Supporting Publications 2012:EN-298                                   EXTERNAL SCIENTIFIC REPORTOverview on current practi...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionTABLE OF CONTENTSSummary ...................
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection  5.3.     Cyprus ..........................
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionBACKGROUNDDuring their meeting in Novembe...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionINTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVESIntroductionTh...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionContainer systems are most popular in bro...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionDucks:                33 % crates        ...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection1.2.        Arrival at the slaughterhouse...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection1.3.        Hanging, stunning and bleedin...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionFor more scientific information on this n...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionA further advantage of decapitation is th...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionCounterflow scalding leads to higher coun...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection3      cellulitis (deep dermatitis)4     ...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionage are presented simultaneously to the p...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionAs the capability of the human eye is lim...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection2.           Food chain information (FCI)...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionThe standard FCI used in France requests ...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection2.2.5.       Name and address of the priv...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionAfter deciding to accept the birds for sl...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection       -   in the absence of relevant AMI...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection3.2.        Campylobacter testingCampylob...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectioni) animals to which no unauthorized subst...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection     -     e.g. the consumer markets: Ger...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionPesticides  (national  “Rückstands-Höchst...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection4.           Poultry meat inspection and ...
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection
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Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection

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This report describes the current slaughtering practices (methods) with the main focus on broilers, but also taking other poultry species, such as turkeys, ducks and spent hens into consideration.

If avail- able, information on minor species, such as guinea fowl and quails, will also be provided.
The report describes the food chain information (FCI) and explains the significance of the FCI within the application of the hygiene package for poultry.

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Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection

  1. 1. Supporting Publications 2012:EN-298 EXTERNAL SCIENTIFIC REPORTOverview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection1 Dr Ulrich Löhren2 3SUMMARYThis report describes the current slaughtering practices (methods) with the main focus on broilers, butalso taking other poultry species, such as turkeys, ducks and spent hens into consideration. If avail-able, information on minor species, such as guinea fowl and quails, will also be provided.The report describes the food chain information (FCI) and explains the significance of the FCI withinthe application of the hygiene package for poultry.The description also includes the specific laboratory testing which is carried out by the official veteri-narian and by the food business operator (FBO). Specific laboratory testing refers to microbiologicaltesting and to chemical (residue) testing.The general organisation of poultry meat inspection, including ante and post-mortem inspection, willbe described. The conditions, abnormalities, and biological hazards that are detected by the poultrymeat inspection system are also depicted.As poultry meat inspection is not carried out in a harmonized way by the Member States, a separatechapter will provide country-specific information and on how poultry meat inspection is implemented.Figures on the quantities of poultry meat produced in the Community will conclude this report.© Copyright Dr Ulrich LöhrenKey wordsFood chain information, risk-based meat inspection, poultry meat inspection findingsDisclaimerThe present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carriedout exclusively by the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s),awarded following a tender procedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle towhich the Authority is subject. It may not be considered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food SafetyAuthority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issues addressed and the conclusions reached in the presentdocument, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.1 Question No EFSA-Q-2011-003382 Author name: Ulrich Löhren3 Acknowledgement: The contractor wishes to thank Mrs. Lorraine Herfort from Lohmann Animal Health for reviewing the English language and grammar of the manuscript.Any enquiries related to this output should be addressed to biohaz@efsa.europa.euSuggested citation: Corporate author: Löhren, U; Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meatinspection. Supporting Publications 2012:EN-298. [58 pp.]. Available online: www.efsa.europa.eu/publications© European Food Safety Authority, 2012
  2. 2. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionTABLE OF CONTENTSSummary .................................................................................................................................................. 1Table of contents ...................................................................................................................................... 2Background .............................................................................................................................................. 4Introduction and objectives ...................................................................................................................... 5Materials and methods.............................................................................................................................. 51. Overview of the current slaughtering practices for poultry ............................................................. 5 1.1. Catching and transport, and implications on welfare and meat inspection findings ............... 5 1.2. Arrival at the slaughterhouse .................................................................................................. 8 1.3. Hanging, stunning and bleeding.............................................................................................. 9 1.4. Scalding and plucking ........................................................................................................... 11 1.5. Neck slitting and foot removal .............................................................................................. 13 1.6. Evisceration line.................................................................................................................... 13 1.7. Speed of the lines .................................................................................................................. 14 1.8. Technical systems to assist the meat inspection ................................................................... 14 1.9. Cooling of poultry carcasses ................................................................................................. 152. Food chain information (FCI) ........................................................................................................ 16 2.1. General context of FCI.......................................................................................................... 16 2.2. What type of FCI is collected? .............................................................................................. 16 2.2.1. The overall health status of the holding of provenance .................................................... 16 2.2.2. The health status of the animals........................................................................................ 16 2.2.3. Veterinary medicinal or other treatments administered to the animals within a relevant period and within a withdrawal period greater than zero, together with their dates of administration and withdrawal periods .......................................................................................... 17 2.2.4. The results - if these are of relevance to the protection of public health - of any analysis carried out on samples taken from the animals or other samples taken to diagnose diseases that may affect the safety of meat, including samples taken in the framework of the monitoring and control of zoonoses and residues. .................................................................................................. 17 2.2.5. Name and address of the private caretaking veterinarian attending the holding of provenance ..................................................................................................................................... 