THE NETHERLANDS, Utrecht. Large poultry slaughterhouses generally comply well with animal welfare and food safety rules. However, there is still room for improvement, especially in the area of hygienic working. This is shown by the compliance monitor for poultry slaughterhouses for the first half of 2018 of the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), which shows how the companies comply with the rules for each slaughterhouse.
In large poultry slaughterhouses, veterinarians of the NVWA continuously monitor the situation. The veterinarians supervise compliance with the rules for food safety and animal welfare and act immediately in the event of violations.
In addition, the NVWA veterinarians regularly carry out random checks to monitor whether the company is complying with the rules properly. The results of these samples are published in the compliance monitor.
The most important indicator for hygienic slaughter is the level of visible contamination on the final product. Compliance is 93% stable. Nevertheless, improvements in the production process are still desirable. It is important that rooms, machines and materials in slaughterhouses are cleaned thoroughly every day. The figures from the compliance monitor show that poultry slaughterhouses do not always succeed in this. Floors and walls are sometimes not cleaned properly and machines and conveyor belts are not always clean either. There is also room for improvement in terms of personal hygiene and the prevention of cross-contamination and condensation.
On average, compliance with animal welfare rules is 90%. Compliance with animal welfare rules for cutting and bleeding has been at a high level since 2015. Compliance has clearly increased during stunning, waiting and movement. Compliance with the rules is lower when animals are fed. This is mainly because a number of farms do not carry out the compulsory welfare check upon arrival of the animals properly.