Canadian Carcass Poultry Grading Program – Inspection Manual for Graded Poultry
3 Poultry Grading Service

3.1 General

The poultry grading service is an optional service offered to registered establishments. It allows operators to market graded poultry identified in accordance with the grade names and requirements established by the Livestock and Poultry Carcass Grading Regulations.

Under the species Gallus domesticus, only poultry bearing the common names "chicken", "mature chicken", "capon", "Rock Cornish hen", and "old rooster" may be graded. The grading check will be done on fresh poultry when such product is available.

Under the species Meleagris gallopavo, turkeys must bear the common name "young turkey" or "mature turkey" to be graded. Ducks and geese must be identified as "young duck" or "mature duck" and "young goose" or "mature goose" respectively to be eligible for grading.

3.2 Responsibilities of the Operator

In order to facilitate grading, the operator is required to meet the minimum requirements specified by the Livestock and Poultry Carcass Grading Regulations. Therefore, the operator shall:

  • provide adequate facilities to hold and to examine sampled carcasses;
  • supply accredited poultry grading trainers and accredited industry grader for designation;
  • train and accredit the industry grader as per the operator's training program and maintain training records;
  • perform poultry grading monitoring as established by the operator's monitoring program;
  • determine and take the appropriate action in response to the poultry grading monitoring results; and
  • provide weekly poultry grading data on a format and at a frequency predetermined by CFIA (Poultry Grading Report, CFIA/ACIA 1099 Form)

In the process of conducting inspection/audit activities on agricultural product, the Act provides the inspector with the right to request assistance from plant management in performing his/her duties. Assistance should be provided to the inspector particularly where an inspection has been requested for certification or where product is being inspected/audited from storage stocks.

The personnel and plant management of registered poultry stations are obliged to cooperate in correcting grading and packaging as requested or instructed by an inspector.

3.3 Poultry Grading Process Requirements

The requirements pertaining to poultry grading process are listed below.

3.3.1 Evisceration

As defined in the section 2 of the Livestock and Poultry Carcass Grading Regulations, evisceration means to remove from a slaughtered poultry the blood, the feathers, the respiratory, digestive, reproductive and urinary systems, the head, the legs at the hock joints and the oil sac. Eviscerated poultry must comply with the evisceration conditions established for the registered establishment, as defined in the Meat Inspection Regulations or in the legislature of a province that provides for the inspection of poultry carcasses.

3.3.2 Chilling

Following the evisceration of poultry, the internal meat temperature should be reduced and maintained at a temperature of 4°C or lower as quickly as possible prior to grading and packing as fresh poultry. Poultry may also be frozen.

3.3.3 Grading

The grading and grade names applied to eviscerated poultry shall comply with the provisions established under Part VII, Grade Names and Grade Standards for Poultry Carcasses, of the Livestock and Poultry Carcass Grading Regulations.

For further details on poultry grading refer to the section on grade standards and specifications.

3.3.4 Packaging

Individual packaging of poultry shall comply with Section 62 of the Livestock and Poultry Carcass Grading Regulations.

3.3.5 Markings

The marking of poultry is prescribed by sections 63 to 67. For more information on the individual marking requirements for bags, tags, inserts, tickets and containers, refer to the "Packaging and Marking" section of this Manual.

3.3.6 Post-Freezing

The post-freeze condition, as covered by the grade standards, refers to the frozen poultry packaged appearance as it relates to the factors of surface desiccation, discoloration and freezer burn.

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