18 2.2.6. Any other laboratory testing ............................................................................................. 18 2.3. Operational role of the FCI ................................................................................................... 18 2.4. What to do with positive results in the FCI? ......................................................................... 193. Specific laboratory testing carried out with regard to a risk-based meat inspection ..................... 20 3.1. Salmonella testing ................................................................................................................. 20 3.2. Campylobacter testing .......................................................................................................... 21 3.3. Avian Influenza ..................................................................................................................... 21 3.4. Residue testing ...................................................................................................................... 214. Poultry meat inspection and findings ............................................................................................ 25 4.1. Organization of poultry meat inspection ............................................................................... 25 4.2. Risk-based meat inspection and control................................................................................ 26 4.3. Organization of the ante-mortem inspection (AMI) ............................................................. 27 4.4. Organization of post-mortem inspection (PMI) .................................................................... 28 4.5. Time requirements for post-mortem inspection (PMI) ......................................................... 28 4.6. Conditions, abnormalities and biological hazards that are detected by poultry meat inspection ........................................................................................................................................... 30 4.7. Percentage of condemned poultry meat ................................................................................ 365. Country-specific information......................................................................................................... 39 5.1. Austria ................................................................................................................................... 39 5.2. Belgium ................................................................................................................................. 39Supporting publications 2012:EN-298 2The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  3. 3. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection 5.3. Cyprus ................................................................................................................................... 39 5.4. Czech Republic ..................................................................................................................... 40 5.5. Denmark................................................................................................................................ 40 5.6. Estonia .................................................................................................................................. 41 5.7. Finland .................................................................................................................................. 42 5.8. France.................................................................................................................................... 42 5.9. Germany................................................................................................................................ 43 5.10. Hungary ................................................................................................................................ 43 5.11. Italy ....................................................................................................................................... 43 5.12. Latvia .................................................................................................................................... 44 5.13. The Netherlands .................................................................................................................... 44 5.14. Poland ................................................................................................................................... 45 5.15. Portugal ................................................................................................................................. 45 5.16. Slovakia ................................................................................................................................ 46 5.17. Slovenia ................................................................................................................................ 46 5.18. Sweden .................................................................................................................................. 46 5.19. United Kingdom.................................................................................................................... 476. Quantitative Information on poultry meat production ................................................................... 48 6.1. Poultry meat produced .......................................................................................................... 48 6.2. EU approved poultry slaughterhouses .................................................................................. 49Discussion .............................................................................................................................................. 50Conclusions and Recommendations ....................................................................................................... 52References .............................................................................................................................................. 53Glossary.................................................................................................................................................. 58This contract was awarded by EFSA to:Contractor: Dr Ulrich LöhrenContract title: Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and meat inspection findings in the EUContract number: CT/EFSA/BIOHAZ/2011/01Supporting publications 2012:EN-298 3The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  4. 4. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionBACKGROUNDDuring their meeting in November 2008, Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs) of the Member Statesagreed on conclusions on the modernisation of sanitary inspection in slaughterhouses based on therecommendations issued during a seminar organized in July 2008 under the French Presidency. TheCVO’s   conclusions   have   been   considered  in   the   Commission   Report   on   the   experience   gained   from  the application of the Hygiene regulations, adopted in July 2009. Council Conclusions on the Com-mission report were adopted in November 2009 inviting the Commission to prepare concrete propos-als allowing the effective implementation of modernised sanitary inspection in slaughterhouses whilemaking  full  use  of  the  principle  of  the  “risk-based  approach”.The BIOHAZ panel of EFSA has set up an ad hoc working group on meat inspection in poultry. Aswith domestic swine, the ad hoc working group shall be provided with a report that gives an overviewon current practices of poultry slaughter and poultry meat inspection findings.Supporting publications 2012:EN-298 4The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  5. 5. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionINTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVESIntroductionThe European Commission has requested that EFSA issue scientific opinions related to meat inspec-tion in different species (mandate number M-2010-0232). Meat inspection is defined by regulation(EC) No 854/04. The following species or groups of species should be considered within this mandate,taking into account the following order of priority: domestic swine, poultry, bovine animals over sixweeks old, bovine animals under six weeks old, domestic sheep and goats, farmed game, and domesticsolipeds.ObjectivesThe objective of this assignment is to provide an overview on current practices of poultry slaughteringand poultry meat inspection findings, understanding poultry as per the Regulation on Official Controlsin the EU (853/2004). This report may be used by the ad hoc working group on meat inspection inpoultry set up by the BIOHAZ Panel to deal with this mandate as a supporting document for the draftscientific opinion.MATERIALS AND METHODSThis report is based on - long-term experience of the author as a poultry veterinarian in the poultry meat industry (broilers, turkeys and Peking ducks), - information from scientific literature - information received on request from the Chief Veterinary Officers of the Member States - information from the poultry industry (poultry associations, manufacturers of poultry slaugh- ter equipment, personal contacts to other European poultry vets from the Poultry Veterinary Study Group of the EU (PVSG). See list of references.1. Overview of the current slaughtering practices for poultryThe process of slaughtering is basically identical for all poultry species. This description will mainlyfocus on the slaughter of broilers, for which slaughter technology is most advanced. Differences toother poultry species – to the knowledge of the author – will be mentioned.With regard to the information provided in this chapter the assistance given by the two leading suppli-ers of poultry processing equipment Stork PMT (Jos. van den Nieuwelaar and Simone Prinz) andMeyn B.V. (Willem Heemskerk) is highly appreciated.1.1. Catching and transport, and implications on welfare and meat inspection findingsDir. 