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Hygiene during cutting and boning

Carcases of domestic ungulates (i.e. domestic bovine (including Bubalus and Bison species), porcine, ovine and caprine animals, and domestic solipeds) may be cut into half-carcases or quarters, and half carcases into no more than three wholesale cuts, in slaughterhouses. Further cutting and boning must be carried out in a cutting plant.

The work on meat must be organised in such a way as to prevent or minimise contamination. FBOs must ensure that:

  • (a) meat intended for cutting is brought into the workrooms progressively as needed;
  • (b) during cutting, boning, trimming, slicing, dicing, wrapping and packaging, the meat is maintained at not more than 3 °C for offal and 7 °C for other meat, by means of an ambient temperature of not more than 12 °C or an alternative system having an equivalent effect and
  • (c) where the establishment is approved for the cutting of meat of different animal species, precautions are taken to avoid cross-contamination, where necessary by separation of the operations on the different species in either space or time.

However, meat may be boned and cut before it reaches the temperature referred to in point (b) above in accordance with Chapter VII, point 3 ( Storage and Transport).

Meat may also be boned and cut prior to reaching the temperature referred to in point (b) above when the cutting room is on the same site as the slaughter establishment. In this case, the meat must be transferred to the cutting room either directly from the slaughter establishment or after a waiting period in a chilling or refrigerating room. As soon as it is cut and, where appropriate, packaged, the meat must be chilled to the temperature referred to in point (b) above.