by the Director, Meat Programs Division (MPD), Animal Health Directorate (AHD) for incorporation into this document.

19.1.2 Glossary of Terms

Ante mortem Examination
Refer to the definition contained in section 2 of the MIR.
Ante mortem Inspection
Refer to the definition contained in section 2 of the MIR.
Carcass Defect Detector
An industry employee accredited to examine the exterior of carcasses and to identify and remove carcasses with specified pathology and/or processing defects. Carcass Defect Detectors may also be referred to as "Preselectors".
Cavity Defect Detector
An industry employee accredited to examine the internal (abdominal) cavity of carcasses after evisceration and to identify and remove carcasses with specified pathology and/or processing defects.
Compliance Verification System (CVS)
The Compliance Verification System (CVS) is a working tool for verifying industry's compliance to regulations; refer to Chapter 18 of this Manual.
Critical Control Point/Critical Limit
Refer to the definitions in the MIR and in the Food Safety Enhancement Program (FSEP) manual.
Defect Detection
The act of identifying and removing viscera and carcasses with specified pathology and processing defects before and after evisceration.
Deviation Procedure
Refer to the definition contained in the FSEP manual.
Dressing
As per the MIR, following stunning and bleeding, the removal of the head, feet at the ankle joint, feathers, oil glands and the digestive, respiratory, reproductive and urinary systems. The head, feet, kidneys and reproductive system may be left attached to certain categories of poultry.
Edible
As per the MIR: fit for human consumption.
Evisceration Floor Inspector
CFIA inspector, assigned under the Modernized Poultry Inspection Program (MPIP), to provide government monitoring and oversight of operations and processes between evisceration and chilling.
Fowl
Mature chickens including laying hens (which provide table eggs) and breeder flocks (which provide hatching eggs).
HACCP System
Refer to the definition contained in the FSEP manual.
Hazard
Refer to the definition contained in the FSEP manual.
Meat Inspection Act (MIA)
Meat Inspection Regulations (MIR)
Monitoring
The observation or measurement of pre-established parameters of a process.
Obviously Condemnable Carcasses
Carcasses that can be readily identified as being condemnable without the additional evaluation of the viscera and the cavity.
Off-line Reconditioning
The removal of localized pathology (e.g., airsacculitis, salpingitis) from within the abdominal cavity of carcasses by vacuuming, scraping, trimming, or combinations thereof at a designated off-line work station according to the operator's approved written protocol.
Off-line Reprocessing
The removal of contamination (faecal, bile, ingesta, and extraneous material) from within the abdominal cavity of carcasses by washing, vacuuming, trimming or combinations thereof at a designated off-line work station according to the operator's approved written protocol.
On-line Inspector
CFIA inspector(s) assigned to an on-line inspection station to perform post mortem inspection as required by the applicable inspection system.
On-line Reconditioning
The removal on-line of localized pathology (e.g., airsacculitis, salpingitis) from within the abdominal cavity of carcasses according to the applicable policy and an approved operator-specific written protocol.
On-line Reprocessing
The removal on-line of contamination (faecal, bile, ingesta and extraneous material) from within the abdominal cavity of carcasses according to the applicable policy and an approved operator-specific written protocol.
Pathology Defects
Carcasses with diseases or conditions which occurred while the birds were still alive. These defects occur at the farm level or during transport to the slaughtering establishments. Examples include Cellulitis, Ascites, Cyanosis, and Emaciation.
Post mortem Examination
Refer to the definition contained in section 2 of the MIR.
Post mortem Inspection
Refer to the definition contained in section 2 of the MIR.
Preselection
The act of identifying and removing obviously condemnable carcasses before evisceration.
Process Control (PC)
Is a control used at a point or step that will contribute to the effectiveness of the related CCP(s) or post mortem inspection activities.
Processing Defects
Carcasses with conditions (non-pathological) which are attributable to processing operations. Examples include Inadequate Bleeding, Mutilation/Overscald, Faecal or Bile or Ingesta Contamination.
Salvaging
Hot boning of carcasses off-line so as to recover the non defective portions.
Veterinarian in Charge
Government veterinarian responsible for all CFIA staff activities at a slaughter establishment.
Viscera Defect Detector
An industry employee accredited to examine the viscera (heart and liver plus spleen and intestines in mature poultry) to identify and remove viscera, and when applicable, the corresponding carcass with specified pathology and/or processing defects.