1/2005, Reg. 854/2004 and Reg. 1099/2009 provide legislation for the humane slaughter and pre-slaughter treatment of poultry. This includes catching and transport to the slaughterhouse.There are two systems of catching poultry: hand (manual) catching and automatic harvesting (me-chanical catching).Three different systems are established for the transport of poultry to the processing plant, these being: - liners (fixed cages on the truck), whereby the birds must be carried to the truck, - crates for manual catching (with a small opening in the lid through which the birds must be put into the crate upon loading and pulled out upon unloading) - container systems (main producers: Stork PMT, Meyn VDL and Anglia Autoflow)Supporting publications 2012:EN-298 5The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  6. 6. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionContainer systems are most popular in broiler transport, as they can not only be used for later process-ing plant automation, but also for ducks, turkeys, and spent hens.For the transport of other minor poultry species only the crate system is in use.The risk of damage (broken wings, injuries to the back and thigh, bruises etc.) is greater with transportcrates in comparison to container systems. This is mainly as a result of the small opening of the crates.For this reason great care must be taken upon loading the birds into and unloading them out of trans-port crates. Management and loading speed are critical with crate systems.With automated harvesting systems container systems or liners are exclusively in use. Transport cagescannot be used because of the small opening of the crates.Left: scheme of an open (Meyn) container systemRight: loading containers onto a trailer with a forkliftThe container consists of 4 - 6 stacked compartments (cages); a sliding floor is used for opening orclosing the compartments.Loading starts with the bottom cage of the column by placing the birds into the cage from above. Oncea compartment has been loaded the sliding floor of the compartment is closed and loading continues inthe second compartment. When all compartments of the container have been loaded a forklift will putthe container gently onto a lorry (picture above right). Loading can be done manually or by means of amechanical catching machine. The following is a rough estimation of the current transport practice inthe EU 27 for the different poultry species (van den Nieuwelaar and Prinz, July 2011)Broilers: 70 % container systems 30 % cratesTurkeys: 40 % liners (fixed cage on the truck) 40 % crates (special crates for turkeys) 20 % containers (prototype)Spent hens: 75 % crates 25 % closed containers, prototypeSupporting publications 2012:EN-298 6The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  7. 7. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionDucks: 33 % crates 33 % container systems (mainly drawer type containers) 33 % liners (different compared to turkeys)Guinea fowl: 50 % crates 50 % containers (only closed containers are possible, guinea fowl would jump out)Quails: 100 % cratesAutomated harvesting systems have long, rotating rubber fingers which gently collect the birds onto atransport belt which then conveys the broilers into the drawers of the container system.Three different catching machines for broilers are available on the market:Apollo (Ciemmecalabria), Chicken Cat (Claus Ohlsen and son), and Easyload harvesting system (An-glia Autoflow).Automated harvesting systems for broilers are more widely distributed in countries where labour ismore expensive, i.e., EU9. Automated catching systems for turkeys are mainly supplied by Ciemme-calbria. They are used to some extent in France, Italy, and Southern Germany.Chicken Cat (Claus Ohlsen and Son) Easyload Harvester (Anglia Autoflow)Advantages of automated harvesting systems compared to manual catching: less damage, brokenwings, bruises and less dead animals on transport (Gocke, 2000, Remmer, 2011).The disadvantages: automated harvesting is only possible in larger houses. As these are large ma-chines, extra transport must be provided which increases the costs. The use is not possible in houseswith two levels. The cleaning and disinfection of automated harvesting machines poses a major prob-lem; harvesting rubber fingers are extremely difficult to clean, e.g. for Salmonellae and Campylobac-ter meaning that the next flock may become infected, and thus resulting in a farm-to-farm cross con-tamination.Providing a safe position of the crates or containers on the truck with sufficient shelter against weatherconditions whilst still ensuring sufficient fresh air are the key attention points during transport.The containers are positioned on the truck in stacks of two (see picture on page 2 above right). Thetruck floors, front end and rear end are constructed in such a way that the stack of containers cannotmove in any direction other then up. Many trucks are therefore equipped with an adjustable roof whichis lowered after loading, thus ensuring that the load remains in a fixed position.Shelter against the elements is provided by sails on the side of the truck. Nearly all modern poultrytransport trucks use automatic sails that are integrated into the roof of the truck.Supporting publications 2012:EN-298 7The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  8. 8. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection1.2. Arrival at the slaughterhouseThe poultry arrives at the slaughter plant where the crates or the containers are offloaded. The birdswait (normally) in an air-conditioned room until slaughter. The duration of their stay at the plant isbetween 1 and 3 hours. A resting time of 2 hours is recommended. The advantage of a constant restingtime (of 2 hours) is a better meat quality. If waiting time is too short, the glycogen concentration in themuscle may still be very high. If waiting time before slaughter is significantly longer than 2 hours, thiswill lead to a higher pH value of the meat and to a darker meat. The meat will then be tougher.During the waiting time the AMI according to Reg. 854/2004, Annex I, Section I, Chapter II, part Bcan be carried out and the official veterinarian can check the food chain information.The possibility of obtaining a good view of the health status of the birds after transport and while thebirds are still in their crates or containers must be questioned. The AMI should aim at obtaining anoverview on the health status of the flock rather than of the individual birds.In those countries where the AMI is performed on the holding of provenance (currently only in a fewcountries), the AMI will be performed at this point by official auxiliaries and covers the requirementsof Annex I, Section IV, Chapter V, A, 4 of Reg. 854/04: - control of the identification of the animals - a screening to ascertain compliance with animal welfare rules and the presence of any condi- tion which might adversely affect human or animal health - control of food chain information (by the OV)Depending on the stunning method, the broilers are either manually (crates) or automaticallyunloaded. Spent hens, turkeys, most of the ducks, geese, quails, and guinea fowl are manually re-moved from their crates and hung onto the shackles. With drawer type containers, the drawers aretaken out of the containers and placed on a conveyor belt for shackling.Shackling of broilers out of open container drawers.Photo by courtesy of Anglia Autoflow.In the Meyn VDL or Stork PMT container system the birds are typically unloaded from the containerby means of a tilting system. First of all the doors at the side of the container are opened while thecontainer is positioned along a number of slides. The containers and corresponding slides are thentilted at a gradually increasing angle. The live birds that no longer have sufficient grip to hold theirground slide out of their compartments onto a transport belt.The transport belt will either bring the birds to a carousel from which they are picked up manually andhung onto the shackle of the transport line, or will lead directly into the CO2 stunning tunnel.Supporting publications 2012:EN-298 8The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  9. 9. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection1.3. Hanging, stunning and bleedingThere are two (three) different stunning systems:electrical stunning (whereby hanging must always take place in somewhat dark or blue illuminatedareas and the birds must be hung on the shackles before stunning): - high-voltage, whole-body electrical stunning (birds pass upside down through an electrical water bath) - head-only (or Top Kip) stunning, electricity only passes through the head of the chicken. Cur- rently under developmentcontrolled atmosphere stunning (CAS): - anoxia - CO2 stunning - multiphase CAS (application of CO2 in two phases with up to 40% CO2 in phase I for a gentle induction of unconsciousness in combination with an elevated level of oxygen, followed by a higher concentration of CO2 in phase II. (van den Nieuwelaar and Prinz, pers. communication)With controlled atmosphere stunning (CAS), shackling can take place in fully illuminated areas andcan therefore become part of the more logical management circuit. Hanging of the birds occurs afterthey have been stunned.Depending on the stunning system, the slaughter poultry is either hung fully conscious (electricalstunning) or unconscious (after CAS).For stunning and killing see also Council Reg. 1099/2009 for the protection of animals at the time ofkilling.The following section shall provide a short description of the different stunning systems with theirrelevant advantages and disadvantages.Electrical stunningThe birds are stunned by their heads passing through an electrically-charged water bath with a con-stant voltage. The required setting of the voltage, the frequency of the electric current, and the lengthof the water bath depend on the type of birds (broiler, spent hen, turkey, duck, guinea fowl, quail) andthe intended degree of stunning. Reversible stunning means that the birds may recover after a certaintime span. This is an essential requirement of Halal slaughter.Research has shown that it is more humane to kill the birds in the electrical stunner (irreversible stunor stun to death). Stunning to death means that bleeding is not supported by a pumping heart. As theelectric current pass through the whole body, bone fractures and haemorrhages are very common withwhole-body electrical stunning.Top Kip stunning is so far only used for broilers and only as a prototype system.The birds are stunned by their fixed heads coming into contact with a 500 volt electrified metal slope(wire). The advantage of this system is that the electric current only passes the head. The birds areclinically dead but their hearts are still pumping, thus supporting the bleeding.Supporting publications 2012:EN-298 9The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  10. 10. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionFor more scientific information on this new development in stunning technology see: Lambooij, E., etal, 2010, Evaluation of head-only electrical stunning for practical application.Controlled atmosphere stunningControlled atmosphere stunning (often referred to as CO2 stunning) is well established for broilers andturkeys, however, it does not work with ducks, geese, quails, and guinea fowl as these birds are tooflighty.Four companies offer such systems: Anglia Autoflow, Meyn, Stork PMT and Linco-Baader.All four systems can be combined with slaughterhouse automation and with their transport containersystem. With Anglia Autoflow the birds remain in the drawers and pass the tunnel where they arestunned. With the Stork CAS (multiphase CAS) system the container is gently tipped, the drawercompartments will open to the side and the chickens gently slip onto a transport belt which leads into atunnel with two different CO2 atmospheres (see above). They are irreversibly stunned when they leavethe CO2 tunnel. Turkeys are unloaded from the containers via conveyor belts. The birds are hung ontothe shackles after they have been stunned. This is considered to be an animal welfare advantage com-pared to shackling when fully conscious.The Meyn/VDL arrival system works in a similar way.Within 10 – 15 sec. (standard recommendation from the manufacturers) after electric stunning bleed-ing will be performed. With CO2 stunning this varies according to the system. The recommendation iswithin 30 sec. after stunning. Time for hanging has to be added. With open drawers this time span maybe longer.The birds can be bled by an automated killer or manually.Automated killers are used in most of the broiler, turkey, and hen slaughterhouses. Manual killing isstill widespread with ducks, and with chicken for some markets where the bird is sold with its head on.The automated killer consists of a rotating knife, which severs either the right or left jugular carotid. Ifreversible stunning has been performed, both arteries have to be cut (Reg 1099/09). If stunned to deathonly one carotid is needed.An operator placed behind the automated killer will check if all birds are bleeding correctly. In smallerpoultry slaughterhouses, and with religious slaughter (halal or kosher) bleeding is performed by anoperator instead of an automated killer.Three types of killers are in use: side killers (cut both carotids) o single sided killers (only cut one carotid) o double sided killers (cut both carotids) throat killers (cut the throat, including trachea and gullet) killing by decapitation is performed in some processing plants in Italy, UK and Spain.With side cuts the neck will be less contaminated compared to throat cut while a higher contaminationduring scalding may occur when a throat cut is performed.Decapitation ensures that the entire oesophagus is cut near the head and removed during evisceration,thereby avoiding that the crop is torn. This way no crop contents can spill into the body cavity.Supporting publications 2012:EN-298 10The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  11. 11. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionA further advantage of decapitation is the certainty that a bird cannot feel pain after decapitation asbirds that may occasionally miss the killer are easily recognizable by the back-up person.With all three systems (side killers, throat killers and decapitation) a consistent bleeding should takeplace.Bleeding times varies between 60 sec. and 200 sec. depending on cutter, scalding temperature and lo-cal conditions. Bleeding with one side cut takes longer compared to double side cut or throat cut. Tur-keys have to bleed longer than broilers.Normally 30 - 50 % of the total blood volume is lost in the bleeding tunnel.With game birds (guinea fowl, quails, pigeons) only about 10 – 20 % of the blood is lost, so the meatwill look darker and gets a game taste.About 60 % of duck plants and some smaller chicken, quail, and guinea fowl plants perform manualkilling. This is performed from outside, by the so-called ear disc stick. 25 % of the chicken plants(mainly in Southern Europe) have both options: automated bleeding and manual bleeding. They needthe possibility of manual bleeding if the birds are to be sold with neck and head. For aesthetic reasonsthe carotids of the slaughter birds are mostly stuck from inside the beak (beak sticking and neck stick-ing). This avoids external damage to the carcass and will be carried out when the carcass is sold withneck and head on. In these plants often only a small percentage of the birds are killed like this, but it isan alternative. In duck plants manual killing by beak sticking (or neck sticking) is very popular asthese birds are very often sold with neck and head on.1.4. Scalding and pluckingAfter bleeding, while still suspending from the line, the birds pass through a scald tank in which thereis a continuous flow of agitating water at a constant temperature between 50 and 65°C. The requiredscalding temperature depends on the type of poultry and the intended sales condition: fresh or deep-frozen. Higher temperatures and longer times in the scalding tank will facilitate feather loss, but mayalso contribute to skin tears and to blemishes of the epidermis. The epidermis loosens more the higherthe scalding temperature. For deep-frozen poultry the scalding temperature may be slightly highercompared to poultry meat intended to be sold fresh.By means of a controlled injection of air into the water through nozzles, (and / or mechanical agita-tion) a consistent, powerful turbulence is achieved which gives a better scalding effect. The scaldingtime should vary between 60 and 210 sec., depending on temperature and local requirements. Thescalding will loosen the feathers for the plucking process. In some countries outside the EU detergentsare added to the scald water, making it much easier for the water to penetrate the feather follicles.There are different scalding systems which have an influence on the bacterial load of the product: single bath scalding tank single bath with counterflow multi bath scalding tanks multi bath with counterflowMulti bath scalding with counterflow reduces the bacterial count in the last scalding tank, and subse-quently lowers the counts in the water remaining on the bird after scalding.The effect of this on the microbiological load of the skin is seen as controversial.Supporting publications 2012:EN-298 11The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  12. 12. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionCounterflow scalding leads to higher counts in the first scalding tank and to lower counts in the lastscalding tank. During plucking massive recontamination occurs, nullifying any hygienic benefitachieved during scalding. Scientific literature did not prove any relation between the contaminationrate of the scalding water in the last scalding tank and the contamination rate after plucking. Accord-ing to Rosenquist, 2006, the Campylobacter count in the scalding tank is of negligible importance withregard to the Campylobacter count on the surface of the carcass.Steam scalding, which was propagated 10 years ago as it avoids cross contamination during scalding,is today no longer state of the art, as the control of temperature on the skin during the operation ismore difficult.Recently, the so-called jetstream scalder was introduced: the downward force on the birds is achievedy a direct waterflow, not by air injection. This leads to lower energy consumption and a better oppor-tunity   to   pasteurize   the   whole   system.   This   was   not   possible   with   the   air   system   of   the   former   “Ja-cuzzi”  steam  scalders.    