Additional poultry and rabbit dressing, evisceration floor procedures
Requirements for the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations
Although the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into force on January 15, 2019, certain requirements may apply in 2020 and 2021 based on food commodity, type of activity and business size. For more information, refer to the SFCR timelines.
On this page
- 1. Poultry specific dressing procedures
- 1.1 Bleeding
- 1.2 Defeathering and washing
- 1.3 Removal of oil glands, heads and feet
- 1.4 Evisceration
- 1.5 Application of water during evisceration procedures to prevent bacterial attachment
- 1.6 Process controls
- 1.7 Removal of condemned poultry legs
- 1.8 Poultry off-line and on-line reprocessing and reconditioning procedures
- 2. Rabbit specific dressing procedures
- 3. Additional evisceration floor procedures
- Additional Information
This document must be read together with Dressing procedures and Preparation of edible parts and Mechanical, electrical, gas stunning, slaughter methods and monitoring signs of unconsciousness or consciousness.
This document describes procedures to meet the regulatory requirements to "eviscerate" and Section 145 of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) and Standards to identify a meat product as edible.
1. Poultry specific dressing procedures
Bleeding time should be at least 90 seconds to permit complete bleedingFootnote 1.
1.2 Defeathering and washing
After feathers, hairs, dirt, scurf are removed from the carcass, it must be thoroughly washed prior to any further incision being made.
In order to reduce the attachment of Salmonella and other bacteria to the skin, spray washing of carcasses should occur within 15 seconds after:
- carcass transfer
Sprays at both washing stations should be of sufficient volume and pressure, to completely remove visible foreign material from the surface of the carcass including the hocks and any exposed surfaces as a result of bleeding or decapitation.
1.3 Removal of oil glands, heads and feet
Oil glands, heads and feet may be removed from poultry carcasses, either before or after evisceration.
Oil glands, heads and feet removed before evisceration may only be removed after carcasses have been defeathered and thoroughly washed.
If feet are presented with the carcass for post mortem inspection or examination, they should be free of visible contamination (for example manure).
The licence holder may apply for an alternate location provided it has been validated as per "Protocol for piloting new technology and procedures for poultry slaughter".
Poultry carcasses will be eviscerated with respect to the following:
- carcasses and viscera must be hung in a way that will allow for internal cavity, viscera and external carcass examination (process to be continuously assessed using Process control, Presentation standards – PS)
- accumulated water present in the vent area, will be removed prior to opening the carcass
- the integrity of the gastro-intestinal tract (GIT) must be maintained throughout venting, opening and evisceration operations for all species of poultry including game birds (process to be continuously assessed using process control, Evisceration standards – ES)
- the incision made will be no longer than required to permit evisceration
- hands or equipment must be visibly clean before entering the abdominal cavity
- after post mortem inspection or examination, all viscera including the digestive system (esophagus, crop, intestines, cloaca), respiratory system (lungs, trachea), urinary system (with or without kidneys) and reproductive system (for mature poultry), will be removed from the carcass before the final wash
- when the license holder choses to leave kidneys in the carcasses the poultry products containing kidneys must be labelled "May Contain Kidneys"
- oil glands, crops and tracheas are inedible products and may be used as mink food or for the preparation of other animal food
- prior to the chilling system, the inside and the outside of the carcass will be adequately washed
1.5 Application of water during evisceration procedures to prevent bacterial attachment
License holder with evisceration equipment designed to completely detach the viscera, may spray the cavity and the viscera with water provided that:
- consistent and adequate water pressure and volume is supplied to all the spray nozzles applied to the carcass and/or viscera during venting, opening and evisceration operations
- ongoing testing for generic E. coli indicate compliance with the Poultry pathogen reduction program
- post-mortem examination is not compromised by excessive water in the cavity or by loss of significant evidence of disease
Licence holders with equipment which does not fully separate the viscera from the carcass are not permitted to shower carcasses or viscera unless the equipment first passes a test under the Protocol for piloting new technology and procedures for poultry slaughter .
