CHDC Releases Ante-Mortem and Post-Mortem Horsemeat Condemnation Reports for 2015/2016

 

The following documents were received in response to a request made under the Access to Information Act seeking copies of the Red Meat Condemnation Reports for all equines slaughtered at Canadian slaughter plants during 2015 and 2016.

Reports from two federally licensed horse slaughter plants, establishment #506 Bouvry Exports Ltd. and #076 Viande Richelieu Meat Inc. were the only documents sent in response with portions exempted under sections 17, 19(1), 20 (1)(c), and 20 (1)(d) of the Access to Information Act.

The majority of carcasses condemned post-mortem, as entered on the Certificates of Condemnation at both establishments during this period, recorded melanoma as the sole cause.  However many were condemned for multiple reasons, including nephritis, abscessation, peritonitis, pneumonia, emaciation, septicemia, odour, hepatitis and jaundice.

Condemn as defined in Section 3 of Annex F: Disposition for Red Meat Species on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website:

  • “Condemn” means to identify a food animal, its carcass, the parts of its carcass or its blood as inedible following a determination by the CFIA to that effect.

 

 

The following descriptions are of several of the most common conditions diagnosed and recorded in these reports with guidance for their disposition, as taken from Section 5 Summarized list of diseases and conditions of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s Annex F: Disposition for Red Meat Species.  We’ve provided a total number of condemnations by category for each of the two plants for which we received information:

Bouvry
Melanoma  263
Serous Atrophy  48
Peritonitis  6
Bruising  6
Pneumonia  15
Toxemia  1
Multiple causes  65 (includes nephritis, abscessation, peritionitis, pleuritis, emaciation, stealitis, odour)
Neoplasia  1
Pleuritis  1
Septicemia  1
Edema  6
Poly arthritis  1
Arthritis  1
Viande Richelieu
Melanoma  45
Serous Atrophy  12
Multiple  28  (pneumonia, emaciation, atrophy of fat, congestion, pericarditis, jaundice, hepatitis, neoplasm, septicemia, lymphoma, edema, petechia)
Edema  12
Carcinoma  5
Pneumonia  29
Hepatitis  1
Peritonitis  4

9.2 Melanoma

Ante-mortem:

  • Dark pigmented growths
  • Treat as suspect.

Post-mortem:

  • Neoplastic tissue growth(s) dark in colour (tar-like appearance);
  • ulcerative tissue growth(s) dark in colour;
  • palpable changes to tissue structure;
  • metastases to local lymph nodes;
  • metastases to internal organs such as the lungs/liver/spleen;
  • emaciation.

When a lesion is suspect, evaluate associated lymph nodes and internal organs.

  • Condemn the carcass and report as “Melanoma” when the carcass shows:

o    metastasis; or

o    systemic signs;

  • Otherwise, remove and condemn the affected parts/areas.

6.5 Emaciation / Serous Atrophy of Fat

Ante-mortem:

  • Weakness;
  • poor condition;
  • sunken eyes;
  • rough and/or patchy hair coat;
  • prominent bony structures (e.g. spinous processes of the vertebrae, hip bones, ribs, etc.).
  • Condemn severely affected animals.
  • Otherwise, treat as suspect.

Post-mortem:

  • Poor body condition;

o reduction in the size of the organs, particularly the liver, spleen, and muscular tissue, and

o reduction in the amount of fat tissue;

  • serous infiltration and degenerative change to visceral and body fat referred to as “Serous atrophy of fat” or “mucoid degeneration”:

o the remaining fat may have a jelly-like appearance, a viscous feel and a yellow colour;

o this is especially apparent around the base of the heart, around the kidneys and between the spinous processes of the vertebrae;

  • flabby appearance of the muscular tissue;
  • a moist appearance.
  • Condemn the carcass and report as “Emaciation” when all clinical signs mentioned above are found and no other underlying cause can explain the clinical lesions.
  • Pass the carcass when the carcass has a poor body condition without signs of serous atrophy of fat.
  • In some cases, serous atrophy of fat may be present without any of the other signs of emaciation (e.g.carcasses derived from bulls after completion of a heavy service). In such cases, the carcass should be held in the cooler for up to 48 hours before making a final judgment.

o     Pass the carcass if the fat returns to a normal consistency.

o     Otherwise, condemn the carcass and report as “Serous atrophy of fat”.

8.4 Peritonitis

Including “Traumatic reticulitis complex”.

Ante-mortem:

  • Depression or excitation;
  • emaciation;
  • shallow rapid breathing;
  • fever;
  • sunken eyes.
  • Condemn severely affected animals.
  • Otherwise, treat as suspect.

Post-mortem:

  • Hard or fluid pus in the belly;
  • reddening of the surface of the abdominal wall and gastro-intestinal tract surfaces;
  • fibrinous to fibrous adhesions on the abdominal wall and gastro-intestinal tract surfaces;
  • enlargement of lymph nodes associated with the abdomen.
  • Condemn the carcass and report as “peritonitis” when the carcass shows:

o    systemic signs; or

o    acute and extensive lesion(s) (i.e. extensive areas of reddening, exudate, and enlarged lymph nodes).

  • Otherwise, remove and condemn the affected parts (including adhesions).

7.4 Pneumonia

Ante-mortem:

  • Increased respiratory rate and/or effort;
  • fever;
  • emaciation;
  • lethargy.
  • Condemn severely affected animals.
  • Otherwise, treat as suspect.

