Chapter 6 - Inedible Meat Products

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Table of Contents

6.1 Introduction

Operators are fully responsible for providing plant facilities, equipment and personnel for the collection, sanitary handling, storage and disposal of all inedible products. Inedible products include products which are, by their very nature, inedible (i.e. feathers, hides, hair), condemned, "previously edible" materials which have been condemned, and specified risk material (SRM) which includes recovered solids from waste water, on their premises, as prescribed in Section 28 of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 and Part I.1 of the Health of Animals Regulations.

Wherever a word that has been defined in the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 or the Health of Animals Regulations is used in this chapter, the regulatory definition applies. Other words not defined by the Regulations are often defined within CFIA training manuals.

6.1.1 Definitions

  1. Condemn: means, in respect of a food animal or a meat product, to determine that the food animal or the meat product is inedible.
  2. Condemned product: includes carcasses and portions of carcasses which upon inspection or reinspection are found to be affected by disease or an abnormal condition that renders them unfit for human food; as well as animals condemned on ante mortem inspection, animals that died en route to the registered slaughter establishment and animals that died in the yard or a livestock holding pen of the registered slaughter establishment.
  3. Denature: means to stain the meat product in accordance with section 6.21 or 6.22 of the Health of Animals Regulations or to otherwise treat the meat product to give it an appearance or characteristic such that it cannot be confused with an edible meat product.
  4. Acceptable Denaturation Agents:
    1. charcoal,
    2. fish meal from a registered feed mill
    3. an agent listed at the following web site: Reference Listing of Accepted Construction Materials, Packaging Materials and Non-Food Chemical Products;
    4. an agent for which the operator requested a letter of guarantee from the supplier of the agent to demonstrate its acceptability; OR
    5. Alternate to using an approved denaturing agent, another acceptable method of denaturing is to mix the meat product or carcasses with intestines and intestinal contents in a continuous and non reversible mechanical conveying system which empties directly to a melter or a conveyance acceptable to the inspector in charge for transportation to another registered establishment or an inedible rendering plant for sterilization.
  5. Specified Risk Material (SRM): The skull, brain, trigeminal ganglia, eyes, palatine tonsils, spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia of cattle aged 30 months and older, and the distal ileum of cattle of all ages

    Under section 6.5 of the Health of Animals Regulations, no person shall feed to any animal material in any form, whether or not incorporated into another thing that is derived from SRM. Therefore segregation and control measures must be maintained within the establishment on anything containing SRM. Please refer to Chapter 17, Annex D of this manual and within the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Manual of Procedures.

6.1.2 Categories of Inedible Products

  1. condemned meat products (SRM included); or
  2. non-SRM, non-condemned products:
    1. salvaged for animal food;
    2. salvaged for medicinal purposes;
    3. treated by the operator as condemned meat products; and
    4. which are by their nature not edible (feathers, hides, hair, manure, intestinal contents, etc.)

6.2 Facilities Handling and Disposal of Inedible Meat Products in a Registered Establishment

6.2.1 Facilities and Operational Requirements

All product flow diagrams for registered establishments, including the collection, storage and disposal of inedible meat products must be reviewed by the Area Responsible Officer. Areas/rooms intended for the handling of inedible or condemned meat products shall be fully enclosed and, where product is not being removed from the establishment daily, capable of maintaining temperature to prevent decomposition of stored product.

A registered establishment should be designed in such a way that, starting from the slaughter floor area, inedible products are progressively removed and kept segregated from edible products. As evisceration and dressing procedures progress, heavily contaminated portions or inherently inedible body parts such as hair, feathers, etc. are removed and the carcass is moved to progressively cleaner areas of the establishment. The inedible products shall be moved to the inedible section of the plant as soon as possible after their removal from the carcass. There shall be no direction reversal of inedible products, once an inedible product has left the edible section of the plant it shall not return to the clean areas of the establishment. Unless otherwise indicated, separate receiving areas, shipping areas, freezers and coolers must be provided for inedible products.

Sanitary conditions must be maintained at all times throughout the inedible section of the establishment. Regular clean-up shall be carried out and immediate effective action shall be taken if unsanitary conditions develop. An effective insect and rodent control program shall be maintained in the inedible section of the registered establishment. This program should be similar to the program in effect in the edible section of the establishment.

