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Poultry offline and online reprocessing and reconditioning procedures

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1. Introduction

In general terms, "reprocessing/reconditioning" refers to a process by which defects are removed from within the abdominal cavity of a carcass by washing, vacuuming, scraping, trimming, or a combination thereof. The procedures described in this document should be followed to meet the requirements of section 125(1) of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations and section 3 of the document incorporated by reference 'Fundamentals of Post-mortem Examination Program'.

Licence holder may choose to handle carcasses accidentally contaminated with gastro-intestinal contents and carcasses with localized pathologies within the abdominal cavity at an:

2. Defect definitions

The following defects are to be removed by reprocessing/reconditioning

Reprocessing defects (localized contamination):

Reconditioning defects (localized pathology):

Note

The definitions of the Reprocessing and Reconditioning Defects can be found in:

  • Carcass dressing standards (CDS) in Postmortem Examination Program (Modernized Poultry Inspection Program); and
  • Disposition manual.

3. General criteria

The following criteria should be met to ensure that contaminated carcasses are satisfactorily reprocessed and that carcasses with localized pathology are satisfactorily reconditioned prior to the carcasses entering the chilling system:

4. Specific criteria

4.1 Offline reprocessing and reconditioning

4.2 Online reprocessing and reconditioning

The cavity of each carcass when required will be examined by a cavity defect detector prior to CDS sampling.

  1. Cavity defect detection prior to reprocessing/reconditioning
    The cavity defect detection must be performed upstream when the defect cannot be completely removed by the equipment and/or if the cavity pathology may be lost during reprocessing and reconditioning (e.g. Flock with Aspergillosis, Ovarian Adenocarcinoma in Turkeys).
    The licence holder may perform additional Defect Detection Standards (DDS) under Postmortem Examination Program (Modernized Poultry Inspection Program) tests for cavity defects (only) after cavity defect detection to verify the performance of the cavity defect detection process. If applicable, corrective measures and post-chill product verification must be performed by the licence holder as specified for the DDS.
  2. Cavity defect detection as part of reprocessing/reconditioning
    If the licence holder elects to move the cavity defect detection downstream to the defect removal equipment, the cavity defect detection becomes part of online reprocessing and reconditioning. The licence holder may validate an alternate procedure to remove the cavity defects using defect removal equipment with or without cavity defect detectors that achieves similar outcome and meets carcass dressing standards. In such case, DDS versions 2 (without the AQL for cavity defects) should be applied.

5. Initial validation

The license holder will validate the effectiveness of reprocessing and/or reconditioning procedures.

For licence holders that have two shifts, only one process validation is necessary for both slaughter shifts provided there are no significant operational differences between shifts.

The license holder that slaughters multiple classes of poultry, e.g. chicken broilers, spent hens and turkeys, a separate process validation must be conducted for each class. Different weight ranges of the same class must be considered as one class and require only one process validation e.g. one process validation for chicken broilers and roasters or for all weight ranges of turkeys.

5.1 Organoleptic sampling, testing and control procedures

5.1.1 Offline reprocessing/reconditioning

  1. carcasses placed directly into chilling system:
    • when the carcasses at the reprocessing/reconditioning stations which will be placed directly into chilling system should use the following sampling plan.

      Reprocessed and/or reconditioned carcasses should be retained offline and sampled a minimum of every 30 minutes by the designated plant monitor over 20 consecutive work shifts subject to verification by the inspection staff and as per the following tables.

      Sampling plan for offline reprocessing and/or reconditioning
      Volume of reprocessing
      and/or reconditioning
      Sample Code Letter Sample Size
      Low (25 carcasses and less per sample period) C 5
      Medium (26 to 50 carcasses per sample period) D 8
      High (50 carcasses and more per sample period) E 13

      Based on Sampling Plan 2859-1, Inspection Level II, Statistical Aspects of Food Quality Assurance by Subhash C. Puri, Agriculture Canada, Original source: International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Central Secretariat, Geneva.

    • Unsatisfactory sampling results

      A sample shall be deemed unsatisfactory if 1 or more carcasses in the sample has a defect within the cavity as listed in the preceding subsection. The operator shall then implement the following:

      • retain the lot according to the sample and re-examine all carcasses in the retained lot [defective carcass(es) are sent for salvage and acceptable carcasses are allowed to re-enter production]
      • notify CFIA
      • determine the probable cause and implement corrective actions
      • amend the written reprocessing and/or reconditioning procedure

      Note:

      • The 20 shift process validation is reset to zero after 3 unsatisfactory samples have been accumulated.
      • The licence holder should ensure that untreated carcasses such as false positives and carcasses to be salvaged are excluded from the sampling of treated carcasses.
  2. carcasses placed back on the evisceration line:
    • when the carcasses are placed back on the evisceration line, ISO based sampling plan as written in 5.1.1 a) must be used to validate the proposed offline reprocessing/reconditioning procedures
  3. additional export requirements:
    • for exports (e.g. USA), the carcasses subjected to the offline reprocessing/reconditioning must be presented to the CFIA Evisceration Floor Inspector before returning to the evisceration line
    • alternately, the carcasses may be returned to evisceration line without presenting to the offline Evisceration Floor Inspector as long as placed at a location on evisceration line to permit inspection by an online export inspector

