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Held rail activities in red meat slaughter

The operator will provide rails off the main line for the purpose of reconditioning carcasses identified as having defect(s) that could not be managed on the main rail. There should be at least 2 separate off line rails, 1 allowing for veterinary activities (veterinary rail) and another for the operator activities (operator rail). Alternatively, an operator may elect to separate carcasses, spatially or in time, on a single combined rail. In this case, the operator will ensure that both operator and veterinary activities occur in clearly identifiable and different locations or time. Regardless of the method used, operator will use appropriate means to identify defective carcasses and managed them appropriately.

Operator rail activities cannot interfere with activities on the veterinary rail. The operator will ensure that only fully dressed carcasses leave the operator and veterinary rails.

Veterinary rail

Carcasses with deviation(s) from the normal appearance potentially warranting condemnation, such as those with systemic or generalized defects, and carcasses with unknown conditions, will be identified on the main rail and moved to the veterinary rail for final inspection and disposition by a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) veterinarian.

The viscera and detached heads (if the carcass had the head removed) from any carcass moved to the veterinary rail as a result of mid-stream operator examination or CFIA inspection must also be retained for veterinary inspection so that the CFIA veterinarian can perform disposition. The operator will ensure the viscera, detached head (if the carcass had the head removed) and the corresponding carcass are appropriately identified for correlation purposes.

In the rare event a systemic/generalized affected carcass is detected at final carcass inspection in a modernized inspection system, the carcass is retained for CFIA veterinary disposition, and if condemned as a result of disposition, all implicated parts must be located by the operator and sent to inedible.

Because of the volume of the gastrointestinal tract, it is permissible for an operator, with the authorization of the Veterinarian with Supervisory Authority (VSA), to dispose of bovine stomachs and intestines that  do not exhibit defects with possible systemic or generalized conditions, as condemned material instead of holding them for CFIA veterinary inspection.

No contact between visibly contaminated carcasses is permitted on the veterinary held rail until the veterinary inspection is completed, the final disposition is determined, the condemned carcasses are removed and the edible carcasses have been reconditioned.

Condemned carcasses and all their parts, as well as parts removed from partially approved carcasses, must remain under inspection control until the operator disposes of them in accordance with the veterinarian's instructions.

Operator rail

Carcasses with deviation(s) from the normal appearance that do not warrant condemnation and which cannot be removed/mitigated by the operator, are identified as such on the main line, and moved to the operator rail. These carcasses are then reconditioned by the operator. Viscera are not required to be retained and/or moved to the operator rail with the carcass when these carcasses are not systemically or generally affected.

Inspection of operator activities on the operator rail is periodically performed by CFIA inspection personnel.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of red meat conditions which should be mitigated by the operator. Carcasses with these localized, non systemic conditions should not be diverted to the veterinary rail.

If it is determined by the operator that it is not feasible to recondition a carcass which has a dressing defect (for example contamination, burnt, mutilated or overscalded), these carcasses may be rejected by the operator as inedible.

The operator will record the number of carcasses rejected, along with the type of defect and submit these numbers to the VSA monthly.

When carcasses with conditions that should have been sent to the operator rail appear on the veterinary rail and when potentially condemnable carcasses are sent to the operator rail, the operator will adjust its program based on the direction and feedback from the Veterinary Inspector.

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