After this procedure the birds will then pass into the plucking machines. These consist of revolvingdrums with rubber beaters or discs with plucking fingers. The birds are continually flailed or scrapedby these rubber fingers while being sprayed with warm or cold water.Cold water: harder plucking and pickingWarm water: softer plucking (picking). Fat is not attached to the plucking fingers.The plucking process takes approximately 30 – 90 sec. Ducks are plucked by a hot wax process whichfacilitates the removal of the finer feathers and the down.Electro stimulation may be applied to the carcasses after plucking to accelerate the removal of energyfrom muscles. Some systems carry out the electro stimulation before scalding. If electro stimulation isperformed before scalding it is more difficult to remove feathers, however, it will save time. (The rigormortis process of the birds sets in earlier).Most of the bacterial cross contamination occurs during picking (Berrang, M.E., 2000 and 2006,Heemskerk, 2005), as faeces are expressed during this process. There is currently no picking technol-ogy available that can prevent this.After plucking the birds either drop onto a  conveyor  belt  which  transfers  them  from  the  “dirty”  section  of   the   slaughterhouse   to   the   “clean”   section   where they are hung up again by the hocks on to theshackles of the evisceration line. This work is often facilitated by using automated rehangers. Suchrehangers bring the advantage of not only saving labour but also lead to less carcass contaminationthrough the hands of the workers (Chiarini et al, 2009).Today the transfer from the slaughter line to the evisceration line is thus performed automatically inmodern broiler slaughterhouses.The birds are subsequently washed by overhead sprayers.Following this procedure the first post-mortem inspection may take place here. Post-mortem findingsat this inspection location are:1 undersized birds2 ascites birdsSupporting publications 2012:EN-298 12The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  13. 13. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection3 cellulitis (deep dermatitis)4 not fully bled birds5 birds with skin defects e.g. Sarkomatosa (very rare)6 abnormal colour7 bruises8 broken wings or broken legs9 breast blisters1.5. Neck slitting and foot removalIn processing plants in some southern EU countries where the bird is sold whole with the neck, theneck skin is left on the bird. In this case a vertical incision is made in the skin of the dorsal surface ofthe neck. Otherwise the head, the neck (plus neck skin) will now be removed. The feet are removedautomatically by a cutter on the line or by manually-operated scissors.In most cases the feet are removed during automated rehanging from the slaughter line to the eviscera-tion line, except in duck slaughterhouses.For some markets the feet may stay connected with the carcass as this is the wish of the consumer.Inspecting the feet of the birds may be of importance to detect animal welfare faults in the farm of ori-gin (foot pad dermatitis). In many processing plants 100 feet (from 100 different birds) per batch arecollected and inspected for food pad dermatitis. This is a requirement in Sweden, Denmark, Finland,and the UK. Some slaughter plants in Germany and the Netherlands are also evaluating foot pad der-matitis, as animal welfare is of major significance for an increasing number of customers.1.6. Evisceration lineVarious operations are carried out on this line.Head removal can be performed at different positions of the slaughter line (see also killing by decapi-tation, page 5). For some markets and some species the head may stay connected with the carcass.Also in many duck operations the head is not removed from the slaughtered duck. The heads are gen-erally removed mechanically by traction of a head puller. After proper positioning the head and tra-chea puller breaks the spine at its weakest point after which the head, crop and trachea are stretchedout (depending on the kill cut). In the UK in some plants the head is cut away before scalding andplucking. Killing by decapitation is carried out to some extent in France and Spain. In Italy heads arenot removed at all if the customer wishes to have the whole carcass with head and feet.Venting: Scissors cut a round vent in order to remove the intestines from the carcass. Great care isneeded in this important operation as faecal contamination of the carcass and /or edible offal as well ascontact with the operator’s   hands   must be avoided. This is usually a highly automated process. Allkinds of automation are in use.Drawing: All  the  viscera  are  drawn  out  of  the  body’s  cavity,  leaving  them  hanging  from  the  carcass  ready for poultry meat inspection (turkeys, spent hens, ducks, geese, guinea fowl, and quails). Thedrawing is either done by hand (smaller processing plants) or by operators using evisceration forks oralternatively by automatic eviscerating machines.More modern broiler processing plants with fast-running slaughter lines completely remove the vis-cera and present them to the inspector on a tray (or on a shackle) running exactly in front of the car-cass from which they have been pulled out. This avoids leakage of faecal content from the rectum ontothe carcass during the (remaining) evisceration process. The carcass and corresponding visceral pack-Supporting publications 2012:EN-298 13The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  14. 14. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionage are presented simultaneously to the poultry meat inspector, allowing for both of them to be in-spected.Poultry meat inspectors may be official auxiliaries (OA) or qualified company staff (QCS) of theslaughter-house, both working under the supervision of the official veterinarian (OV). Responsibilitiesand requirements are laid down in Reg. 854/04, Annex I, Section III, chapter I (for OA) and chapter III(for QCS)It is important to conclude that this is the place where the second poultry meat inspection will nor-mally take place. The inspector can view the most important organs of the slaughtered bird: heart,liver, spleen, intestines and into the abdominal cavity. Placing the viscera on a tray (or on separateshackle) in front of the bird gives the inspector the opportunity to easily inspect the abdominal cavity,this being more difficult with the viscera hanging outside but still attached to the carcass.1.7. Speed of the linesThe speed of the line depends on the degree of automation.Broilers: any speed, up to 13.000 broilers / hour.Spent hens: any speed, up to 9.600 hens / hour.Turkeys: any speed, up to 3.600 for turkey hens (16 kg) and up to 2.700 for turkey toms (21 kg)Ducks: any speed between 2.000 – 6.000 ducks per hourGeese, quails, guinea fowl, partridges: no information. These birds are mainly slaughtered in smallabattoirs with limited automation.Chiarini et al (2009) made a comparison of the level of Listeria monocytogenes in Brazilian slaughter-houses differing in manual (plant M) or automatic evisceration (plant A). In conclusion products froma plant M with manual evisceration were more contaminated than those from plant A with highlyautomated evisceration. The greatest incidence of contamination with Listeria monocytogenes wasfound in the automated plant A in non food contact surfaces (27,3%), while in the manual plant M itwas found on and in the products (19,4 %).1.8. Technical systems to assist the meat inspectionPoultry meat inspection focuses on the carcass as well as the viscera. There is much debate on howmuch  time  is  needed  to  allow  for  “proper  inspection”  and  what  the  meaning  of  proper  inspection  is.  Reg. 854/2004 requires in Annex I, Chapter II, part D, No 1 requires:“Carcasses  and  accompanying  offal  are  to  be  subjected  without  delay  to  post-mortem meat inspection.Particular attention is to be paid to the detection of zoonotic diseases and diseases on OIE list.”It must be questioned whether zoonotic diseases or OIE diseases can be identified post-mortem. Themost relevant zoonotic diseases, such as Salmonella infections or Campylobacter infections, do notreveal any post-mortem findings. OIE listed diseases must be identified at the ante-mortem inspection.Zoonotic diseases and also most OIE listed diseases will not even be detected by a careful post-mortem examination that may take several minutes time.What can be found at post-mortem are obvious defects of carcass, meat and viscera quality, which canbe detected by the naked eye. In the German meat inspection statistics this is summarized under theterm of patho-physiological   changes.   See   also  the  chapter   “Conditions,   abnormalities   and   biological  hazards that are detected by poultry meat inspection”.Supporting publications 2012:EN-298 14The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  15. 15. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionAs the capability of the human eye is limited, some countries, such as Austria, Sweden and Germany,insist on a minimum inspection time, e.g. Germany 2.5 sec. for broilers, which is at no stage laid downin Reg. 854/2004. As a consequence this will limit further developments in slaughter technology, inparticular developments in line speed.Three technical systems are in place which can make poultry meat inspection (broilers) in high-speedlines more efficacious or which may give more safety to the authorities.Mirror systemsIn some slaughterhouses a mirror is placed opposite the meat inspector, so that he / she can view thebird from the other side. In some rare instances – because of the humid atmosphere of slaughterhouses- the mirrors may be steamed up with aerosol, preventing the inspectors from making proper use ofthem.Line dividersThese mean that the high speed line is divided at the inspection location. The line is split and divided,so that only half the number of birds will pass the inspector. The divided line will pass two independ-ent inspection stations and the two will be merged together after inspection. The line is split in such away that one inspector inspects all even carcasses and viscera packs, and the other inspector all oddcarcasses and viscera packs. This procedure allows a longer inspection time per carcass, while main-taining a high line speed.Camera systemsCamera systems and analyzing software will typically apply fixed limits when it comes to allowancesof defects. As an example, the size of a bloodspot on the breast, leading to downgrade of the wholebird, is defined as a number of pixels. When a camera system is applied there are virtually no limits asto the number of defects per bird to be checked. The camera will record everything and the analyzingsoftware will downgrade according to preset limits. (Chao, 2010)Camera systems can help to identify with much greater reliability than the human eye those birds thathave an obvious defect. They are currently in use by some processing plants to downgrade birds or toscore foot pad dermatitis (Fries, 2007).They may in the future also be used in poultry meat inspection. The OV (the OA or QCS) can thenfocus more on other issues that the camera cannot identify. Even today there are camera systems thatassist the OA in poultry meat inspection with high speed lines. They can be adjusted by the OV ac-cording to his decisions and he / she or the OA can, without time pressure, re-examine those carcasseswhich the camera has rejected. (Fries, R. personal communication, 2011, van den Nieuwelaar, per-sonal communication, 2011).All three systems (mirror, line dividers and camera systems) can be combined.1.9. Cooling of poultry carcassesAfter evisceration the birds are cooled. There are different types of cooling system, namely air chill-ing, air-spray chilling and immersion chilling and a combination of these. This step is not consideredpart of the slaughtering process per se, therefore it will not be covered further in this report.Supporting publications 2012:EN-298 15The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  16. 16. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection2. Food chain information (FCI)2.1. General context of FCIReg. (EC) 852/04 lays down the records which food business operators (FBO) rearing animals are re-quired to keep. The FBO of the animals (normally referred to as the farmer) is defined as either theowner of the farm or the farm manager.Reg. (EC) 853/04 lays down and describes the minimum FCI that the slaughterhouse FBO must re-quest, receive and act upon.Reg. (EC) 854/04 requires that the official veterinarian (OV) checks and analyses the FCI. He has totake the FCI into account when carrying out ante- and post-mortem inspections.Most EU countries have provided the FBO rearing the animals with a standardized declaration form.For this report the author had access to the standardized FCI form used in France, the United Kingdomand Germany. It must be filled in and signed by the producer and subsequently forwarded to theslaughter plant.This is done min. 24 hrs prior to the intended slaughter in those countries where ante-mortem inspec-tion is performed at the processing plant. If the ante-mortem inspection (AMI) is performed at thefarm of provenance, it is sufficient to send the FCI with the first slaughter lorry to the slaughterhouse.For more information on the use of food chain information see also the doctoral thesis by CoralieLupo, 2009, University of Rennes.2.2. What type of FCI is collected?The FCI standard declarations of France, the United Kingdom and Germany all have a slightly differ-ent format, whereby all of them covered the information required in Reg. 853/04, Annex II, SectionIII:For the purpose of this report the author refers to the German standard declaration which covers thefollowing information:2.2.1. The overall health status of the holding of provenanceThe poultry farmer (FBO) provides relevant information on the health status of his flock and the pro-duction data of the animals intended for slaughter in addition to relevant results of previous ante- andpost-mortem inspection findings.Comment of the author of this report:It very rarely occurs that a farmer adds information to this part of the standard declaration, even inspite of the use of several medications mentioned at a later point in the FCI.2.2.2. The health status of the animalsThe poultry farmer (FBO) declares that there are currently no signs of a disease or signs that may indi-cate the outbreak of a disease which may influence the safety of the poultry meat.Comment of the author of this report:It is unclear how the poultry farmer (FBO) can identify signs or symptoms of a disease which mightinfluence the safety of poultry meat.Supporting publications 2012:EN-298 16The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  17. 17. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionThe standard FCI used in France requests the farmer to indicate the mortality within the last week be-fore slaughter.The standard FCI used in the UK at least asks the farmer to indicate reasons if the accumulated mortal-ity exceeds 4.5 %.2.2.3. Veterinary medicinal or other treatments administered to the animals within a relevant period and within a withdrawal period greater than zero, together with their dates of administration and withdrawal periodsThis information will include the name and withdrawal time of coccidiostats.The producer will state the name of the VMP (veterinary medicinal product), dates of administration,and the withdrawal period. This can easily be cross-checked with the data recorded by the caretakingveterinarian.Germany: broiler chickens (and ducks) - the FCI must cover the whole production cycle. For turkeysdata are only requested for the last 28 days.France: data for medical or other treatment is required for the last 30 days before slaughter.In the UK there are no obvious time limitations for reporting medications.The author has no information about how this issue is handled with minor species, such as geese,guinea fowl, quails, pheasants, and pigeons, as no drugs are registered for these animals. In case of adisease a medication may only be possible within the prescribing cascade, which means a withdrawaltime of at least 28 days.2.2.4. The results - if these are of relevance to the protection of public health - of any analysis carried out on samples taken from the animals or other samples taken to diagnose dis- eases that may affect the safety of meat, including samples taken in the framework of the monitoring and control of zoonoses and residues.For the most relevant poultry species (breeding flocks of Gallus gallus, commercial layers, broilers,and turkeys) Reg. 2160/03 requires compulsory testing for Salmonella by the FBO. The results of thisSalmonella testing must be recorded in the FCI. Normally the information given is positive or nega-tive.  In  case  of  “positive”,  additional  information  will  be  given  on  the  results  of  serotyping  if  finalized  24 hrs before slaughter. If full serotyping is not yet available, most countries require at minimum in-formation as to whether the lab can exclude Salmonella Enteritidis (S.E.), Salmonella Typhimurium(S.Th.) or a monophasic variant of S.Th.All voluntary and sporadic testing for zoonoses, such as Campylobacter, or with other poultry notmentioned in Reg. 2160/03, such as water fowl, or minor species, such as guinea fowl, quails, pheas-ants, and pigeons is normally not reported.In case Avian Influenza is present in a given country, temporary ante-mortem testing for Influenzamay be required by the slaughterhouse on the request of retailers. In this case technical staff from thepoultry company will take trachea and cloacal swabs within max. 72 hrs before slaughter. The swabswill be analyzed in an accredited laboratory which has to notify positive results. The slaughterhousewill only accept the birds if a negative PCR result can be presented. This can also be considered aspart of the food chain information, although normally not mentioned in the standard declaration.Supporting publications 2012:EN-298 17The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  18. 18. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection2.2.5. Name and address of the private caretaking veterinarian attending the holding of provenanceThis means that – if needed – the processing plant and the official veterinarian may have access topost-mortem reports and any laboratory results (e.g. antimicrobial sensitivity testing).Comment of the author of this report:The caretaking veterinarian may be able to decide if certain findings and laboratory results may affectthe safety of meat. Therefore, if needed, the official veterinarian and the slaughter plant can obtainmore detailed information by contacting the private veterinarian, whereby he/she may be in a conflictof interest situation. It may be questioned whether he is entitled to provide information without per-mission / informing the farm FBO? This may be in conflict with the protection of personal data.2.2.6. Any other laboratory testingThis requirement was only found in the German standard FCI declaration.This will include post-mortem reports and sensitivity testing of the private veterinary surgeon.In particularly when the daily mortality exceeds a certain percentage, some countries require clear di-agnostic information, e.g. Germany requires AI testing (PCR) whenever the daily mortality exceeds 2%. The UK requires reasons (i.e. normally veterinary diagnostic) if the cumulated mortality is higherthan 4.5 %. The author has no information whether other countries have set a mortality limit at whichthe FBO must conduct laboratory testing.Other countries (such as Sweden and France) require in the event of suspicion of botulism mortality,that the disease be confirmed (or excluded). In case of confirmation of botulism, the toxin-type mustbe determined and flocks will only be accepted for slaughter if toxin-type C or D is confirmed. InGermany poultry flocks with confirmed botulism (irrespectively