Canadian Carcass Poultry Grading Program – Inspection Manual for Graded Poultry
8 Poultry Grading Audit Program

The audit of the poultry grading program's delivery will be conducted at the area by the Area Poultry Grading Specialists, or his delegate, to ensure compliance to the Livestock and Poultry Carcass Grading Regulations, as part of the Compliance Verification System by CFIA (please refer to the Chapter 18 of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures).

National audits will be conducted by the national Poultry Grading Officer, or his delegate, at specific frequencies to ensure national consistency.

8.1 Area Audit Protocol for Federally Registered Establishments

To assess the quality of program delivery as well as the progress in reducing the degree of grade and packaging deviations in Canada grades of chicken, turkey and other poultry, poultry grading program audits will be conducted on all federal establishments under the Canadian Poultry Carcass Grading Program. In evaluating the grading outcome, the audit will also ensure an adequate grading monitoring by the operator.

Although the main thrust of the audit program is to evaluate the application of the Canada A grade standards to chicken and turkey this does not exclude auditors from verifying the interpretation and accuracy of application of the other Canada grade names to chicken, turkey or other kinds of graded poultry.

8.1.1 Number of Area Audits

The minimum number of audits at the area level conducted on federal meat inspected establishments will be related to the establishments' graded volume as illustrated in the following table. The graded volume of each establishment is determined on a weekly basis covering all the Canada grades of chicken, turkey, ducks, geese and other poultry categorized as to large, medium and small as indicated. The number of audits may be increased, based on the Area Poultry Grading Specialist observations and judgements, to ensure adequate grading process control.

Grading Audits per Year and per Establishments
Volume Rating
(Number of graded carcasses per week)
Number of Area Audits
S (less than 30,000 graded carcasses/week) 1
M (30,000 to 75,000 graded carcasses/week) 1
L (75,000 and more graded carcasses/week) 2

8.1.2 Area Audits Procedure

The area poultry program audits will be conducted by the Area Poultry Grading Specialist, or designate at the frequency established. Additional audit may be conducted depending on the operator's compliance.

The area audit team will consist of the following persons:

  • Area Poultry Grading Specialist (or designate);
  • Regional Veterinary Officer (if available);
  • Veterinarian in Charge;
  • Senior inspector of the establishment being audited (if applicable).

Following the evaluation of the graded poultry product, the Area Poultry Grading Specialist or his designate will prepare the audit report in conjunction with other members of the audit team. After completing the audit report and before leaving the establishment, the audit findings will be reviewed with the Veterinarian in Charge and the operator. For federally registered establishments, the audit results are replicated on the CVS Verification Worksheet and Report.

The results of the audit evaluation are to be distributed as follows:

  • Area poultry grading specialist;
  • Veterinarian in Charge of establishment audited;
  • Operator of the establishment been audited.

For details on the Area Audits procedures, please refer to "Poultry Grading Evaluation" section, Section 6 of this Manual.

8.2 Area Audit Protocol for Provincially Registered Establishments

Provincially registered poultry stations will be audited at the area level. Each grading station is to be audited a minimum of once per year. The audit results on the establishment's level of sanitation are categorized in accordance with the non compliance levels as follows:

Audit Compliance Levels in Provincial Establishments
AAA Excellent
AA Good
A Fair
B Critical
C Intensive Inspection
F Fail

Stations rating "A", B, "C" or "F" for sanitation require the preparation of corrective action plans with subsequent follow up visits, from the respective provincial inspection agency, to re evaluate station sanitation as well as preparing a report on the progress in initiating corrective action on deviations identified on the original audit. The follow-up report will be copied to the Area poultry Grading Specialist.

For details on the Area Audits procedures, please refer to "Poultry Grading Evaluation" section, Section 6 of this Manual with the understanding that any reference to the CVS is not applicable.

8.3 National Audits

National audits will be conducted by the National Poultry Grading Officer, or his delegate, accompanied by the Area Poultry Grading Specialist or his designate on one (1) grading establishment per year in each area. For the province of Ontario the audit team will also include a representative from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Meat Inspection Program, and for the province of Alberta a representative from Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency. The national audit will assess the uniformity of the poultry grading delivery.

The selection of the national audited establishment will be determined by the number and degree of non compliances, grade violations, consumer complaints and degree of response by operators in initiating corrective procedures as identified in audit reports and corrective action requests. To avoid additional area audit, the national audit will be performed during the area audit of the selected establishment.

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