Broiler Meat Signals: A Practical Guide to Improving Poultry Meat Quality

Broiler Meat Signals: A Practical Guide to Improving Poultry Meat Quality

By Wim Tondeur and Piet Simons

Broiler Meat Signals: A Practical Guide to Improving Poultry Meat Quality PDF. To meet modern consumers standards in broiler meat, all partners in the chain should focus on quality, from the fertilized egg through broiler production and processing to consumption!’

On a global scale, poultry will soon be one of the most important protein source in the human diet. The quality of this meat is essential. The modern consumer is critical and has high standards of expectation. It is a challenge to meet up to these expectations.

Quality day old chicks are the start of quality poultry meat. This is further secured in the process by excellent broiler management. A lot of quality issues in the slaughter house can be traced back to problems in broiler management. Broiler Meat Signals therefore starts with the live animals, following the broiler all the way to becoming a consumer product. The first step in the actual processing of poultry meat is harvesting the birds. The farmer has produced a perfect broiler, it would be a pity if the harvesting would cause bruises and broken legs! The veterinary inspection is an essential part to guarantee food safety. Food safety plays an important role during the whole process. Did you know the metal detector picks up all kinds of strange objects ingested by the live birds: from screwdriver bits to nails and coins! Objects that you wish never ever to find a consumer product. Many checks and balances prevent that abnormalities end up on the consumers’ plate.

In the processing the carcass has to be cooled and stay cool after killing the broilers. The many steps – such as stunning, bleeding, scalding, de-feathering, evisceration, portioning, etc. – result in all kind quality products that leave the plant for direct consumption or further processing. The quality is assessed in each and every step.

Broiler Meat Signals contains practical information about broilers and all further steps in processing. With practical tools and modern insights to guarantee an efficient produced, safe, healthy and tasty product.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 4
Healthy 5
Sustainable 5
The differences between countries 6
Market differences 7
Becoming more specialized and more efficient 8
Meat quality = chain quality 9
Critical check points in the chain 9
Signals concept 10
Aim and target group 11
2. Poultry meat 12
Flavour assessment 12
Influence of age on taste 13
The muscles in a broiler 14
Light and dark meat 15
Rigor mortis 16
Water-holding capacity (WHC) 17
Water-holding capacity and pH 18
Feathers and skin 19
Types of feathers 20
Skin integrity 21
The colour of broiler meat 22
Bone development 23
Weight ratios 25
Cutting up the chicken 26
Broiler by-products 28
Slaughter age 29
Consumer perception 30
Antibiotic use 31
Should you use antibiotics and what type? 32
Food safety 33
3. The broiler farm 34
Fast-growing varieties 35
Slow-growing varieties 35
Hatching requires expertise 36
Hatching egg, hatching process and the
first 10 days 37
Abnormalities that indicate
hatching problems 37
Litter and meat quality 38
Occurrence of footpad dermatitis 39
Assessing footpads 40
Occurrence of hock burn 41
Occurrence of skin lesions 42
Skin inflammation and
subcutaneous inflammations 43
Assessing skin inflammations 44
Mesh floor systems 45
Husbandry concepts 46
Nutrition and meat quality 47
Leaky gut 48
Oxidative stress 48
Prevent contamination 49
Campylobacter 50
Anti Campylobacter measures 51
Salmonella 52
Monitoring Salmonella 53
4. Loading and transport 54
Feed withdrawal 55
Natural eating cycle 56
Feed withheld too long 57
Schedule from start of feed withdrawal
to actual slaughter 58
Points of interest for loading 58
The loading process 59
Thinning 60
Catching under blue light 61
Expert catch team 62
Calm catchers 62
The ‘dos and don’ts’ when catching 63
Hand-catching methods 64
Crates/containers 65
Stocking density per crate 66
Large capacity containers 67
Mechanical catching 68
Catching injuries 69
Causes of injuries 70
Transport 71
The driver’s role 72
Mortalities during transport 73
Heat stress and meat quality 74
Microclimate in the truck 75
Extreme conditions 76
Journey duration 77
Welfare index for broiler transport 77
5. Stunning and bleeding 78
Lairage time 78
Checking the birds on arrival 79
The slaughter process 80
Stunning 81
Shackling prior to stunning 82
On the way to the electric water bath 83
ln the electric water bath 84
Bleeding and electric stunning 86
Assessing the effect of water bath stunning 87
Controlled Atmosphere Stunning (CAS) 88
Stunning gases 89
Shackling stunned birds 90
Stragglers 91
DOA or stunned? 92
Neck cutting 93
Killing without stunning 95
Bleeding 97
The head puller 97
6. Scalding, plucking, evisceration 98
Low or high-temperature scalding 99
Scalding temperature 100
Hot air scalding 101
Extra checks 101
Plucking 102
Replacing a plucking finger 104
Plucking results 105
Plucking damage 107
Assessing skin ruptures 108
Assessing skin scratches 109
Assessing skin colour 109
Removing the feet 110
Primary processing line 111
Post mortem inspection 112
Role of the inspectors 113
Inspection platforms 114
Proper assessment 115
Line speed 116
Rejections 117
Organ harvesting 118
Edible or inedible by-products 119
Crop drill 120
Inside-outside washer 121
7. Abnormalities 122
Carcass quality 123
Breast haematomas 124
Thigh or hip haematomas 125
Drum haematomas 126
Wing haematomas 127
Blood spots 128
Pop-out 129
Fractures 130
Not bled, or not well enough 132
Ascites (waterbelly) 133
Polyserositis 134
Liver abnormalities 136
Cachexia 137
Muscle disorders (myopathies) 138
Muscle abnormalities are already
determined during incubation 139
White stripes (White striping, WS) 140
Wooden breast, woody meat (WB, WM) 141
Spaghetti meat 142
Green muscle disease (GMD) 143
Muscle abnormality in the large
back muscles (Dorsal Myopathy, DMP) 144
BCO (Bacterial Chondronecrosis with
Osteomyelitis) 145
BBS (Black bone syndrome) 147
TD (Tibial dyschondroplasia) 148
Miscellaneous leg abnormalities 149
8. Chilling and cutting up 152
Chilling 152
Air chilling 154
Spin chiller 155
After chilling 156
Grading 157
Further cutting up 158
Front half, back half 159
Front half and breast cap 159
Sternum (keel bone) 160
Fillet 160
Deboning legs 162
Preservation of poultry meat 163
Chilling/refrigeration 163
Freezing 164
Heating 165
Curing 166
Further processing 167
Battering and breading 168
Frying and cooking 171
High risk area 172
Packaging 173
Drip loss 174
Tracking and tracing 175
9. Health and safety 176
Hygiene and safety 176
Foreign material in the product 177
Biosecurity 180
Personal hygiene 181
Hand washing facilities 182
Clothing 183
Healthy employees 184
Working conditions 185
Working hygienically 186
Contamination sources 187
Cleaning 188
Floors, walls and equipment 189
Cleaning the shackles 189
Pests 190
Index 191

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