19.1.3 Plant Construction and Equipment

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

19.1.3.1 Requirements for Poultry Slaughter Establishments

The following specific requirements must be adhered to in poultry establishments (when applicable).

19.1.3.2 Separation of Incompatible Operations

As per Chapter 3, adequate physical separation of incompatible activities that could potentially result in the creation of a cross contamination risk for meat product shall be provided. When there is no alternative (in existing registered establishments only), effective operational controls must be implemented. These operational controls shall be thoroughly described in writing and must be strictly followed at all times.

  • Areas where animals are kept shall not open directly into areas where food or packaging material are handled or stored.
  • Shipping and receiving areas shall be physically separated from other areas of the establishment.
  • Separation between incompatible areas (like edible and inedible, raw and ready-to-eat products, etc.) must be maintained throughout the establishment in relation to construction, operations and personnel.
  • The following areas of poultry slaughtering facilities must be physically separated from each other:
    • live receiving – holding – stunning shall be separated from bleeding;
    • bleeding shall be separated from scalding – defeathering;
    • defeathering shall be separated from evisceration;
    • evisceration shall be separated from the chilling processes of carcasses.

19.1.3.3 Cleaning and Disinfecting Facilities for Transport Containers and Crates

These facilities are required by subsection 28.(4) of the MIR, and should be located in an area segregated from the live poultry receiving and holding room.

Trucks used for the transport of crates or transport containers may be cleaned and disinfected off-site providing the Operator has written procedures incorporated within the operator-specific HACCP system which ensure that clean crates or transport containers are only loaded onto clean truck surfaces.

19.1.3.4 Ante mortem Inspection Facilities

A designated safe area must be made available to the veterinarian in the staging area, or in the unloading area, or where birds are suspended on shackles.

19.1.3.5 Stunning and Bleeding Facilities

The bleeding area shall be designed to accommodate a bleeding time of not less than 90 seconds.

19.1.3.6 Defeathering and Washing

Spray washing of carcasses must occur within 15 seconds after defeathering.

Sprays at washing station shall be so directed as to wash the hock surface and the entire carcass below the hock.

19.1.3.7 Transfer Facilities

Defeathered carcasses shall be transferred to an evisceration line, which is separate from the defeathering line. Transfer facilities must be capable of being cleaned during operation.

Attention must be paid to the synchronization of slaughter and evisceration lines to prevent accumulation of carcasses at the transfer point. The transfer location must be either:

  • the last processing step before the wall separating the scalding and defeathering area; or
  • the first processing step after, the same wall.

The slaughtering line shall not enter the evisceration room beyond the transfer location.

19.1.3.8 Facilities for the Harvest and Processing of Poultry Feet

The scalder for feet or paws may be positioned:

  • in a compatible (hygienic) area of the scalding and defeathering room; or
  • in a room physically isolated (e.g., floor to ceiling walls) from the surrounding inedible area and from the evisceration floor or any other edible processing area.

The equipment for transferring the feet or paws from the scalder to the packaging area shall comply with Chapter 3 of this manual.

19.1.3.9 Washing and Singeing

Spray washing of carcasses must occur within fifteen (15) seconds after carcass transfer.

Sprays at the washing station shall be so directed as to wash the hock surface and the entire carcass below the hock.

Singeing may be used to remove hair and as a back-up for the defeathering process.

19.1.3.10 Evisceration

The facilities should provide for the removal of inedible portions, to the appropriate area, in a direction that is opposite to that of the evisceration sequence.

Equipment employed in the preparation of giblets shall be so located as to maintain sanitary conditions for this operation.

19.1.3.11 Carcass Washer

Effective carcass inside and outside washing facilities must be provided.

If management wishes to take into account the volume of water used at the wash facility, as a part of the total volume of water required in the chilling system, the washer shall be equipped with a flow meter which provides a continuous indication of the amount of water being used as well as indicating the total amount of water which has been used.

19.1.3.12 Poultry Salvaging and Off-line Reprocessing/Reconditioning Stations

Salvaging and off-line reprocessing/reconditioning of carcasses must be done within 15 minutes after being held, in order to limit microbial growth and deterioration of carcass condition.

The washing cabinet should be equipped with a three-sided splash shield or equivalent and with a non-splash spray nozzle meeting program requirements. To facilitate a thorough outside carcass rinse prior to salvage of parts and for off-line reprocessing/reconditioning, a sufficient water volume and pressure is required.

The following facilities must be provided adjacent to the salvage cabinet and off-line reprocessing/reconditioning stations which shall be equipped with:

  • A knife rack or stand along with a hot water sanitizer maintained at 82°C.
  • Hand wash facilities of remote control or timed type or continuous warm water flow with soap dispenser and paper towels.
  • Containers for edible and inedible meat products.
  • Washing facilities for shackles, held racks, hooks, cabinet and splash shields the station.

19.1.3.13 Chilling

Chilling systems employed shall have the capacity to rapidly lower the temperature of dressed carcasses, portions and giblets. Where water is employed for chilling purposes, the equipment shall be so designed as to permit an adequate overflow of water. The overflow of water from water chilling systems shall be directly drained to prevent discharge of water onto the floor during operations.

Continuous water chilling systems shall be equipped with a flow meter and a recording thermometer at the warmest part of the system. In lieu of a recording thermometer a thermometer without a recording device may be used provided manual temperature recording is carried out at the frequency specified in the HACCP system.

In new facilities or at time of major renovations the chill tank shall be located in a separate room from the evisceration area.

Weighing equipment, used to conduct moisture retention tests, must be provided where required.

19.1.3.14 Specific Facility Requirements for Poultry Slaughter Establishments

19.1.3.14.1 Establishments Operating Under the Traditional Inspection System

Since January 02, 2005, traditional inspection has been restricted to one (1) on-line post mortem inspection station. However, operators with two (2) on-line traditional inspection stations as of December 31st, 2004 have been "grandfathered".

For all poultry inspection stations, non-slip, anti-fatigue mats shall be provided and should compensate for floor slope.

19.1.3.14.2 Establishments Operating Under the Modernized Poultry Inspection Program (MPIP)

CFIA on-line inspection stations required for export requests shall comply with applicable facility requirements contained in Chapter 3.

Shackles shall be colour-coded or marked in an equivalent manner to readily indicate which carcass and viscera pack corresponds to which detector.

19.1.3.14.2.1 Defect Detectors and Station for Training/Accreditation

Adequate on-line space is required for each carcass/viscera/cavity defect detector work station.

On-line space (1 metre) downstream from carcass defect detectors and prior to the venting machine for CFIA staff to train and accredit the establishment trainers as carcass defect detectors must be provided. The space is also provided for the training and the accreditation of the carcass defect detectors by the accredit trainers.

19.1.3.14.2.2 Presentation Tests and Station for Training/Accreditation

On-line space (1 to 1.5 metres), prior to viscera defect detector(s) and to trimming the carcass or harvesting the viscera, is required to perform the presentation tests.

On-line space is also required for CFIA staff to train and accredit the establishment trainers as cavity defect detectors. The space is also provided for the training and the accreditation of the carcass defect detectors by the accredit trainers. However, provisions for line space for presentation and training/accreditation may be combined.

Longer space is required proportional to line speed and associated sampling procedures.

19.1.3.14.2.3 Helper/Trimmer

On-line space is required for one company employee to remove signalled defective carcasses by the defect detectors and if time permits, trim localized defects from carcasses.

19.1.3.14.2.4 Defect Detection Standards (DDS) Station

On-line space is required, proportional to the line speed (1 to 2 metres), after viscera detection, but prior to harvesting the viscera.

Carcasses shall be synchronized to their corresponding viscera with both readily accessible to the inspector throughout the length of the inspection station.

These line space requirements may be combined with the CFIA on-line station required to meet Export requirements.