Plant employees working exclusively in the inedible section of the establishment shall have separate welfare facilities from employees working in the edible section of the registered establishment. If it is absolutely necessary that an employee working in the inedible section of the plant carries out work in the edible section, then that employee shall be required to completely change all the protective clothing that is required by the establishment's HACCP plan and thoroughly wash his or her hands before commencing work in the edible section.

Proper segregation must be maintained between the different categories of inedible products. Within the inedible section of the establishment, the raw material handling area shall be separate from the section where the sterilized inedible material is handled; all non-SRM products shall be kept completely separate from all SRM materials, whether or not the non-SRM product is in the raw or finished/sterilized form. When adequate segregation is not maintained between products of different zoosanitary status, the products acquire the lowest zoosanitary status of the product with which it has come into contact (i.e. starting from product with lowest zoosanitary status SRM > condemned > non-condemned > sterilized inedible).

The Feed Division should be consulted when inedible meat products are contaminated with chemicals (e.g. medications, heavy metals, etc.) prior to handling. Prior to redirecting contaminated slaughter products (e.g. from chemical contamination events and processing wastes), a risk assessment by the Animal Feed Division must be requested, in order to prevent spreading these contaminants into the livestock feed chain. This applies equally to inedible products directed to an SRM rendering plant.

SRM must be stained after removal from the carcass and is to be removed from the establishment only under CFIA permit. Details on the proper handling of SRM can be found within Chapter 17, Annex D of this manual and in the BSE Manual of Procedures - (Internal access only). Adequate facilities to denature or render the non-SRM inedible product must be provided on site. The shipping containers for inedible products destined for animal food or for medicinal purposes shall be labelled in accordance with subsection 94(2) of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990.

The establishment ventilation shall be such that the air flow is directed from the edible to the inedible section. An effective system of odour control shall be provided in the inedible section of the registered establishment.

Operators wishing to incinerate non-SRM products may do so, on the condition that the operator provides incineration facilities approved by the local authorities and that those incineration facilities are effective in destroying all pathogens other than the BSE agent in inedible products. Operators wishing to incinerate SRM require pre-approval from the CFIA and a CFIA permit if the incinerator is off site.

Registered establishments that receive inedible oils, fats, bones or meat scraps shipped directly from a retail store, restaurant or public institution, as provided for in subsection 44(2) of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 shall provide receiving facilities directly to the inedible section of the premises. Receipt of such products through edible receiving areas is not acceptable.

A food animal that died while en route to the registered establishment may have its carcass (except Bos taurus or Bos indicus.) conveyed from live animal receiving to the inedible products area of the establishment.

The carcasses of animals of the species Bos taurus and Bos indicus that died en route to or within the establishment or were condemned and ordered destroyed at ante mortem inspection and from which the SRM has not been removed shall be sent to the designated SRM area of the inedible products area for staining and disposal in accordance with the Health of Animals Regulations. The operator must develop, implement and maintain control programs that include the measure of marking the carcasses of condemned or dead animals from which the SRM has not been removed with a wide stripe down the back of the head and length of the spine using a dye (contrasting with the animal's coat colour) that is conspicuous, indelible and safe for consumption by animals before shipping to another location under CFIA permit. Deadstock being collected by companies solely dedicated to SRM (all trucks, all equipment, entire premises) may be marked to a lesser degree (e.g. just the head). This requirement would not apply if the carcasses did not leave the premises (on-site disposal). For more information on this please consult Chapter 17, Annex D of this manual and the BSE Manual of Procedures - (Internal access only).

Dry or wet rendering methods may be employed. The destruction of viable pathogens is important in breaking the chain of infection for diseases, other than BSE. The heating process shall destroy all pathogens present in the raw material. The BSE agent is not destroyed by rendering processes. Therefore, the rendered SRM shall not come into contact with rendered non-SRM products; if contact does occur, the non-SRM product is to be treated as SRM. Details on the proper control and disposal of SRM can be found within Chapter 17, Annex D of this manual and in the BSE Manual of Procedures - (Internal access only).

