(a) Operations and procedures involving the processing, other handling, or storing of any poultry product must be strictly in accord with clean and sanitary practices and must be conducted in a manner that will result in sanitary processing, proper inspection, and the production of poultry and poultry products that are not adulterated.
(b) Poultry must be slaughtered in accordance with good commercial practices in a manner that will result in thorough bleeding of the carcasses and ensure that breathing has stopped prior to scalding. Blood from the killing operation must be confined to a relatively small area.
(c) When thawing frozen ready-to-cook poultry in water, the establishment must use methods that prevent adulteration of, or net weight gain by, the poultry.
(d) The water used in washing the poultry must be permitted to drain freely from the body cavity.
(e) Detached ova may be collected for human food and handled only in accordance with 9 CFR 590.44 and may leave the establishment only to be moved to an official egg product processing plant for processing. Ova from condemned carcasses must be condemned and treated as required in § 381.95.
(f) Procedures for controlling visible fecal contamination. Official poultry slaughter establishments must develop, implement, and maintain written procedures to ensure that poultry carcasses contaminated with visible fecal material do not enter the chiller. Establishments must incorporate these procedures into their HACCP plans, or sanitation SOPs, or other prerequisite programs.
(g) Procedures for controlling contamination throughout the slaughter and dressing operation. Official poultry slaughter establishments must develop, implement, and maintain written procedures to prevent contamination of carcasses and parts by enteric pathogens and fecal contamination throughout the entire slaughter and dressing operation. Establishments must incorporate these procedures into their HACCP plans, or sanitation SOPs, or other prerequisite programs. At a minimum, these procedures must include sampling and analysis for microbial organisms in accordance with the sampling location and frequency requirements in paragraphs (g)(1) and (2) of this section to monitor their ability to maintain process control.
(1) Sampling locations. Establishments, except for very small establishments operating under Traditional Inspection or very low volume establishments operating under Traditional Inspection must collect and analyze samples for microbial organisms at the pre-chill and post-chill points in the process. Very small establishments operating under Traditional Inspection and very low volume establishments operating under Traditional Inspection must collect and analyze samples for microbial organisms at the post-chill point in the process.
(i) Very small establishments are establishments with fewer than 10 employees or annual sales of less than $2.5 million.
(ii) Very low volume establishments annually slaughter no more than 440,000 chickens, 60,000 turkeys, 60,000 ducks, 60,000 geese, 60,000 guineas, or 60,000 squabs.
(2) Sampling frequency.
(i) Establishments, except for very low volume establishments as defined in paragraph (g)(1)(ii) of this section, must, at a minimum, collect and analyze samples at a frequency proportional to the establishment's volume of production at the following rates:
(A) Chickens. Once per 22,000 carcasses, but a minimum of once during each week of operation.
(B) Turkeys, ducks, geese, guineas, and squabs. Once per 3,000 carcasses, but at a minimum once each week of operation.
(ii) Very low volume establishments as defined in paragraph (g)(1)(ii) of this section must collect and analyze samples at least once during each week of operation starting June 1 of every year. If, after consecutively collecting 13 weekly samples, a very low volume establishment can demonstrate that it is effectively maintaining process control, it may modify its sampling plan.
(iii) Establishments must sample at a frequency that is adequate to monitor their ability to maintain process control for enteric pathogens. Establishments must maintain accurate records of all test results and retain these records as provided in paragraph (h) of this section.
(h) Recordkeeping requirements. Official poultry slaughter establishments must maintain daily records sufficient to document the implementation and monitoring of the procedures required under paragraph (g) of this section. Records required by this section may be maintained on computers if the establishment implements appropriate controls to ensure the integrity of the electronic data. Records required by this section must be maintained for at least one year and must be accessible to FSIS.