19.1.3.14.2.5 Carcass Dressing Standards Station (CDS)

The off-line monitoring station must have safe access to pre-chill lines and be protected from traffic and obstructions. An easily cleanable rack with shackles shall be provided to hold part of or the entire carcass sample and a table for examination. The station shall include a clip board holder. The monitoring station shall be under lighting that meets the minimum 2000 lux requirement.

For CFIA independent verification tests performed on heavy carcasses (e.g., turkey carcasses), the operator shall ensure minimal manipulation during the carcass collection by providing assistance or adequate equipment.

19.1.3.15 CFIA Veterinary Disposition Stations

The following requirements apply to CFIA veterinary disposition stations for all methods of poultry inspection:

  • Minimum lighting of 2000 lux as measured at the entrance to the abdominal cavity, free from glare and shadows;
  • The operator shall provide a plant employee (helper/trimmer) trained by the Veterinarian in Charge (VIC) to assist the veterinarian(s). Alternatively, the operator may provide equipment which automatically presents the carcass and the viscera.
  • Adjustable rack(s) and/or carousel(s) and/or a moving veterinary line with sufficient capacity.
  • The platform shall be positioned such that veterinarians do not need to reach forward for the carcasses and the vent of the carcass should be positioned at the inspector's or veterinarian's elbow height.
  • Anti-fatigue rubber matting to provide comfort and, in addition, the matting shall be continuous throughout the work station.
  • Counter/tally system (e.g., tally sheets, a mechanical or electronic counter system, computer touch screens, etc.) suitable to the VIC Counter systems shall be mounted so that the buttons can be positioned between 910 mm and 1220 mm above the floor or work stand.
  • Inedible carcasses shall be unloaded into an inedible container either automatically or discarded by the helper/trimmer. For poultry smaller than turkeys, if the assistance of a helper/trimmer is not required on a routine basis, the veterinary work stations shall be designed such that the carcasses can be discarded by dropping them into a bin, chute, or gutter directly below the rack, carousel or line.

19.1.3.16 Specific Requirements for Ratites (Including Ostrich, Rhea, and Emus)

The slaughter and dressing of ratites shall only be conducted in establishments with adequate facilities and equipment to preclude contamination of carcasses and the evisceration area with dander or other contaminates resulting from the dressing procedure.

19.1.4 HACCP Program

The operator must have a HACCP system covering:

  • prerequisite programs;
  • process controls; and
  • HACCP plan(s).

It is recommended that the HACCP Generic Model for Chicken Slaughter, developed under FSEP, be used. Elements for development and implementation of a HACCP system should be adhered to as detailed in the FSEP manual of the CFIA.

19.1.4.1 Process Control (PC)

Hazards identified during the hazard analysis may be controlled through the use of Prerequisite Programs, Critical Control Points (CCPs) and/or Process Controls (PCs). Hazards controlled by a PC should be indicated as such on the applicable biological, chemical and physical hazard identification forms within the HACCP plan as shown in the generic model.

The Food Safety Enhancement Program (FSEP) defines a Process Control (PC) as "a control used at a point or step that will contribute to the effectiveness of the related CCP(s) or post mortem inspection activities".

The PCs listed below must be utilized by poultry slaughter establishments as described later in this chapter. Any deviation at a CCP will require an evaluation of the supporting PC(s) as part of the deviation procedures associated with that CCP. The following is a list of CCPs and their supporting PCs as contained in the Poultry (Slaughter) Generic Model:

  • CCP-1B Step 24 Viscera Defect Detection:
    • PC #1 (Evisceration Standards)
    • PC #2 (Presentation Standards)
  • CCP-2B Step 30 Giblet and Neck Harvesting:
    • PC #1 (Evisceration Standards)
  • CCP-3B Step 32 Final examination:
    • PC #1 (Evisceration Standards);
    • PC #2 (Presentation Standards);
    • PC #3 (Defect Detection Standards, carcass group)
    • PC #4 (Carcass Dressing Standards)
  • CCP-4B Step 34 Salvaging:
    • PC #1 (Evisceration Standards)
    • PC #3 (Defect Detection Standards, carcass group)
    • PC #4 (Carcass Dressing Standards)

The written program for PCs must meet the requirements found in this chapter and shall also contain operator specific information as specified within the FSEP manual.

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