It is also important that no recontamination of the sterilized non-SRM rendered product occurs. Shipping areas for sterilized non-SRM inedible products shall not be used for the receipt of raw materials for rendering. All reasonable precaution must be taken to prevent re-introduction of pathogens through prevention of physical contact between finished and raw inedible product and pest control. Sterilized and bagged non-SRM inedible products shall be appropriately marked when shipped from the registered establishment.

Inedible fats may be shipped appropriately identified for industrial use. Separate storage tanks, pumps and pipelines shall be used for the handling of inedible fats. Tallow containing greater than 0.15% insoluble solids made from tissues containing SRM must be handled as SRM. Details on the proper control and disposal of SRM can be found within Chapter 17, Annex D of this manual and in the BSE Manual of Procedures - (Internal access only).

6.2.2 Separation and Disposal of Inedible Products

6.2.2.1 Condemned Meat Product

Condemned meat products require close supervision. Condemned meat products could be accidentally or fraudulently added to meat products approved for human consumption. Some condemned meat products can spread disease to humans and animals if they are not handled and disposed of in a sanitary manner. It is the operator's responsibility to dispose of condemned meat products as prescribed in section 54 of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990.

54. (1) Every meat product that is condemned in a registered establishment, other than a condemned meat product sent by an inspector for laboratory examination or a meat product referred to in subsection 85(2), shall be identified as condemned, conveyed immediately to the inedible products area of the establishment and

(a) rendered or otherwise treated to destroy pathogenic and potentially pathogenic microorganisms;
(b) denatured and conveyed to another registered establishment or to a rendering plant for the rendering or treatment referred to in paragraph (a);
(c) in the case of meat products judged by an official veterinarian not to be harmful to the health of animals and permitted by the official veterinarian to be used as animal food, denatured and used for animal food;
(d) identified for use for medicinal purposes, with the consent of an official veterinarian;
(e) in the case of meat products that are judged by an official veterinarian to be unacceptable for rendering due to dangerous residues or for other reasons, disposed of in accordance with local environmental requirements; or
(f) disposed of pursuant to subsection 48(1) of the Health of Animals Act.

(1.1) Paragraphs (1)(a) to (f) do not apply in respect of a meat product that is, that contains or that is derived from specified risk material in any form.

(1.2) A meat product that is, that contains or that is derived from specified risk material in any form shall be kept in a designated area of the inedible products area for staining and collection in a dedicated container and disposal in accordance with the Health of Animals Regulations.

(2) A meat product that is not edible but is permitted for use as animal food in a registered establishment shall be sent to and processed in a designated room in the inedible products area.

(3) No inedible meat product shall be denatured in any part of a registered establishment other than the inedible products area.

(4) No substance shall be used to denature a meat product in a registered establishment unless the Director has found the substance to be acceptable for that use and has registered the substance in a register kept for that purpose.

(5) For the purpose of subsection (4), the Director shall determine the acceptability of a substance that is proposed to be used to denature a meat product in a registered establishment on the basis of the safety and the effectiveness of the proposed substance.

55. (1) Subject to subsection (2), no meat product that has been admitted to the inedible products area of a registered establishment shall thereafter be admitted to any other part of the registered establishment.

(2) A meat product, other than a condemned meat product, that has been packaged and identified in a registered establishment for use as animal food may be admitted to another part of that registered establishment or to any other registered establishment for

(a) freezing; or
(b) storage or shipping in the frozen state.

Inspectors are responsible for ensuring that the operator is carrying out the above responsibility.

Condemned meat products include carcasses and portions of carcasses which, upon inspection or reinspection, are found to be affected by disease or an abnormal condition that renders them unfit for human food. It further includes animals condemned on ante mortem inspection, animals that died en route to the registered slaughter establishment and animals that died in the yard or a livestock holding pen of the registered slaughter establishment.

Cattle condemned at ante mortem or that die from causes other than slaughter must also be handled as SRM, unless the SRM has been removed. The operator must segregate the dead stock in a designated area in the inedible product section for staining and disposal in accordance with the Health of Animals Regulations (see Chapter 17, Annex D of this manual and the BSE Manual of Procedures - (Internal access only)). The carcass and associated parts from an animal with a positive test result for any prion disease should be disposed of by burial or incineration or by a method approved for the disposal of specified risk material. The SRM stream may include composting, thermal hydrolysis, alkaline hydrolysis, etc.

The collection and conveyance of condemned products from the killing floor and processing area shall be done in a sanitary manner. Any contact of condemned products with carcasses being dressed or approved meat products shall be prevented. All equipment having been in contact with condemned products shall be cleaned and sanitized as required before reuse. Plant personnel and inspectors handling condemned products shall wash their hands and clean and sanitize their work clothing and equipment as required.

Containers used for non-SRM condemned products shall be distinctly marked "CONDEMNED" and containers used for animal food products shall be marked "ANIMAL FOOD". They should be preferably of a colour that distinguishes them from containers used for edible meat products.

In addition to sanitary considerations, it is essential that condemned material be maintained under control until disposed as per section 54 of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990.

Non-SRM condemned products that require sterilization

With the exception of the products listed below and in sub-section 85(2) of the Meat inspection Regulations, 1990, all condemned products are required to be sterilized at a registered establishment or at a rendering establishment. They must remain under strict control from the time of condemnation until they are disposed of in an acceptable manner.

85 (1) The operator shall ensure that

(a) every carcass of a food animal and every part of a carcass of a food animal identified as condemned is handled in accordance with section 54; and
(b) if the carcass of a food animal is condemned, all blood harvested from that food animal is also condemned and is handled in accordance with section 54.

The control measures will include one or several of the following:

  1. meat products or carcasses are mixed with intestines and intestinal contents or an accepted denaturing agent in a continuous and non reversible mechanical conveying system which empties directly to a melter or a conveyance acceptable to the inspector in charge for transportation to another registered establishment or an inedible rendering plant for sterilization;
  2. meat product or carcasses are freely slashed or, crushed or ground AND mixed or sprayed with an accepted denaturant (see list above). The denaturant shall be reasonably well distributed to ensure that all condemned meat products are denatured.
  3. product is shipped in containers marked with the words "CONDEMNED" to another registered establishment or an inedible rendering plant for sterilization;
  4. in the case of a carcass that has not been dressed the denaturant may be applied by injecting it into portions of the carcass to the extent necessary to preclude its use for human or animal food purposes. However, carcasses of condemned or dead cattle from which SRM has not been removed must be marked along the spine using a dye that contrasts with the animal's coat colour. However, carcasses of condemned or dead cattle from which SRM has not been removed must be handled as SRM.

(Guidance on the proper control and disposal of SRM can be found within Chapter 17, Annex D of this manual and in the BSE Manual of Procedures - (Internal access only)).

Non-SRM condemned product approved for animal food

SRM cannot be harvested for animal food, human food, fertilizer, or other uses.

Operators may harvest or salvage certain non-SRM condemned products for animal food with the consent of an official veterinarian. These products may be intended for fish, pets, zoo animals and fur animals. Condemned products may be used for animal food provided:

  1. they are derived from carcasses, portions or organs that are not affected with a disease or condition (e.g. chemical contamination) transmittable to the above mentioned animals;
  2. they are derived from carcasses, portions or organs that are not affected with a disease that is a potential cause of zoonosis for handlers of this material; and
  3. they are derived from carcasses, portions or organs where lesions or conditions mentioned above are removed.

Specific guidelines for the disposition of carcasses of food animals are provided in this chapter and species specific chapters within this manual (e.g. Poultry Inspection Programs - Chapter 19). The utilization as animal food of condemned meat products, derived from carcasses condemned for reasons other then the ones listed in this manual, may be permitted after consultation with the Chief, Epidemiologist, Epidemiology and Risk Mitigation Section. For condemned cattle carcasses containing SRM, application for removal may be made to the CFIA district animal health veterinarian, specific conditions will apply. In the case of partial condemnation, i.e. condemnation of portions or organs, such consultation is not necessary provided the condemned meat products have been trimmed to make them free of transmittable pathogens and all SRM have been removed and disposed of appropriately.

Operators wishing to engage in the harvesting or salvaging of meat products for animal food must provide adequate facilities for the separation, chilling, packing, marking, storage and denaturing of the product.

Denaturing is required to clearly distinguish condemned products from those prepared and approved for human consumption. Animal food and condemned material should be denatured with an agent accepted by the CFIA for that purpose in the Reference Listing of Accepted Construction Materials, Packaging Materials and Non-Food Chemical Products. It is no longer mandatory to register non-food chemicals. The existing reference listing will continue to be accessible on the CFIA website but will no longer be updated. In accordance with subsection 54 (4) of the MIR, the director recognizes the issuance of a letter of guarantee from a supplier to demonstrate the acceptability of a denaturant. Please refer to Chapter 3.6, Pre-Requisite Programs for the requirements for acceptable non-food chemical products.

Meat products shall be cut into pieces small enough to carry out effective denaturing. The denaturing shall be carried out in the inedible products area of the establishment.

Non-SRM Condemned Meat Products for Medicinal Purposes

With the consent of an official veterinarian, operators may harvest or salvage certain non-SRM condemned meat products for medicinal purposes. In situations where a specific need is identified to use such products for medicinal purposes, a request shall be made to the Chief, Epidemiologist, Epidemiology and Risk Mitigation Section. The request shall include all the pertinent information (meat products to be salvaged, proposed use, salvaging process, etc.).

Condemned Meat Products Containing Residues or that Cannot be Rendered

Meat products that are judged by an official veterinarian or Animal Feed Division to be unacceptable for rendering due to dangerous residues or for other reasons may be disposed of in accordance with local environmental requirements.

Condemned meat products derived from a food animal affected with a reportable disease shall be destroyed pursuant to subsection 48(1) of the Health of Animals Act.

6.2.2.2 Inedible Products (Non-SRM non condemned)

a) Non-SRM Inedible Meat Products for Animal Food

Operators wishing to engage in the harvesting or salvaging of products for animal food must provide adequate facilities for the separation, chilling, packing, marking, storage and denaturing of the product, as required.

26. (1) Subject to subsection (2), every operator shall ensure that no meat product is identified in a registered establishment for use as animal food unless

(a) it is harvested and handled in a registered establishment;
(a.1) it is not derived from, and does not contain, specified risk material in any form, whether or not incorporated into another thing, that originated in Canada or in a country, or a part of a country, other than a country or part of a country that is designated under section 7 of the Health of Animals Regulations as being free from Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy;
(b) an official veterinarian has determined that its use as animal food would not pose a risk to the health of any animal that consumes it; and
(c) it is denatured.

(2) A meat product, other than a condemned meat product, may be identified in a registered establishment for use as animal food without being denatured if it is not likely to be mistaken for an edible meat product.

Note: SRM cannot be harvested for animal food, human food, fertilizer, or other uses.

Denaturing is required to clearly distinguish such organs and portions approved for animal food from those prepared and approved for human consumption. The denaturing shall be carried out in the inedible products area of the establishment.

Organs or portions shall be denatured with an agent accepted by the CFIA for that purpose (see above). An exception to the use of an approved denaturant may be made in the case of uncleaned gastro-intestinal tracts.

Note: Distal ileum of cattle of all ages is SRM and cannot be harvested for use. See Chapter 17, Annex D of this manual for instructions on disposal of bovine distal ileum and other SRM.

Livers, to be used as fish food, which are directly delivered from a registered establishment to a fish hatchery operated by the federal or by a provincial government, may be shipped without being denatured.

Fully marked animal food products derived from non-condemned meat products in containers may be frozen and stored in a freezer used for freezing and storage of packaged, fully marked meat products for human consumption. Such meat products for animal food may also be shipped from the edible shipping area. The freezing, storage and shipment of these fully packaged and marked animal foods shall only be allowed if they are kept apart from meat products approved for human consumption and provided such handling does not create any lowering of the standards of sanitation. Animal food products may be received from other registered establishments for freezing, storage and shipping in the frozen state provided they are packaged, identified for use as animal food, and their handling does not pose any sanitary problems.

All handling of inedible products harvested or salvaged for animal food shall be carried out away from edible product and as much as physically and operationally possible in a section of the establishment used only for that purpose.

Edible meat products designated as animal food or pet food must be packaged and labelled in the inedible section of the establishment. All animal or pet food must be denatured, even if produced from edible meat products, if it is likely to be mistaken for an edible meat product.

b) Inedible Products for Medicinal Purposes

Operators may harvest or salvage inedible products for medicinal purposes on their premises. Operators wishing to engage in the harvesting or salvaging of such products must provide adequate facilities for the separation, chilling, packaging, marking and storage of the product.

Fully marked inedible products destined for medicinal purposes in containers may be frozen and stored in a freezer used for the freezing and storage of packaged, fully marked meat products for human consumption. Such meat products may also be shipped from the edible shipping area. The freezing, storage and shipment of these products fully packaged and marked for medicinal purposes shall only be allowed if they are kept apart from meat products approved for human consumption and provided such handling does not create any lowering of the standards of sanitation.

c) Non-SRM Inedible Products that are Treated by the Operator as Condemned Meat Products

The collection and disposal of all non-SRM inedible products in this category shall be carried out in a sanitary manner. Although inspectional control over this type of inedible product is not as critical as it is in the case of other condemned products, an orderly handling is still important. Such products can be a source of contamination if handled improperly. This type of inedible product should be conveyed via the shortest possible route to the appropriate section of the inedible products area of the registered establishment to be disposed of in keeping with section 54 of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990. An appropriate disposal effort should be made by plant management to prevent unnecessary accumulation of such products anywhere in the edible section of the establishment.

Non-SRM inedible trim and floor waste from stand alone meat processing establishments do not require denaturation if they are clearly identified as inedible, controlled under a HACCP plan, and transported directly to a municipal landfill for disposal.

Products Which Are, By Their Nature, Inedible

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990

41. All skin, hair and feathers removed from carcasses in a registered establishment shall be taken forthwith to the inedible products areas in a manner that prevents contamination of any edible meat product.

85 (2) Horns, hooves, hair and, in the case of poultry, heads, feet, and feathers, derived from the condemned carcass of a food animal may, unless otherwise directed by an official veterinarian, be salvaged as inedible products without subsequent treatment as condemned material.

The collection and disposal of inedible products in this category shall be carried out in a sanitary manner. These products shall be taken forthwith to the appropriate section of inedible products area in a manner that prevents contamination of any edible meat product.

Note: Extra steps must be taken to control neural contamination on the face plate hide in bovine animals 30 months and older that were stunned using a penetrative device.

  1. Bovine hide that is to be used to manufacture products for human consumption (food, drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, etc.):

    A minimum of 2.5 cm of face plate hide is to be trimmed around the stun hole and any visible neural contamination from animals aged 30 months and older. This trimmed area is to be treated as in Annex D of Chapter 17 of this manual, after which it may enter the inedible stream, or, failing this, is to be disposed of as SRM

  2. Hide to be used to manufacture inedible products (animal food, leather, industrial, fertilizer, etc.): the face plate is to be treated as in Annex D of Chapter 17 of this manual.

6.2.2.3 Disposal of Waste Products

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990

28. (1) (o) It is a requirement for the registration of an establishment pursuant to subsection 27(3) that the establishment have adequate means of waste removal and disposal.

Manure and viscera contents shall be disposed of in a manner which will not create a sanitary problem on the premises of the registered slaughter establishment. Storage of such wastes in the vicinity of the registered establishment is not acceptable.

6.3 Conditions Under Which Condemned Meat Products to be Sterilized may be Shipped from a Registered Establishment

Frequency of Shipment

Generally, it is understood that a daily pick-up service of condemned meat products is provided. If refrigeration is provided in the room where the condemned meat products are stored, the area program specialist may give permission for less frequent pick-up.

Containers for Shipment

Bulk containers or barrels used for shipment of denatured condemned meat products, from one registered establishment to another registered establishment or to an authorised inedible rendering plant, shall be impervious, in good repair, and shall be returned in a clean condition. They shall be marked with the word "CONDEMNED".

Appendix II, FSEP Prerequisite Program Checklist Cross Reference

A 2.4 and A 2.5

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