Hygiene during and after cutting and boning

Food business operators must ensure that cutting and boning of meat of poultry and lagomorphs (rabbits) takes place in accordance with the following requirements:

The work on meat must be organised in such a way as to prevent or minimise contamination. To this end, food business operators must ensure in particular that:

  • meat intended for cutting is brought into the workrooms progressively as needed;
  • during cutting, boning, trimming, slicing, dicing, wrapping and packaging, the temperature of the meat is maintained at not more than 4 °C by means of an ambient temperature of 12 °C or an alternative system having an equivalent effect; and
  • where the premises are 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 prior to reaching the temperature referred above when the cutting room is on the same site as the slaughter premises, provided that it is transferred to the cutting room either:

  • directly from the slaughter premises; 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 to referred above.

Exposed meat must be stored and transported separately from packaged meat, unless stored or transported at different times or in such a way that the packaging material and the manner of storage or transport cannot be a source of contamination for the meat.

Last reviewed: 13/3/2009

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