of toxin-type) may not be acceptedfor slaughter.In addition some countries require information on vaccinations that might have been carried out. Incountries where Newcastle Disease (ND) vaccination is mandatory non-compliance can be verifiedhere as the farmer must state the date of the ND vaccination and the batch number of the vaccine onsome standard declarations.The broiler welfare directive requires that also the daily and the cumulated mortality in % are recordedin the food chain information. This must be sent to the slaughter plant in all cases.2.3. Operational role of the FCIIf the ante-mortem inspection (AMI) is performed at the holding of provenance, the OV of the slaugh-terhouse has the option to cross-check the information in the FCI (control of documentation).In those cases where the AMI is performed upon arrival at the slaughterhouse, there is little chance tocross-check the information in the standard FCI declaration.The FBOs of establishments processing poultry must request, receive, check, and act on FCI. Theymay not accept poultry for slaughter unless they have requested, received, and acted upon the informa-tion. FCI should normally arrive (by fax or electronically) in the processing plant not less than 24hours before arrival of the birds. In those cases where the ante-mortem inspection is performed on theholding of provenance, the FCI may arrive together with the first shipment of birds from the farm. Insuch cases the FBO of the poultry processing establishment is notified via other routes of informationabout the Salmonella status or any other relevant information before arrival.Supporting publications 2012:EN-298 18The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  19. 19. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionAfter deciding to accept the birds for slaughter, the FBO must make the FCI available to the officialveterinarian (OV), who from his side also has to approve the flock for slaughter. The FBO must notifythe OV of health concerns before the OV carries out the AMI.Legislation reference: Reg. 853/04, Annex II, Section III, 1, 2 and 5.The official veterinarian (OV) must check the FCI for completeness and content as a part of the AMI.This should then be taken into consideration when post-mortem inspection (PMI) is carried out.For example, if there is a statutory requirement for Salmonella on-farm testing (breeders, layers, broil-ers, and turkeys), the FCI must state whether the result was positive or negative and if positive, whatserotype.The FCI may be used, for example, to plan the number of inspectors on the line. This would be then arisk-based poultry meat inspection which is required in Art. 5, paragraph 5 b. Only very few countries,such as Sweden, take account of this and adjust the number of poultry meat inspectors on the basis ofFCI. Other countries, such as Germany and Austria, have a minimum inspection time which is suffi-cient for flocks with any health status.When abnormal data is collected at the post-mortem inspection, the OV may compare the results to theinformation in the FCI.Food chain information (FCI) data is mainly used today by the FBO of the slaughter plant: - logistic slaughter in case of Salmonella findings and / or Campylobacter (in some Scandina- vian countries) - demonstration of freedom from Avian Influenza (marketing purposes) - requirements of some retailers and other customers with respect to the usage of certain drugs: o tetracyclines and doxycycline can easily be found by exposing the bones to fluores- cent light, even if the tissue residues are well below the MRL levels o some countries, such as Russia, have a zero tolerance for tetracyclines and doxycyline o the use of fluroquinolones is critical, Some retailers request a guarantee that antim- icrobials of this group have not been usedDuring my investigation I discovered that many OV make little use of the food chain information if itis presented in the way of a standard declaration.2.4. What to do with positive results in the FCI?Where a positive result for Salmonella is indicated in the FCI, or where no Salmonella testing is re-corded, the FBO should have a procedure in their HACCP-based food safety management systemwhich they can follow. In Germany the OV would expect the FBO to take the following action (GoodHygiene Practice): - retain the affected batch and slaughter them at the end of the day - a full clean down must be made at the end of the batch - where a Salmonella positive batch has been processed either in error, or because of other cir- cumstances, in the middle of the production run, the line should be stopped as soon as the af- fected batch has been processed, and a full clean down must take place before any further processing commencesSupporting publications 2012:EN-298 19The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  20. 20. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection - in the absence of relevant AMI or PMI findings the carcasses can enter the food chain as nor- malSANCO/11010/2010 rev. 2 final for a Commission regulation amending Annex II to Regulation2160/03 and Annex I to Regulation 2073/05 as regards Salmonella in fresh poultry meat prohibits thatfresh poultry meat be put onto the market that may be contaminated with S. Enteritis, S. Typhimuriumor a monophasic variant of S. Typhimurium. The Standing Committee on the Food Chain and AnimalHealth has adopted this proposition with a qualified majority. If the Commission adheres to the time-table, this would mean that this legislation will enter into force on 1st December, 2011.The FBO must make corresponding adaptations in his HACCP plan in the event of the FCI indicatingthat an incoming flock is infected with one of the three above-mentioned serotypes. The German OVwould probably expect him to reject such a batch of poultry or require a heat-treatment procedure. - In the Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Finland and Denmark) Salmonella positive flocks are not accepted for slaughter. - The above-mentioned Scandinavian countries have a similar policy for Campylobacter in place as in the rest of Europe for Salmonella, i.e. slaughter at the end of the day. - The OV must check and analyze relevant information from the FCI report. If there is doubtful information in the FCI he may take any of the following decisions, depending on the FCI in- formation:Poultry flocks which show symptoms of a disease or condition that may be transmitted to animals orhumans through the handling or eating of meat may not be allowed for slaughter. In this case slaughtermust be delayed to allow for further testing in order to obtain a clearer picture and to see whether theflock recovers from this disease.In case the withdrawal time has not yet elapsed, a delay of slaughter will be the consequence.In case of information that the overall health situation is not optimal, but the slaughter flock is not af-fected by a disease or condition that may be transmitted to animals or humans the OV may require achange in the slaughterhouse procedure: - reduce line speed or increase the number of inspectors - he/she will detain (animals or) carcasses for further testing.3. Specific laboratory testing carried out with regard to a risk-based meat inspection3.1. Salmonella testingSalmonella testing is required for all spent hens (commercial layers and breeding flocks of Gallus gal-lus), turkeys, and broilers according to the requirements of Reg. 2160/03. The results are considered(in most countries) to decide for logistic slaughter and for an intensive cleaning and disinfection afterslaughter of these flocks. SANCO/11010/2010 rev. 2 final for a Commission regulation amending An-nex II to Regulation 2160/03 and Annex I to Regulation 2073/05 as regards Salmonella in fresh poul-try could prohibit as from December 1st, 2011 that fresh poultry meat be put onto the market that maybe contaminated with S. Enteritidis, S. Typhimurium or a monophasic variant of S. Typhimurium. Thismeans that the poultry meat of flocks infected with one of these three serotypes must be heat-treatedafter slaughter. Some duck integrated companies also test on a voluntary basis and decide on similarbasis as with broilers, i.e. Salmonella positive flocks are slaughtered at the end of the day.Supporting publications 2012:EN-298 20The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  21. 21. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection3.2. Campylobacter testingCampylobacter testing is routinely performed in the Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Denmark andFinland) and in the Netherlands. As most Campylobacter infections occur at a very late stage (after 28days), flocks may become infected between sampling and slaughter, so logistic slaughter has notproven very successful with Campylobacter. The option of freezing positive Campylobacter batchesafter slaughter is not considered as an option as the consumer prefers fresh poultry meat, and also be-cause this option would reduce the volume of fresh poultry meat during the barbecue season in thesummer very dramatically.3.3. Avian InfluenzaAvian influenza is tested on a voluntary basis on the initiative of poultry associations of certain coun-tries (such as Germany) or on the initiative of some vertically integrated companies. This is in additionto  the  government’s  AI  monitoring. In these countries blood samples from every duck and turkey flockare collected at slaughter and tested with a group specific AI ELISA on a regular basis. This will giveretrospective information as to whether the slaughtered flock has been exposed to an AI infection. Re-sults are only communicated to the authorities in case of positive findings. In those countries or inthose integrated companies where serological AI monitoring of slaughter blood samples is in place,this is more a monitoring of the situation in the field. Broilers are not tested as they do not live longenough. Ducks are tested as they may harbour undetected HPAI infection without clinical symptomsfor a longer period (see, for example, the AI outbreak in ducks in Germany 2007). Turkeys are testedas they seem to be very sensitive to any AI virus which may circulate in the field (see, for example, theAI outbreak in Italy 1999/2000, where mainly turkey flocks were affected).In case of notified AI outbreaks or in case of reports in the media, all slaughter flocks (in a certainarea) will be tested ante-mortem by PCR as closely as possible to the slaughter date. This is done atthe initiative of the FBO of the slaughter plant to make sure that no AI positive flocks arrive at hispremises.3.4. Residue testingThe minimum amount of residue testing is laid down in Dir. 96/23 EC dd. 29th April, 1996. This is thebasis for the implementation of national control plans by the Member States. All MS have to submittheir national residue testing plan to the European Commission and report annually. The results can befound on the SANCO website.This directive requires in chapter III, Article 9 the self-monitoring and co-responsibility on the part ofoperators.The Member States shall ensure that:“2.  