Canadian Grade Compendium
Volume 1 - Ovine Carcasses and Poultry Carcasses

Part 3 Poultry Carcass Grade Requirements

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Grades and Grade Names

10. There are three grades of poultry carcasses with the grade names Canada A, Canada Utility and Canada C (See Volume 9 Import Grade Requirements for grade names used for imported poultry carcasses).

General

11. (1) A grader, or the licence holder under the direct supervision of a grader, must mark the poultry carcass with a grade stamp, illustrated in Schedule 5 - Poultry Carcass Grade Stamps to this Part, with the grade name being in white characters and the outline of the maple leaf being

  • (a) red, if the poultry is graded Canada A,
  • (b) blue, if the poultry is graded Canada Utility, and
  • (c) brown, if the poultry is graded Canada C.

(2) Despite subsection (1), in the case of a poultry carcass that is not a prepackaged food and is in a container

  • (a) the grade name may be shown in black characters within the outline of the maple leaf grade name,
  • (b) the outline of the maple leaf grade name may be black or may be the same colour as the grade name required in subsection (1), and
  • (c) the grade name is not required to be within the outline of a maple leaf.

(3) The grade name of an individually wrapped poultry carcass must be located on that part of the wrapping lying immediately on or over the anterior centre of the breast of the poultry.

(4) In the case of a poultry carcass that is not individually wrapped, the information required may be shown on a tag attached to the V of the wishbone of the carcass.

(5) The grade name must be in characters of a height not less than

  • (a) in the case of a poultry carcass that is not prepackaged, 6 mm
  • (b) in the case of a prepackaged poultry carcass graded Canada A or Canada C,
    • (i) 3 mm if the net weight of the poultry carcass is 1 kg or less,
    • (ii) 6 mm if the net weight of the poultry carcass is more than 1 kg but not more than 5 kg, and
    • (iii) 9 mm if the net weight of the poultry carcass is more than 5 kg.
  • (c) in the case of a prepackaged poultry carcass graded Canada Utility,
    • (i) 3 mm if the net weight of the poultry carcass is 5 kg or less,
    • (ii) 5 mm if the net weight of the poultry carcass is more than 5 kg.
  • (d) in the case of poultry carcass that is not prepackaged in a container, 6 mm, and
  • (e) in the case of poultry carcass that is not individually wrapped or is in a container labelled "not for further processing" and individually wrapped, 1.5 mm.

Grade Requirements for Canada A

12. A poultry carcass graded Canada A must

  • (a) in the case of a chicken, chicken capon, Rock Cornish hen, mature chicken, old rooster, young turkey and mature turkey, have not more than the wing tips and the tail removed from the carcass;
  • (b) in the case of a young duck, mature duck, young goose, mature goose, young guinea and mature guinea, have not more than the wing tips and the flat wings removed from the carcass;
  • (c) be not deformed except for a slightly crooked keel bone that does not interfere with the normal placement of the meat;
  • (d) be moderately plump breasted on both sides of the keel bone at the anterior end, with a moderate tapering of flesh towards the posterior end, and the keel bone at the anterior end does not project more than 3 mm beyond the flesh;
  • (e) in the case of poultry, other than a turkey, show evidence of fat cover on the breast, thighs and back;
  • (f) in the case of a turkey, have deposits of fat in the main feather tract on each side of the breast as indicated by a pronounced thickening at the centre of each such area;
  • (g) have no prominent discolourations exceeding
    • (i) an area of 1.6 cm2 in the aggregate on the breast, and
    • (ii) an area of 6.5 cm2 in the aggregate elsewhere on the carcass.
  • (h) if the carcass weighs less than 5.5 kg, have skin on the breast that is not torn in excess of 6 mm in length and have no tears on the skin elsewhere on the carcass that exceed 2.5 cm in length in the aggregate;
  • (i) if the carcass weighs 5.5 kg or more, have skin on the breast that is not torn in excess of 1.2 cm in length and have no tears on the skin elsewhere on the carcass that exceed 3.5 cm in length in the aggregate;
  • (j) have no broken or dislocated bones; and
  • (k) not have more than 3 cm of exposed flesh at the posterior end of the keel bone.

Grade Requirements for Canada Utility

13. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a poultry carcass graded Canada Utility must

  • (a) not be missing more than
    • (i) the wings,
    • (ii) one leg including the thigh or both drumsticks,
    • (iii) the tail,
    • (iv) small areas of flesh, and
    • (v) skin not exceeding an area equivalent to one half of the area of the breast;
  • (b) if no flesh has been removed, have a breast that has sufficient fullness of flesh on both sides of the keel bone to prevent a sharp falling away of flesh from the anterior to the posterior end and the keel bone does not project more than 3 mm beyond the flesh;
  • (c) have at least a minimum fat cover to prevent the flesh from appearing prominently through the skin;
  • (d) have no prominent discolourations exceeding
    • (i) an area of 6.5 cm2 in the aggregate on the breast, and
    • (ii) an area of 8 cm2 in the aggregate elsewhere on the carcass.
  • (e) have no dislocated bones other than in the wings or legs; and
  • (f) have no broken bones.

(2) A poultry carcass must not be graded Canada Utility if

  • (a) the wings or any part of them has been removed elsewhere than at a joint; and
  • (b) only a part of the drumsticks has been removed.

(3) A poultry carcass must not be graded Canada Utility if it meets the requirements for the grade Canada A.

(4) Despite subsection (1), a mature chicken carcass may be graded Canada Utility if it

  • (a) weighs less than 1.8 kg;
  • (b) meets the requirements set out in paragraphs 14(1)(b) and (c); and
  • (c) is trimmed in accordance with paragraph (1)(a).

Grade Requirements for Canada C

14. (1) Subject to subsection (2), a poultry carcass graded Canada C must

  • (a) be the carcass of a mature chicken;
  • (b) have a breast that has sufficient fullness of flesh on both sides of the keel bone to prevent an extremely sharp falling away of flesh from the anterior to the posterior end and the keel bone does not project more than 5 mm beyond the flesh; and
  • (c) have no prominent discolourations exceeding an area of 14.5 cm2 in the aggregate.

(2) A mature chicken carcass must not be graded Canada C if it meets the requirements for the grade Canada A, or the grade Canada Utility.

Schedule 5 - Poultry Carcass Grade Stamps

Outline of a maple leaf with the following text written inside and centered: the word CANADA, and below the letter A, all in uppercase bold font. The text CANADA A is the bilingual grade name of the poultry carcass.

Outline of a maple leaf with the following text written and centered inside: the word CANADA, and below the letter C, all in uppercase bold font. The text CANADA C is the bilingual grade name of the poultry carcass.

Outline of a maple leaf with the following text written and centered inside: the word CANADA, below the word UTILITY, and below the word UTILITÉ, all in uppercase bold font. The text CANADA UTILITY UTILITÉ is the bilingual grade name of the poultry carcass.

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