Poultry International - November 2017 - 31
PoultryInternational ❙ 31
Many companies operating in hot countries spray birds
with water after they are loaded onto the trucks, prior to
leaving the farm. This has the double benefit of not only
removing fecal matter from them and the cages, but also
of refreshing the birds prior to travel to the processing plant.
Transport and lairage
During transport, birds will again defecate, and so the process of contamination continues. As at the farm, some processing plants wash the birds with water and disinfectant once trucks
have been weighed to remove the organic load and bacteria.
At the processing plant
Prior to chilling, carcasses should be washed and
brushed to remove any remaining contamination.
Eduardo Cervantes Lopez
Once the process of moving birds to the hanging area
begins, their stress levels will again rise, peaking at removal from cages and hanging on the shackles. This will lead to
defecation and contamination.
However, if this part of the plant has been properly
equipped, for example, with low-level lighting and a properly installed and adjusted breast massager, the birds will
return to a state of calm before reaching the stunner.
Nevertheless, there remains the risk of defecation if, immediately prior to stunning, a bird suffers pre-shock. Pre-shock
also increases the risk of birds exiting the stunner still conscious and, should this occur, the likelihood of defecation increases at slaughter as a result of the intense pain experienced.
The slaughter operation itself also comes with high risk
of microbial contamination. Where slaughter is carried out
manually, knives must be kept in receptacles containing
bactericides. If automatic, then blades must be sprayed with
disinfectant to remove and kill as many bacteria as possible.
Up to reaching the scalders, the amount of fecal matter
on the birds may have been gradually increasing and, if not
washed prior to entry, all of this bacteria-containing fecal
matter will enter the scalders. Should any birds enter the
scalder still alive, they will drown, and contaminated water
will enter their bodies.
It is important to remember that scalding carries a risk
of cross-contamination. To help prevent this, many plants
use multiple scalding tanks where birds enter the tank at
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