5.1.2 Online reprocessing/reconditioning

  1. The CDS will be used to validate the proposed online reprocessing/reconditioning procedures.
  2. When required, the licence holder may be required by CFIA to perform additional tests and assist CFIA staff in performing additional CDS tests and/or DDS tests for cavity defects (only) after cavity defect detection for part of, or throughout, the validation process. If applicable, corrective measures and post-chill product verification must be performed by the licence holder as specified for the CDS/DDS.

5.1.3 Unsatisfactory sampling results

A sample will be deemed unsatisfactory if one (1) or more carcasses in the sample have a defect within the cavity as listed in the Section 2 Defect Definitions. The licence holder will then implement the following:

Note

The 20-shift initial validation process will be reset to zero after three (3) unsatisfactory sampling results have been accumulated.

5.2 Microbiological sampling, testing and control (E. coli) procedures

5.2.1 Sampling plan

The licence holder will collect 50 concurrent samples comprised of one (1) control sample (carcass without defects) collected from the evisceration line just prior to the chilling system; and one (1) treatment sample collected from the reprocessed and/or reconditioned carcass after final washing.

Both carcasses must be approximately selected at the same time.

5.2.2 Sampling procedure

Procedures should be validated by using sample collection and laboratory test procedures for generic E. coli as outlined in the Poultry Pathogen Reduction Program (See Chapter 11, Exports, United States of America).

According to a written procedure examined by the Veterinarian with Supervisory Authority, carcasses selected for microbiological testing will be:

  1. Offline reprocessing/reconditioning
    • Separate micro testing is required when licence holder uses a different defect removal procedure for reprocessing/reconditioning.
    • Separate micro testing is not required when licence holder uses same defect removal procedures for reprocessing/reconditioning.
  2. Online reprocessing/reconditioning
    • Carcasses with visible cavity defects which are removed by the cavity defect detectors will be excluded from the E. coli evaluation.
    • Separate micro testing is required when licence holder uses a different defect removal procedures for reprocessing/reconditioning.
    • Separate micro testing is not required when licence holder uses same defect removal procedures for reprocessing/reconditioning.

5.2.3 Analysing micro test results

The licence holder will analyze the micro test results using the CFIA developed Excel-based application ("Micro Data Analysis") and user's manual. The licence holder may obtain a copy of the excel sheet from the local Veterinarian with Supervisory Authority. For results to be acceptable, the geometric mean of treated carcasses must be equal to or less than that of line run production or is not significantly different as determined by statistical analysis.

After analysis, the licence holder must present test results to the CFIA for examination by the Veterinarian with Supervisory Authority.

6. Post validation procedures

6.1 Organoleptic sampling, testing and control procedures

6.1.1 Offline reprocessing/reconditioning

  1. carcasses placed directly into chilling system:
    • the licence holder will continue to monitor effectiveness of the offline procedures using the previously described ISO-based sampling plan or the CDS program
    • when offline reprocessed and/or reconditioned carcasses are placed directly into the chill system, they must receive separate CDS monitoring at a minimum of twice per shift. Carcasses must be examined at facilities meeting the same requirements as for the CDS test
    • corrective action or process action is required as a result of these separate tests, it would only apply to the reprocessed and/or reconditioned product
  2. carcasses placed back on the evisceration line:
    • when the carcasses are placed back on the evisceration line, ISO-based sampling plan as written in 5.1.1 a) or the CDS program or final Critical Control Point (CCP) must be used to validate the offline reprocessing/reconditioning procedures
    • when the offline reprocessed and/or reconditioned carcasses are placed back onto the evisceration line and mixed with line run production, then the test results and any required corrective action would apply to both online and offline procedures
  3. additional export requirements:
    • for exports, the carcasses subjected to the offline reprocessing/reconditioning must be presented to the CFIA Evisceration Floor Inspector before returning to the evisceration line
    • alternately, the carcasses may be returned to evisceration line without presenting to the offline Evisceration Floor Inspector as long as placed at a location on evisceration line to permit inspection by an online export inspector

6.1.2 Online reprocessing/reconditioning

The licence holder will continue to monitor the effectiveness of online reprocessing/reconditioning procedures using CDS program.

6.2 Microbiological sampling, testing and control procedures

7. Regulatory examination process

In order to facilitate the CFIA examination of the plant-specific reprocessing and/or reconditioning procedures, the licence holder should be ready for the following:

8. Regulatory verification process

9. Defects log: offline reprocessing/reconditioning for chicken, turkey and fowl

Please see forms section.

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