1.6 Process controls
Poultry slaughter and evisceration process control is a control used at a point or a step that contributes to the effectiveness of the related CCP(s) or post mortem inspection activities.
All process controls are developed by the licence holder except the Presentation Standards implemented in the establishments under Traditional Inspection system. This is developed and implemented by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as it performs on-line inspection.
Details are explained in guidance document titled "Post-Mortem Examination Program" and "Traditional Inspection Program".
- Evisceration Standards (ES): This process control must be implemented by all establishments operating under both Traditional Inspection System and Post-Mortem Examination Program (Modernized Poultry Inspection Program also known as MPIP).
- Presentation Standards (PS): There are 2 types of Presentation Standards in poultry slaughter establishments. These are based on types of inspection systems as below:
- Traditional inspection: In traditional inspection system, the CFIA inspection staff performs the presentation standards to assess presentation compliance of carcass and viscera to on-line inspection staff.
- Post-Mortem Examination Program: This process control must be implemented in establishments operating under the Post-Mortem Examination Program (Modernized Poultry Inspection Program also known as MPIP).
- Defect Detection Standards (DDS): This process control must be implemented in establishments operating under the Post-Mortem Examination Program (Modernized Poultry Inspection Program also known as MPIP).
- Carcass Dressing Standards (CDS): This process control must be implemented in establishments operating under the Post-Mortem Examination Program (Modernized Poultry Inspection Program also known as MPIP).
1.7 Removal of condemned poultry legs
The licence holder must present the written control program to the veterinarian with supervisory authority to ensure that all condemned legs are removed prior to cut-up, boning, packaging or shipping.
For establishments operating under Post-mortem examination program, identified legs will not be counted as a defect under the CDS. If knife cuts are used as identification, these cuts will be:
- easily seen from all sides of the carcass
- distinguishable from any other cuts
Legs with pathological conditions must be removed prior to water immersion chillers.
1.8 Poultry off-line and on-line reprocessing and reconditioning procedures
Procedures for off-line and on-line reprocessing are published in a separate guidance document. Please refer to appropriate guidance document
2. Rabbit specific dressing procedures
Bleeding time should be at least 90 seconds to permit complete bleeding.
Dressing will be performed without causing contamination by loose hair.
Carcass contamination from dirty hands, knives, hair during pelt removal and pelts must be avoided.
Rabbit carcasses will be eviscerated with respect to the following:
- during the evisceration process, the intestines, bladder, stomach and spleen may be removed before inspection (unless the inspector has given other instructions), as they do not contribute to the inspection process and carry risk of carcass contamination
- the kidneys will be decapsulated before they are presented for inspection and will remain attached to the carcass
- the liver may be left attached to the carcass after removal of the gall bladder or be presented separately for inspection
- the heart and lungs will be brought out of the thoracic cavity for post mortem inspection of the organs and inspection of the thoracic cavity
3. Additional evisceration floor procedures
Operators may elect to handle carcasses accidentally contaminated with gastrointestinal contents by salvaging the non-contaminated portions at either salvage and/or reprocessing station.
Salvage procedures may be conducted provided the following requirements are met:
- adequate facilities are provided
- salvaging operations are carried out expeditiously and hygienically
- carcasses are handled according to the disposition criteria
- station(s) do not become overloaded with a backlog of carcasses
- edible product is not contaminated by inedible product or contaminated equipment
- lighting for carcass salvage station(s) on the evisceration floor measured at the carcass abdominal cavity level must be 2000 lux
3.2 Procedures for preparation of head and feet for edible purposes in poultry and rabbits
Procedures for preparation of head and feet will be published in a separate guidance document. Please refer to appropriate guidance document.
- Controls on contamination
- Dressing procedures and Preparation of edible parts
- Mechanical, electrical, gas stunning, slaughter methods and monitoring signs of unconsciousness or consciousness
- Poultry Pathogen Reduction Program
- Protocol for piloting new technology and procedures for poultry slaughter
- Date modified: