Follow Ups | Post Followup | Back to Discussion Board | VegSource
See spam or
inappropriate posts?
Please let us know.

From: TSS ()
Subject: Canada December 8 1. SRM - Identification and Controls ... BSE
Date: January 11, 2006 at 6:43 pm PST

December 8 1. SRM - Identification and Controls
2. Age Determination - documentation review and dentition
3. Revisions to 4.4.6 and 4.5

Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0Y9

December 8, 2005

SUBJECT: 1. SRM - Identification and Controls; 2. Age Determination - documentation review and dentition; 3. Revisions to 4.4.6 and 4.5
Modifications to the Provisions for the removal of Specified Risk Materials (SRM) from cattle carcasses slaughtered in all Canadian establishments inspected under the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 (including domestic plants).

This Directive modifies certain requirements for the identification and control of Specified Risk Materials (SRM) from cattle carcasses to prevent tissues that may contain BSE infectivity from entering the human food chain. This directive also clarifies the procedures used to determine the age of animals by documentation review and/or by dentition, and establishes that under certain conditions date of birth documents can be the primary means of determining the age of animals.

In order to export beef products to certain countries, the operator may be subject to other restrictions and is required to implement different or additional controls and procedures regarding SRM other than the ones described in this annex. For more information consult the appropriate importing country’s section in Chapter 11 of the Manual of Procedures.

This Directive also includes a number of minor corrections and clarifications to sections 4.4.6 (Compliance actions by inspectors); 4.5 (Dressing procedures).


Please replace pages 19 to 24 and 31 to 34, as well as Annex N of Chapter 4 of your copy of the Manual of Procedures with the attached new pages.


Please replace pages 20A to 26 and 33 to 36, as well as Annex N of Chapter 4 of your copy of the Manual of Procedures with the attached new pages.

Dr. William R. Anderson
Food of Animal Origin Division



Slaughtering floors shall have adequate hand-washing facilities, including hot and cold water, soap and towels. These facilities must be readily available to all butchers and inspectors engages in handling reactors. Prompt and adequate first-aid treatment should be given to any employee who sustains a cut, no matter how minor, as such action can well prevent possible infection.

(5) Stunning ratites (ostrich, rhea, emu)

Antemortem inspection and stunning may occur on the truck or trailer, especially for non ambulatory birds. Emus may be restrained by having an experienced person flip them on their back. Ratites may be subdued prior to stunning by placing a bag over the head to exclude light.

Carbon dioxide may be delivered through a fitted mask to effect what has been reported to be very effective stunning. Alternatively, stunning may be performed by either a blow on the apex of the skull using a captive bolt pistol or by a non-reversible electrical stunning device. When using an electrical stunning device, operators must ensure that the electrical current passes directly through the bird’s brain at sufficient strength to ensure a non-reversible stun. Shackling may be accomplished either before or after stunning. In either case, caution is advised to avoid injury to operators by the bird’s legs.

4.4.6 Enforcement actions by inspectors

Compliance actions by inspection staff may be required in regard to delivery, pre-slaughter accommodation and handling, or stunning and slaughter of food animals. In all cases of non-compliance, the veterinarian in charge should gather information for possible investigation and enforcement actions, and discuss the situation with the Regional Veterinary Officer in order to establish the next steps. Legal action may be initiated by the Executive Director, Operations.

(1) Delivery of food animals to slaughterhouses

Violations of Health of Animals transportation regulations, such as overcrowding, careless exposure to inclement weather, or any circumstance which has resulted in unnecessary suffering of food animals, shall be reported to the Regional Veterinary Officer for further investigation. A copy of the investigation report should be sent to the Executive Director, Operations.

(2) Pre-slaughter accommodation and handling of food animals

Unsatisfactory conditions concerning animal holding facilities shall be brought to the attention of plant management before they become critical. Requests to plant management shall be documented with a copy to the Executive Director, Operations. Areas that do not comply with the requirements of the Meat Inspection Act and Regulations shall not be used.

Inhumane handling of food animals on the plant premises shall not be tolerated by an inspector. If the operator fails to take an effective corrective action, compliance action including halting of stunning and slaughter operations shall be taken.

(3) Stunning and slaughter of food animals

On an ongoing basis the inspection staff shall monitor the stunning and slaughter of food animals.

When an inspector observes inhumane treatment of food animals either due to malfunction of stunning equipment or due to operator carelessness or incompetence, the inspector shall immediately halt stunning and slaughter operations until management of the slaughter plant has taken effective corrective action.