The  owners  or  persons  in  charge  (in  the  terminology  of  the  hygiene  package  these  are  the  FBOs)  of  the establishment of initial processing of primary products of animal origin (in the terminology of thehygiene package this is slaughter) take all necessary measures, in particular by carrying out their ownchecks, tob) satisfy themselves that farm animals or products brought into their establishment (in the terminol-ogy  of  the  hygiene  package  this  means  “accept  for  slaughter”):  i) do not contain residue levels which exceed maximum permitted limits;ii) do not contain any trace of prohibited substances or products;3.a) the producer or the person in charge referred to in points [1 and] 2 place on the market only:Supporting publications 2012:EN-298 21The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  22. 22. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectioni) animals to which no unauthorized substances or products have been administered or which have notundergone illegal treatment within the meaning of this Directive;ii) animals in respect of which, where authorized products or substances have been administered, thewithdrawal periods prescribed for these products or substances have been observed;iii)  products  derived  from  the  animals  referred  to  in  i)  and  ii)”    Competent Authorities: Annex IV, Chapter II defines the minimum sampling levels and frequency oftesting broiler chickens, spent hens, turkeys, and other poultry.“For  each  category  of  poultry  considered,  the  minimum  number  of  samples  to  be  taken  each  year  must  at least equal one per 200 tons of animal production (dead weight), with a minimum of 100 samplesfor each group of substances if the annual production of the category of birds is over 5.000 tons.What follows is a specification on how the Member State has to split the testing between the differentgroups of products and substances (for details see Annex IV, Chapter II of Dir. 96/23 EC).In most Member States the requirements of this Annex are implemented by national regulations.As an example the national regulations of Germany are mentioned here:“Nationaler   Rückstandskontrollplan   (NRKP)   und   Einfuhrrückstandskontrollplan   (ERKP)   für   Le-bensmittel  tierischen  Ursprungs“.  „Tierische  Lebensmittel-Überwachungsverordnung – Tier  LMÜV“.  This  national  directive  requires  in  § 10 Residue monitoring: 1) The Competent Authority shall in order to enforce Annex I, Section I, Chapter II, letter F, Nr. 1 letter c of Reg. (EC) No 854/2004 2) take  official  samples  from  live  animals  for  the  purpose  of  §  4  part  1  Nr.  1  des  “Lebensmittel- und Futtermittelgesetzbuches”  and  from  products  of  animal  origin  and  initiate  residue  testing   according to the requirements of the Nationaler Rückstandskontrollplan (NRKP) und Einfuhr- rückstandskontrollplan (ERKP) für Lebensmittel tierischen Ursprungs.The amount of self-testing by the FBO is further laid down in Commission Reg. EC 37/2010 of 22ndDecember, 2009 on pharmacologically active substances and their classification regarding maximumresidue limits in foodstuffs of animal origin and by Commission Reg. (EC) 1881/2006 of 19th Decem-ber 2006 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs.The amount of self-monitoring of the FBO is often determined by requirements of the retailer, whichexceeds in many instances the requirements of Reg. No. 854/04 in combination with Dir. 96/23. Withregard to residue testing private contracts frequently have wording such as the following:“The  supplier  establishes  a  monitoring  system  which  will  consist  of  testing  of  all batches destined forthe purchaser for  residues  of  antimicrobials  or  metabolites  thereof.”  As a result of the dioxin scandalearly this year retailer requirements for residue testing on Xenobiotics (such as dioxin) have again in-creased the amount of testing.Export to the Russian Republic is of great economic importance to parts of the European poultry in-dustry. Therefore, residue testing in accordance with the Russian requirements (SanPin) is also im-plemented in various poultry processing plants.The amount of self-testing is dependent on the market, the requirements of retailers, and on the currentresidues under discussion:Supporting publications 2012:EN-298 22The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  23. 23. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection - e.g. the consumer markets: German consumers are very sensitive towards residues; therefore, companies selling poultry products on the German market are more sensitive towards chemi- cally detectable residues. - Russia has a zero tolerance for tetracyclines: Therefore, poultry meat exported to Russia must be tested free for tetracyclines residues. - requirements of the retailers: Scandinavian retailers are very sensitive towards the use of fluoroquinolones: Therefore, these compounds are banned in broiler batches destined for ex- port to Scandinavian countries. This must be confirmed by routine residue testing for this group of products. - testing for contaminants such as dioxin: During the dioxin crisis in Germany there was an in- creased demand from the side of the consumers that the products were tested for dioxin, even if the supplying feed mill was not affected.As an example, the amount of self-monitoring with respect to residue testing in a larger German verti-cal poultry integrated company over the last 18 months is listed as follows (Jan Barhorst, personalcommunication):Antimicrobial inhibition test, 3 plate agar diffusion test:2010: 1.257 samples2011: 3.386 samples (increase in 2011 because of retailer requirements)Tetracyclines: screening method of the bones (Reg. No 37/10 EC):2010: 1.195 samples2011: 3.351 samples (increase in 2011 because of retailer requirements)Macrolides, fluoroquinolones, beta-lactams and ampenicols (Reg. No 37/10 EC):2010: 781 samples2011: 579 samplesSulfonamides (Reg. No 37/10 EC):2010: 484 samples2011: 351 samplesAminoglycosides  (national  “Rückstands-Höchstmengenverordnung”):2010: 36 samples2011: 16 samplesNitrofurans (Reg. No. 37/2010):2010: 6 samples2011: 3 samplesFluoroquinolones (Reg. No. 37/10 EC):2010: 12 samples2011: 6 samplesPCB, heavy metals (Reg. No. 1881/06):2010: 24 samples2011: 12 samplesSupporting publications 2012:EN-298 23The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  24. 24. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspectionPesticides  (national  “Rückstands-Höchstmengenverordnung”):2010: 24 samples2011: 12 samplesDioxins (Reg. No. 1881/06):2010: 3 samples2011: 59 samples (increase caused by the dioxin food scare)Zearalenone (ZEA) and desoxynivalenon (DON) (Reg. No. 1881/06):2010: 6 samples2011: 3 samplesLasalocid: (Reg. No. 37/2010):2010: 10 samples2011: 5 samplesNicarbacin:2010: 6 samples2011: 5 samplesRadioactivity:2010: 10 samples2011: 5 samplesThese figures represent a much higher testing frequency compared to the legal minimum testing re-quirements.Supporting publications 2012:EN-298 24The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.
  25. 25. Overview on current practices of poultry slaughtering and poultry meat inspection4. Poultry meat inspection and findings4.1. Organization of poultry meat inspection Flow Diagram of Organization of Poultry Meat Inspection Modified from Coralie Lupo’s doctoral thesis, 2009 Competent Authority Official veterinarian Official auxiliaries ante- mortem GHP Holding of provenance inspection Catching & transport FCI Food Business Opera- tor Official Veterinarian GHP Processing Plant HACCP Arrival at the slaugh- Plan terhouse Ante-mortem Verification inspection Shackling Stunning Scalding, bleeding First inspection point Post-mortem inspection Evisceration Supervision points Second inspection point Inspection post Transport line mortem Third inspection point Cooling ConditionnementSupporting publications 2012:EN-298 25The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusivelyby the author(s) in the context of a contract between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s), awarded following a tender pro-cedure. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It may not be con-sidered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issuesaddressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.

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