Post-mortem:

  • lesions in the lungs and associated lymph nodes;
  • pleural lesions including adhesions and abscessation;
  • emaciation;
  • septicemia.
  • Condemn the carcass and report as “Pneumonia” when the carcass shows:

o    systemic signs; or

o    acute and extensive lesion(s) with or without pleuritis.

  • Otherwise, remove and condemn affected parts.

6.12 Septicemia / Toxemia

Ante-mortem:

  • Varying levels of depression and lethargy;
  • fever or hypothermia.
  • Condemn severely affected animals.
  • Otherwise, treat as suspect.

Post-mortem:

  • Multifocal subserous hemorrhages, which often affect several organs (mostly the endocardium and epicardium);
  • submucosal hemorrhages of the trachea;
  • congestion and oedema of various organs, especially those of the lymphatic system (hepatomegaly and splenomegaly are often present);
  • sites of infection of embolic origin in various organs;
  • peripheral vasodilatation.
  • Condemn the carcass and report as “Septicemia/toxemia”.

6.11 Odour

Ante-mortem:

  • Odour related to:

o a diet (i.e. fish, garlic);

o a sexual odour;

o a chemical (e.g. polychlorinated hydrocarbons ),or a medicinal drug (e.g. camphorated products, turpentine); or

o a pathological condition (e.g. abscess, gangrene, clostridial infection, ketosis, etc.).

  • If the odour is related to a pathological condition, refer to relevant pathology and dispose of accordingly.
  • Otherwise, treat as suspect.

Note:
Slaughter of the affected animals may also be delayed if it is believed that such a measure will allow the odour to dissipate.

Post-mortem:

  • Odour, localised or generalized, that may be related to:

o a diet (i.e. fish, garlic);

o a sexual odour (musky odour associated to male carcasses);

o a chemical (e.g. polychlorinated hydrocarbons, ammonia contamination,),or a medicinal drug (e.g.camphorated products, turpentine); or

o a pathological condition (e.g. abscess, gangrene, a clostridial infection, ketosis, etc.).

Unless the origin of the odour can be clearly determined, the following general principles will apply:

  • Any carcass with a lingering odour is unfit for human consumption. The carcass can be held in the cooler for up to 48 hours before making a final judgment and determine if the odour is still present. Carcass should then be evaluated making a deep incision in the musculature, by placing tissue in a sealed plastic bag and placing it into hot water, or any other effective method.

o     Pass the carcass when odour does not persist and cannot be detected.

o     Otherwise, condemn the carcass and report as “Atypical odour”.

Additional or different disposition actions may be implemented when the origin of the odour can be determined:

When it can be determined that the odour is associated to a pathological condition:

  • Refer to the appropriate section for disposition criteria and actions.
  • If guidance allows for removal of affected parts, remaining carcass and parts must no longer carry any lingering odour.
  • In case of ketosis, follow the general principles for odour of an undetermined origin (as mentioned above).

When it can be determined that the odour is associated to chemical or medicinal drugs:

  • For ammonia contamination, the operator will either take measures to mitigate the contamination and return the carcass to an edible status or reject the carcass.
  • For other chemical and medicinal odours, consult section 11.5 on “Injection sites (Injection myositis)” and hold the carcass for chemical/veterinary drug testing as per procedures of Chapter 5 of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures.

o     Should screening/testing turn out to be non-violative or inconclusive but odour still persists after 48 hours after slaughter, condemn the carcass and report as “Atypical odour”.

When it can be determined that the odour is associated to the diet:

  • Pass the carcass. Meat products derived from such affected carcasses need to be in compliance with section 4 and 5 of the Food and Drugs Act.

Note:
This meat will most likely be “inferior” in term of quality. Accordingly, affected carcasses should be used in processed meat products or, alternatively, rejected.

When it can be determined that the odour is associated to a sexual odour:

  • The use of carcasses with sexual odour is at the discretion of the operator. An operator will develop a program to deal with any affected carcass. Meat products derived from such affected carcasses need to be in compliance with section 4 and 5 of the Food and Drugs Act.

The following guiding principles can be used to develop an acceptable program:

o    Affected carcasses and their parts may be chilled for up to 48 hours in an attempt to dissipate the odour. If the odour completely dissipates, carcass and parts can be used without restriction.

o    Affected carcasses and parts with a strong persistent sexual odour are rejected.

o    Carcasses and parts affected to a lesser extent are properly identified, controlled, and treated as required.

  • Affected carcasses and their parts may be sold without other treatment provided that meat products derived from them are adequately described and labelled (e.g. “billy goat roast”, “boar shoulder”). This ensures that buyers are not being misled as to the quality of the product and preparation needed.
  • Alternatively, these meat products can be used in the fabrication of certain prepared meat products where the odour and peculiar taste will no longer be detectable. In this this case a special mention on the label would not be required (e.g. for a pepperoni, the term “goat” could be listed as an ingredient instead of “billy goat”; “pork” instead of “boar”).

o    Usage of quality assessment tools (e.g. using customer tasting boards and sensorial analyses) as well as data demonstrating absence of consumer/trading partner complaint is considered evidence the control program is acceptable.

The complete List of diseases and conditions and Categorization of Diseases and Conditions – ruminants, equine, and swine may be viewed on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One comment

  1. Ane Streeter · ·

    Such unbelievably depressing stats! This business must end – absolutely and quickly!

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