Qualitative risk assessment to support a policy decision on partially eviscerated (effilé) poultry production

James, Christian and Daramola, Bukola and Dudkiewicz, Agnieszka and Purnell, Graham (2014) Qualitative risk assessment to support a policy decision on partially eviscerated (effilé) poultry production. Project Report. Food Standards Agency, London, UK.

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Partially-eviscerated (also described as effilé, effileé, roped, partly eviscerated, partially drawn, wire drawn or Boston drawn) poultry are produced by removing the intestines from the poultry carcass but leaving the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, crop, proventriculus and gizzard inside the body cavity (as defined in Regulation (EC) 543/2008). Regulation (EC) 853/2004 allows production of partially-eviscerated poultry, provided it is authorised by the competent authority.
The overall aim of this project was to carry out a risk assessment of partially-eviscerated (effilé) poultry production (poultry with the heart, liver, kidneys, crop, proventriculus and gizzard left inside the body cavity) with a view to considering whether the risks of partially-eviscerated poultry production can be managed to an acceptable level such that the practice could be authorised in the UK.
To achieve this aim the project had four Objectives: Objective 1, an initial risk assessment of the public health implications of allowing partially-eviscerated birds into the food chain together with a review of all relevant and appropriate literature/company information relating to the control of partially-eviscerated poultry production; Objective 2, an industrial survey of current production of partially-eviscerated poultry; Objective 3, a series of short practical evaluations of any processes where further data was required; Objective 4, a full analysis of all the data and findings of Objectives 1 to 3 and the production of the final project report.
The literature review found that documentation on the production of partially-eviscerated poultry was scarce and not comprehensive. However, it highlighted the important points for risk assessment and identified a reason for the development of partial-evisceration processing, i.e. the prevention of “greening” during storage due to the removal of the intestines.
The review of current post-mortem inspection of poultry concluded that of the twenty one conditions that are currently looked for during post-mortem inspection of poultry, the majority of these conditions do not pose a risk to public health. Seven conditions were considered to be of concern to public health (Ascites/oedema, Cellulitis, Contamination, Hepatitis, Pericarditis, Perihepatitis/peritonitis, Respiratory disease (airsacculitis)). It was concluded that only four of those seven conditions (hepatitis, pericarditis, perihepatitis/peritonitis, and respiratory disease (air sacculitis)) may not be identified during post-mortem inspection of partially-eviscerated poultry. Their public health significance was considered to be as indicators of the presence of enteric microbial pathogens rather than any inherent pathology of the conditions. Data on condemnations show that the rates of condemnations for these conditions are very low. In addition, these conditions should be clearly identifiable by the end user of the poultry during preparation of the carcass for cooking. Therefore, in our opinion, it is unlikely that the consumer would ingest such infected viscera.
Four French plants and two UK plants were visited during the industrial survey. Although there was a commonality in the practices employed at all of the plants, differences were found between the plants, particularly in the specific method used to remove the intestines from the carcasses in order to produce the product. Four main methods have been identified that can be used to partially eviscerate poultry, three are manual, one is mechanical. The only UK plant currently producing partially-eviscerated poultry, skinned the whole carcass with its feathers on.
Partially-eviscerated (effilé) poultry report 3 of 166
Due to the lack of data on the microbiological quality of partially-eviscerated poultry a series of short targeted experimental evaluations were carried out to: (1) investigate the difference in chilling time between partially-eviscerated and eviscerated broiler carcasses; (2) investigate any difference between the growth of microorganisms on partially-eviscerated and eviscerated broiler carcasses during chilled storage; (3) investigate the growth of microorganisms in the organs of partially-eviscerated broiler carcasses during chilled storage. These studies showed: (1) due to the presence of warm internal organs partially-eviscerated poultry carcasses are warmer than eviscerated carcasses at the start of chilling and the rate of cooling of partially-eviscerated poultry carcasses is slower than that of similar eviscerated carcasses; (2) there was no significant difference between the microbiological quality of partially-eviscerated and eviscerated broiler carcasses after chilling and during chilled storage; (3) ACC, Pseudomonas, Enterobacteriaceae, coliform and Escherichia coli counts were all shown to be capable of increasing in/on the heart, crop, feet, gizzard, cavity, skin and liver of partially-eviscerated broiler carcasses after chilling and during chilled storage.
A critical review of all available relevant and appropriate literature and data was carried out, supplemented by a survey of current industrial practice and a practical evaluation of processes, to form a risk assessment of the public health implications of allowing partially-eviscerated birds into the food chain. This risk assessment considered:
1. What abnormalities may not be identified in partially-eviscerated poultry production when compared to traditional poultry production;
2. Whether the risk of zoonotic pathogens are any greater for partially-eviscerated poultry production when compared to traditional poultry production;
3. The aetiology of those conditions;
4. The public health implications of those conditions and of allowing partially-eviscerated poultry into the food supply.

Keywords:effile poultry, partially eviscerated, giblets, risk assessment, policy decision, poultry production, microbial pathogens
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D323 Animal Pathology
C Biological Sciences > C500 Microbiology
Divisions:College of Science
ID Code:15556
Deposited On:20 Oct 2014 16:27

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