4.5 Dressing procedures

It is plant management's responsibility to ensure that all dressing procedures are conducted in a sanitary manner and result in non-adulterated meat products destined for human consumption or animal food. Such procedures should not result in undue contamination of meat products. Except for poultry carcasses, whenever a carcass is contaminated during the process of evisceration, the employee that caused the contamination shall mark or signal so the carcass be marked by a fellow employee in such a way that employees downstream are aware of the presence of the contamination on the carcass. It is the responsibility of the operator to monitor the plant employee’s procedures and the CFIA inspection staff will verify that the operator complies with these requirements. It cannot be overemphasized that the inspection staff are not to perform dressing procedures.

All manipulations of carcasses and parts by inspection staff are limited to determining the disposition of the products and controlling the separation of edible from inedible meat products. Hand washing stations and sanitizers must be conveniently located and used by employees who dress carcasses.

Delayed evisceration in red meat species and ratites

For a variety of reasons, evisceration of carcasses can be delayed for extended periods during the day to day operations of slaughter facilities. In those cases where evisceration is completed within 120 minutes, carcasses can be salvaged subject to normal approval. Offals may be affected by this delay and should be evaluated to ensure maintenance of quality.

Microbial migration into the carcass is not a concern as long as the gastrointestinal track has not been compromised. It takes anywhere from 15 to 24 hours for the microbes to migrate into the carcass. The major factor affecting carcass quality if the delay exceeds 120 minutes is the rate at which the trapped body heat is dissipated. Carcasses that have not had the hide removed will be the most affected , and those that have had the hide removed and are eviscerated will be the least affected.

In the event of an extended delay [ > 120 minutes ], carcasses should be divided into the following groups: hide-on, hide-off but not eviscerated, and eviscerated. * Each group, after passing normal inspection procedures, will require a micro risk evaluation by the operator, to verify that microbial levels are acceptable and demonstrate that carcass quality has been maintained before being released into commerce. Note, each groups identification should be maintained until micro results have been deemed acceptable by the VIC.

The presence of a greenish hue in the kidney fat and on the peritoneal wall and a soft and flaccid diaphragm are indications that the carcass’ quality has been compromised by the delay in evisceration.

* In the case of pork establishments that use a scalding process, the carcasses should be divided into the following groups: stunned and bleed, those in the scalding tank, out of the tank but not eviscerated, and eviscerated. The VIC will have to deal with the possibility of increased microbial load as well as increased incidence of PSE and overscald.

Before this product is considered for export, the VIC should confirm the product meets the requirements of the importing country.

4.5.1 Dressing procedures for cattle

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE): Certain control measures must be implemented by all operators involved in the slaughter of cattle regardless of the age of the animal slaughtered. These additional measures adopted by the Canadian government in order to prevent tissues that may contain BSE infectivity from entering the human food chain.

Refer to Annex N of this chapter for a description of applicable control measures.

(a) Sticking and bleeding

The "dry" landing area, where stunned animals are discharged from the knocking box, shall be kept as clean and as dry as possible. Sticking shall not occur in this area. The animals shall be promptly hoisted, conveyed to a properly constructed bleeding area, and then bled.

Sufficient space and time must be made available for bleeding so that blood will be confined to the bleeding area. The sticking knife shall be adequately rinsed and sanitized between each animal. Blood, intended for edible purposes, must be collected without contamination, including contamination by specified risk material( SRM) and shall be identified to the carcass. Any condition found on the postmortem examination which requires whole carcass condemnation makes it necessary to locate and condemn not only the head and organs but also blood. If edible blood fom several animals is collected in one container, and one of the animals in the lot is condemned, all the blood collected in that particular container shall be condemned.

To harvest edible blood the operator must use a closed container connected directly to a cannula or a hollow knife. Simply holding a pail under the carcass is not acceptable. The equipment used for the collection of blood, which is done either on an individual or lot basis, shall be adequately rinsed and sanitized between each carcass or lot, as appropriate. Blood clotting is prevented by either using approved anti-coagulants or mechanical defibrination. The latter must be done with suitable metal or plastic beaters (not with hands), which are rinsed and sanitized after use.

Carcasses shall be spaced, from the bleeding area to the point of approval, in such a way as to prevent skinned carcasses contacting either unskinned or other skinned carcasses or parts.

(b) Carcass Identification

It is a requirement under the Animal Identification provisions of the Health of Animals Regulations that the operator of a slaughter establishment where an animal bearing an approved tag (i.e. a tag as defined under the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) and Agri-traccabilite Quebec (ATQ)) is slaughtered, maintains the identity of the animal’s carcass until the carcass is approved for human consumption or is condemned. The CCIA/ATQ ear tag shall be removed and placed into a clean plastic bag which is attached to the fore shank of the carcass following hide removal. Alternative procedures that assure, with equal confidence, maintenance of the identity of the carcass and all its parts until their final disposition is known, may be approved by the veterinarian in charge.

CFIA inspection personnel will monitor this procedure as part of verifying the controls the operator has in place to ensure the proper identification of the carcass and the correlation of the carcass and its parts.

(c) Udder and pen!s removal

Lactating udders shall be removed using a technique that prevents the contamination of carcasses, facilities and equipment. Any carcass contamination must be trimmed off. The pen!s and prepuce must also be removed without contamination of the carcass.

Contaminated facilities and equipment must be adequately rinsed and sanitized. Mammary lymph nodes shall remain on the carcass until the inspection is completed.

During the opening and skinning of Brucellosis test reactor carcasses, extreme care must be exercised not to incise the udder, in order to prevent contamination of workmen, meat products and tools.

(d) Feet, hide and horn removal

Feet harvested for edible purposes shall be identified with the carcass, and shall not be approved for human consumption until the carcass receives similar approval.

The feet must be removed before the carcass is skinned. The hind feet are removed by skinning the area above and below the place where the leg is to be cut and thus removed without contacting the hide. At this time the carcass is transferred from the bleeding rail to the dressing rail.

The horns and front feet are removed in such a manner as to avoid contamination of the carcass. The equipment used for removing the horns must be easy to clean and sanitize to avoid carrying contamination from one head to another.

During the removal of the feet and the hide, the skin shall be cut from inside-out to prevent carcass contamination with hair and dirt, except for the necessary starting cuts. The knife used to begin skinning operations must be adequately rinsed and sanitized prior to re-use. The hair side of the hide should be carefully rolled or reflected away from the carcass during skinning. Skinning should begin at the hind shanks after foot removal and proceed downward, reflecting the hide away from the carcass. If chains or other means of restraining the carcasses during hide removal are employed, these are to be sanitized between each carcass.

The head hide from a carcass aged 30 month or older must be detached from the remainder of the hide and not be used to produce edible products such as gelatin, or animal food.

Hides shall be removed immediately from the kill floor to the inedible section of the establishment without becoming a source of contamination. If a chute is employed, it shall be adequately baffled; if a doorway is used, it shall be equipped with automatic door closers.

(I) Bed system

Bed or cradle-type dressing has always been strongly discouraged due to the higher risk of product contamination when this system is used. Operators of establishments in which the bed system of dressing is currently in operation shall prepare an action plan for discontinuing the use of this dressing system. The action plan shall be presented to the Veterinarian in charge as soon as possible for discussion with the Regional Veterinary Officer and approval. During the interim period, bed dressing will be allowed as long as it continues to be performed in a sanitary manner. This requirement shall be closely monitored by the Veterinarian in charge and the Regional Veterinary Officer.

The following comments apply to those establishments where bed dressing is still performed:

The same sanitary skinning principles outlined for the rail system apply to the bed system. After removing the head, the carcass is placed on a skinning bed. Care should be taken to avoid contamination of neck tissue at this time. Exposed tissue must not contact the floor, cradle or outside skin surfaces. When the carcass is being moved from the skinning bed, the exposed parts shall not contact the floor, cradle or other contaminated objects, including the outer side of the skin, employee boots and aprons, etc. The floor in this area must be cleaned after each carcass by washing and, if contaminated with pus or other septic material, by sanitizing. Washing must not result in splash contamination.

The handwash station and sanitizer must be conveniently located for the use of the employees who skin and otherwise dress carcasses.

(e) Brisket opening

Only a clean cleaver or saw shall be used to split the brisket. The cleaver or saw shall be adequately rinsed and sanitized after each animal.

The brisket is opened to facilitate removal of organs from the thoracic cavity. Opening can be done before or after complete hide removal. If done before hide removal, the hide over the midline must be adequately reflected before the brisket is opened. The brisket is opened, care must be taken to avoid puncturing the viscera which invariably results in carcass contamination.

(f) Bung (rectum) dropping

During hide removal, a circular cut has been made around the anus, taking care to leave the anal sphincter intact. The subsequent cut freeing the anus and rectum from the surrounding tissue must be done with a clean knife. The rectum is then tied together with the neck of the bladder to prevent contamination and they are then dropped into the pelvic cavity.

(g) Head removal, preparation and harvesting of edible product from head

See Annex N for additional requirements respecting the removal of Specified Risk Materials and dressing of cattle aged 30 months and older.

(i) Head removal

After head is skinned it should be removed from the carcass immediately without contaminating the exposed tissues. A handwash facility and an equipment sanitizer shall be provided in the area where heads are removed from carcasses. The employee who removes heads shall wash his hands, adequately rinse and sanitize his knives after each animal.

(ii) Head preparation for inspection

Facilities shall be provided for the removal of pieces of skin, which must be done prior to head washing.

Heads, including oral and nasal cavities, shall be thoroughly washed before making any further incision in the musculature. Head washing cabinets shall be connected directly into a drain. Head hooks shall be adequately rinsed and sanitized with 82° C water after every use.

The tongue shall be dropped, palatine tonsils are removed to expose the retropharyngial lymph nodes, before the head is presented for inspection. If additional rinsing of the buccal cavity is required to remove any remaining ingesta, this must be performed without splash contamination of other heads.

(iii) Harvesting of edible products from the head

After the inspection of the corresponding carcass is complete and approval as an edible product is given, the tongue and head meat are removed from the head, trimmed ,washed free of the blood and chilled as quickly as possible. The transfer of the head to the head boning station must not result in common contact or cause product contamination. Chutes are not an acceptable way of transferring heads. The boning of the heads shall not be done on the same surface unless the surface is cleaned and sanitized between each head. A best practice is to bone the head on the hook or rack in order to ensure that the edible portions will not be contaminated by nasopharayngeal liquids, brain tissues or spinal cord.

Cheek meat removed from the head shall be trimmed free of the salivary glands and mucous membranes prior to immediate washing and chilling.

(h) Esophagus rodding and tying

The esophagus shall be rodded or otherwise separated from the surrounding tissues to prevent carcass contamination. To prevent contamination with rumen contents, the esophagus shall be effectively tied before evisceration.

Rodding is required when abdominal viscera are to be removed separately from thoracic viscera. Rodding separates the esophagus from the trachea, lungs and surrounding tissue and permits removal through the diaphragm and thoracic cavity without rupture of the esophagus during evisceration. Rodding must be performed in a hygienic manner. The rod shall be adequately rinsed and sanitized between carcasses.

In order to harvest the esophagus musculature in a sanitary way, it is suggested to cut through the musculature of the esophagus distally adjacent to the rumen without cutting into the mucosal lumen then pull the esophagus musculature away from the rumen to a point close but not all the way off the mucosal surface (proximal end of the esophagus) and cut through the esophagus musculature.

(i) Evisceration

Any contamination shall be trimmed from the midline before opening the abdominal cavity. The opening should not result in carcass or viscera contamination.

The viscera shall be placed in a clean truck or on a clean table. If the viscera or carcass is condemned or the surface of a truck or stationary table is contaminated, the equipment must be adequately rinsed and sanitized with water of a minimum temperature of 82° C before reuse. Moving tables shall be automatically rinsed and sanitized with water of a minimum temperature of 82° C. The temperature gauges shall be visible to the viscera inspector.

If carcasses are eviscerated onto a moving top table, the eviscerator is to wear clean rubber boots which are adequately identified (preferably white) and an apron. Another pair of boots or shoes must be used when leaving the table. The washing cabinet used by the eviscerator must be connected directly into a drain. Access to the table from the cabinet must be such that when the eviscerator leaves the cabinet he must step directly onto the clean, sanitized portion of the table or a clean stand, but never onto a contaminated table or platform. The eviscerating knife, boots, apron, etc., must be adequately rinsed and sanitized when contamination occurs.

The uro-genital organs such as bladder, ovaries and uterus, should be removed in total without incising them, following which they must be transferred to watertight metal containers or chutes for direct delivery to the inedible section. Extra care must be taken in the case of a brucellosis reactor. There must be synchronization between carcass and viscera. Carcass, viscera and head identity must be maintained in all cases. The identity of feet and blood must also be maintained if saved for edible purposes. Pathological lesions shall not be removed (unless permitted by an inspector) until postmortem inspection is completed.

To prevent cross-contamination on the kill floor, the exposed carcass must not come in contact with stationary parts of the viscera table, any other possibly uncleaned equipment on the kill floor (high bench, retaining bars, etc.) or any other carcass, prior to final carcass inspection.

While accidental contamination may occur, careless techniques are not acceptable. Contaminated carcasses must be trimmed, not washed. It is management's responsibility to satisfactorily dress carcasses. It is the inspection staff's responsibility to monitor the dressing procedures and insist that management takes appropriate action when and if necessary.

(j) Electrical stimulation

If an apparatus is employed to electrically stimulate carcasses before final inspection, then all parts of that equipment coming into contact with the carcass must be adequately sanitized after each use.

(k) Carcass splitting

To prevent contamination by the saw or cleaver to other carcass surfaces, abscesses, grubs, grubby tissue or contamination shall be sanitarily removed from the back of the carcass before splitting.

The splitting saw or cleaver must always be adequately rinsed and sanitized after becoming contaminated, after splitting a held carcass.

See Annex N for additional requirements respecting the removal of Specified Risk Materials.

(l) Trimming

Carcass trimming must be done in an area set aside for that purpose. Stick wounds, any residual piece of hide, blood clots, bruised tissue and contamination must be removed. Carcasses shall be checked for cleanliness by a company employee before washing. This check shall be closely monitored by the inspection staff.

The spinal cord must be completely removed from split carcasses before the final carcass wash. The operator must implement a control program to make sure the removal is complete and consistent.

In the case of carcasses that are split after chilling (i.e. veal carcasses), the spinal cord must be removed during boning/cutting operations if the vertebral column is split in a federally inspected./ registered establishment. This is required to prevent incorporation of spinal cord tissue into any meat products, ensuring compliance with established meat product standards.

See Annex N for additional requirements respecting the removal of Specified Risk Materials and dressing of cattle aged 30 months and older

(m) Carcass washing

After trimming, all carcasses shall be washed to remove blood and bone dust. The pinning of the neck and shrouding may be done after trimming and washing of the carcass are completed.

(n) Use of organic acid, chlorine, chlorine dioxide and acidified chlorine solutions on red meat carcasses:

See subsection 4.5.3(e), titled "Application of microbial control agents", of this chapter for general requirements for using such agents on raw meat carcasses and parts. Additional requirements for red meat carcasses are as follows:

Organic sprays

The use of 1.5 - 2.5% acetic acid or lactic acid or citric acid washes on red meat carcasses is permitted as a processing aid under the following conditions.

(i) Organic acid solutions may be applied where it is accepted practice to apply water to product such as before, after or during the final carcass rinse. Pre-evisceration rinse systems consisting of a potable water rinse, and a second rinse with an organic acid are also permitted. The first rinse is applied as a low pressure water rinse to remove incidental foreign material. The second rinse, consisting of an aqueous solution of 1.5 - 2.5 percent organic acid, may be applied as a mist, fog or small droplet rinse.

(ii) The treatment must be followed by appropriate measures to ensure that any residues of the acids in question in or on the meat, resulting from the treatment are negligible. In practice this would involve a final rinse with potable water.

(iii) A documented description of the process and controls to monitor the concentration of the treatment solution and other necessary operating parameters be in place and available to CFIA inspection staff. This documentation should at least describe:

the equipment used and methods to assure that fumes from the acid do not create a health hazard;
type and concentration of acid used;
formula for preparing acid solution;
site and rate of application including solution flow rate and pressure;
temperature of acid solution at point of contact;
methods used to assure no residual acid is left on the surface of the carcass;
a description of actions to be taken if the system is found to be operating out of compliance.
* N.B. Trimming of the surface layers of the meat product or other such measures to remove surface residues of chemicals resulting from acid spray treatment have been suggested as an alternative to a potable water rinse.


The same requirements apply as for organic acids (see above) except that a maximum of up to 20 ppm of total available chlorine may be contained in water contacting red meat carcasses or beef quarters.

Chlorine dioxide

The same requirements apply as for organic acids (see above) except that a maximum of up to 20 ppm of total available chlorine dioxide may be contained in water contacting red meat carcasses.

Acidified chlorine

The same requirements apply as for organic acids (see above) except that a maximum of up to 10 ppm of total available (acidified) chlorine may be contained in water contacting beef carcasses

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup

E-mail: (optional)


Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL: