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Meat hygiene and public health, abattoir hygiene.

The term meat hygiene is used to denote a wider field than meat inspection.

The consumer expects his meat to be derived from animals that are healthy at the time of
slaughter, to be slaughtered in a humane method and the handling of meat and meat
products in a hygienic manner.

The subject deals with the care and transport of dressed carcasses from the
slaughterhouse to the wholesale market and then to the consumer in addition to the Meat
Inspectioncarried out in the methodical way within the slaughterhouse.

In contrast to the olden day practice, meat is sold not only as fresh meat but also as
preserved and prepared forms such as chilled, frozen, canned, smoked meats, sausage,
ham-burger, etc.

Meat hygiene is not luxury, it starts at the site of production and ends at the table of the
consumer i.e., from farm to fork.

The consumer as a member of the modern society is entitled for the supply of wholesome
meat obtained after paying due regard to all recognized principles of meat hygiene.

These principles should be uniform throughout the country to have the total confidence of
the consumers.


Duties and Responsibilities of the meat hygienists are as follows

o To pay particular attention to ensure quality, wholesome, hygienic and safe meat
o To see that there is no adulteration of the meat during the handling and processing
with truthful labelling and transportation.

o To identify and eliminate carcasses affected with zoonotic diseases from food
o It is also important to identify certain carcasses during ante-mortem examination
where antemortem manifestations of certain diseases are more pathognomonic
than that of postmortem findings like Anthrax, Rabies, Locked jaw, etc.,
o It is also not uncommon for a meat inspector to identify certain diseases for the
first time in the lairage and thereto tracing back the disease at the site of
production where proper prophylactic measures could be advocated.

Meat hygiene programme has a multi dimensional approach dealing with farmers,
traders, handlers, processors and finally consumers. In some way it covers academicians
and policy makers to have better distinction on public health improvement programmes.

The production of sound, vigorous livestock and poultry in an economic manner.

Thoughtful attention for the supply of safe and wholesome meat i.e., the food should be
produced in clean environment and free from contamination.

Protection against economic frauds such as adulteration, inaccurate labeling or


The maintenance of good health of the public is entrusted to the meat hygienist and he
must maintain and safeguard the trust and confidence of the public as well as the trade.

Meat hygiene protects the meat supply and safeguards the Nations Livestock economy.


Antemortem inspection.

Post-mortem inspection.



Condemnation and destruction of unfit materials.

Adulteration prevention of adulteration and fraudulent practices.

Misrepresentation prevention of false labeling.


Meat inspection may be defined as expert supervision of all meat products with the object
of providing wholesome meat for human consumption and preventing danger to public.

One of the aspects of meat inspection is examination of the live animals on entry to the
slaughterhouse known as ante-mortem inspection.

This is an important inspection as it can represent at least 50% of meat inspection, for it is
an adequate inspection of carcasses or meat, and makes the post-mortem examination
much more efficient and less laborious.

This is done in the pens and alleys (lairage) of the official establishments or in large
slaughtering centers in the public stockyards.

A proper meat inspection service consists of a veterinary examination of the carcass and
offal and where necessary, laboratory tests (pathological, microbiological and chemical)
of body tissues and fluids.


Ante-mortem inspection is defined as the inspection of live animals done in the lairage
within 24 hours prior to slaughter by a qualified Veterinarian to produce wholesome


For the immediate detection and isolation of animals affected with infective diseases such
as Food and Mouth Disease, Black quarter, Rinderpest, Hemorrhagic Septicemia,
Contagious Bovine Pleura Pneumonia.

To prevent the infection of those engaged in slaughter with diseases contagious to man
such as anthrax, rabies, ganders, etc.

For the detection of intoxications and infective diseases in which viscera and flesh shown
only slight changes, e.g. tetanus. In order to simplify and render more easy the
examination after slaughter.

Where any system of insurance exists, to detect those which are evidently or presumably
diseased so that they may be excluded from insurance.

To defer the slaughter of the animals which are exhausted or overheated through

Ante-mortem Inspection facilitates Postmortem Inspection for e.g.FMD and Nervous


To prevent inhumane handling of livestock.

To help in export trade of meat.

To produce wholesome meat to the consumer.

Ante-mortem inspection is of special importance in the handling and examination of

casualty and emergency slaughter stock.


Adequate identification of the live animal is a legal requirement and is essential for farm
use for accurate disease information and for identifying the carcass after slaughter for
proper payment to the producers for the correct carcass, etc.

Among the many recommendations is the need for care in the marking of animals, and
the avoidance of unnecessary pain and distress.

Many different forms of identification exist including metal, plastic or nylon ear tags; ear
tattoos; neck, tail and leg brands; freeze brands; and marking aerosols and paints for
cattle, some of which are also use for sheep and pigs.

Now-a-days electronic identification and temperature monitoring of animals for the

purpose of herd management and disease control through improved trace-back are also in

The system combines a substantially implanted transponder having a temperature

measuring capability, several digits of identification, an interrogator receiver and a data-

logging device and will eventually be linked with a computer to handle the large volumes
of information.

Animals that are designated for slaughter must be accompanied by adequate

documentation, which along with individual identification, is utilized in the elaboration
of the slaughter programme.

Ante-mortem facilities must also include properly designed and well-lighted large pens,
which must possess an isolation pen and a crush for examination of individual animals.

Assistant staff, competent in the handling of livestock, is also necessary components of

an efficient veterinary ante-mortem service.


Livestock should be inspected while at rest and in motion.

In case of sick or diseased animals and those in poor conditions, the species, class, age,
condition, colour and marking are recorded.

Special attention must be paid to casualty and emergency slaughter, none of which should
escape ante-mortem.

The general behavior of the animals, their level of nutrition, cleanliness obvious signs of
disease and any abnormalities should be observed.

In addition to the segregation of diseased and suspected stock, females in estrus,

aggressive animals and horned and polled stock should be isolated.

An effective reporting system should operate from the ante-mortem area giving details of
normal stock released for slaughter as well as those affected with a localized condition or
one not advanced enough to render them unfit for slaughter.

Animals showing signs of systematic disturbance and an elevated temperature should not
be slaughtered but retained for treatment preferably outside the meat plant.

The immediate purpose of ante-mortem inspection is to separate normal and abnormal


Normal animals are sent forward for slaughter, abnormal animals being classified as
either unfit for slaughter or affected with a localized condition or one which will show
post-mortem lesions.

Stock unfit for slaughter

These includes emaciated animals, those affected with certain diseases, such as tetanus or
a communicable disease, e.g. rabies and those know to be carrying toxic residues,
although these may be held until the residues are excreted.

Localized conditions

Animals showing evidence of localized condition such as injuries, fractures, abscesses

benign tumors (e.g. papillomata) or condition which will show up lesions on post-mortem
inspection need to be segregated and given a detailed examination such animals are
passed forward for slaughter as part of the regular kill if the condition proves to be a
minor one or slaughtered separately and given a through post-mortem examination.


Suspect animals sent for slaughter must be clearly marked and accompanied by a full
veterinary report not only for the information of the meat inspection staff but also to
inform operatives in lairage and slaughter line of the existence of any communicable

Ante-mortem signs, post-mortem findings and the results of any laboratory tests are all
considered in making final judgment on the carcass and offal.

Recumbent animals should be given special attention, the nature and extent of the disease
involved will determine subsequent, action i.e. immediate condemnation, passing for
immediate slaughter or holding for further examination.

In the handling slaughter and carcass dressing of animals, which may represent a source
of infection to plant, staff should be handled with the greatest care.

Such animals should be handled separately from normal stock; staff should wash hands
and arms frequently; avoid cuts and contaminating of the eyes with body fluids, etc.


Those classified as "condemned" e.g. animals affected with tetanus and moribund"
cases, should be identified with a "condemned" tag, and consigned to the inedible by-

products department, a detailed post-mortem examination if necessary, being carried out

before hand.

On occasions, dead animals will be countered during ante-mortem inspection.

Anthrax must be borne in mind, a blood smear taken, stained with anthrax is polychrome
ethylene blue and examined for B. anthracis.

When Anthrax is eliminated, hypo-magnesium tetany to be considered in cows in good

condition held over night in wintertime.

Observation of dead animals the nature and color of blood from the natural orifices is of
great value in determining Anthrax or otherwise the blood is dark and tarry in case of
Anthrax if it is light red & thin in nature it in unlikely to be Anthrax.

The onus on the Veterinary Surgeon is to obtain a blood smear at the outset.

The importance of ante-mortem inspection (AM) may well be further emphasized in the
future by the institution of pre-slaughter tests, e.g. the use of a modified enzyme - labeled
antibody (ELA) test in the detection of certain parasitic on other latent conditions.

Such procedures would change the nature of current post-mortem examination


The importance of ante-mortem inspection (AM) will be emphasized by the institution of

pre-slaughter tests, e.g. the use of a modified enzyme - labeled antibody (ELA) test in the
detection of certain parasitic on other latent conditions.

Such procedures would change the nature of current post-mortem examination



S. Condition




Anthrax: Forage Fever, boldly diarrhea and U, D.

red dark blood discharge

from natural orifices


Lumpy jaw a chronic CU

granulomatous disease




Wooden tongue fibrous CU

tissue causing enlargement
and hardening of tongue



Black Quarter

Severe inflammation of U.
crepitating swelling on
shoulder, neck, breast, loins
or thigh.


Foot and Mouth Dullness,




Stiffness of neck, inco- U.

ordinated movement of
limbs, paralysis of muscles
of jaws and pharynx



neurological disorders



Severe diarrhea with foul U

smell, many contain blood,
fever, loss of appetite,
dullness, dehydration

depressed U

of U.

P. S.



10. Selenium

Acute septicaemia, skin CU

lesions, chronic arthritis and
vegetative endocarditis

Peeling of skin



P. S.

11. Swine
fever Acute highly contagious U
(Hog cholera)
disease septicaemia in the

12. Tetanus

Acute highly fatal infective U, D.

disease characterized by
spasmodic contraction of
voluntary muscles especially
causing lock jaw condition

13. Tuberculosis

Chronic inflammation of Generalised

of - U

14. White Scour in Large abscess in the CU

umbilicus which becomes
hard and swollen


U - Unfit for slaughter

P - Postpone slaughter and treat



S - Handle as suspect

D - Destroy and dispose

CU - Conditionally Unfit


Post-mortem inspection is defined as examination of dressed carcass, their organs including

blood immediately after slaughter to produce wholesome meat, in a hygienic manner under
adequate amount of light by a qualified meat inspector.
Points do be followed while conducting post-mortem

Slaughtering is limited to certain specified hours, which will be convenient to the

Inspector, butcher and purchasing public.

There should be sufficient time and light for inspection after slaughter.

Slaughtering should be done as far as possible in the presence of the Inspector by any of
the popular methods.

The animal is bled, skinned (the preliminary portion only done in cattle), the feet
removed, the carcass is hauled up, off the ground and further skinning carried out

The abdomen is then incised and the abdominal organs allowed falling in front for the
Inspector to inspect them.

The organs are then received into a handcart and wheeled to a little distance on one side.

Uniform procedure to be followed. The outline of the total procedure should be drawn
and should be followed step by step.

Never skip any step.

Record the age, sex, and give a number to the animal (Carcass).

While inspecting an organ, always look for the associated lymph nodes and look for

Post-mortem inspection is the examination of the carcass after dressing is completed and
done as early as possible.

If the examination is delayed, particularly in beef and pork carcasses, which set rapidly
the examination of the carcass lymph nodes is more difficult.

The main purpose of post-mortem examination is to detect and eliminate abnormalities,

including contamination, thus ensuring that only meat fit for human consumption is
passed for food.

The other subsidiary important aspects are checking the efficiency of slaughter and
carcass dressing techniques and diagnosis of disease conditions for disease control

Many abnormalities, which may not be evident on ante-mortem examination affecting the
animals, may be detected at post-mortem inspection.


Each inspection point should have well distributed lighting, which does not distort
colours and at least 540-lux units (50-foot candles) in intensity.

In addition to the above, the major facilities like structural and mechanical facilities,
which provide for good working conditions to enable carcasses and their parts to be
delivered for inspection in a satisfactory manner.

There must be one or more hand-washing units (lavotories) with a supply of hot and cold
running water, a mixing faucet, liquid soap and towels or roller toweling.

Sterilizers for the complete immersion of knives, saws, cleavers, etc., are essential.

These requirements must extend to the routine inspection points on the slaughter line and
to the "detained" areas where further detailed examination is performed.

It is important that there should be coordination between inspection points and that those
on the slaughter line be grouped to allow for correct identification of carcasses and
viscera and recording of disease data.


Post-mortem inspection of a beef carcass and its organs should proceed in the following order,
which should always be adhered to:

The outer surfaces and eyes are to be examined initially. The gums, lips and tongue for
foot and mouth disease, necrotic and other forms of stomatitis, actinomycosis and
actinobacillosis are to be inspected. The tongue is palpated from dorsum to tip. Incisions
of internal and external masticatory muscles for cysticercus-bovis are made parallel to the
lower jaw.

Retropharyngeal, submaxillary and parotid lymph nodes are incised for T.B. lesions.
Roaring in cattle is associated with enlargement of retropharyngeal lymph nodes and
about 50 per cent roaring is due to T.B. or encapsulated abscesses. The tonsils of cattle
and pigs frequently harbour T.B. bacilli and should always be examined and removed as
unfit for food, even though apparently normal.

In young unthrifty cattle showing symptoms of cerebral disturbances or incoordination of

movements, the brain should be exposed and search made for tuberculous meningitis, for
evidence of tubercles in the brain substance or T.B. of the spinal cord.


The bronchial and mediastinal lymph nodes are to be incised for T.B. and the lungs
substances should be exposed by a deep long incision from the base to the apex of each
lung. If there is an adhesion in the chest cavity it indicates some form of lung or
peritoneal disease. If the lung tissue is of a grayish or yellowish appearance and in masses
or nodules it indicates tuberculosis.

A healthy lymphatic gland is of a pale brown colour throughout and tuberculosis lymph
glands contain small white nodules and or a semisolid cheese like grayish white or
yellowish mass.

Visual examination followed by palpation should be carried out for pleurisy, pneumonia,
tuberculosis, fascioliasis, hydatid cysts, etc.


Pericardium should be examined for traumatic or T.B. pericarditis.

While incising the heart ventricles attention is to be paid to petechial haemorrhages on

the epicardium or endocardium or for cysticerci or hydatid cysts in the myocardium is
often associated with septic conditions in the cattle.


A visual examination is to be made for fatty changes due to actinobacillosis, abscesses

and parasitic infections such as hydatid cysts, Cysticercus bovis, fascioliasis and the
larval stages of oesophagostomum.

A routine incision should be made in the thin left lobe for fascioliasis. The portal lymph
nodes should be incised.

Stomach and intestines

The serous membranes of these organs may show evidence of T.B. or Actinobacillosis.

Anterior aspect of reticulum may show evidence of penetration by a foreign body.

Mesenteric lymph nodes should be incised for T.B. (or Linguatulae nodules).


The surface and substances should be examined for T.B, anthrax, heamotomata or the
presence of infarcts.


Has to be opened and examined for septic conditions, evidence of pregnancy or of recent
parturition in a well bled and well-set carcass are of no significance.


Should be carefully examined by multiple deep incisions about 2 inches apart, for
mastitis or abscesses, supramammary lymph nodes even in dry cow should be incised for
evidence of T.B.



The carcass is examined externally for bruising on injuries especially to the angle of the
paunch and of the pelvic cavity.

Inspection of thoracic and abdominal cavities should be made for inflammation,

abscesses and T.B. Diaphragm may be lifted and the T.B. lesion may be hidden between
the diaphragm and thoracic wall.

Cut surface of the carcass bones should be examined. Kidneys loosened and visually
inspected and the renal lymph nodes incised.

If the above routine examination reveals no abnormality the carcass may be passed for

When a disease or other abnormal condition is found during the routine postmortem
examination the carcass and its parts are retained for a final examination which is more
extensive then would otherwise be given to the carcass.

In those cases where the abnormal condition is benign and localized the inspector
disposed off the localized condition summarily.

If no other abnormal condition is found during the inspection the normal portion of the
carcass and its parts are passed for food without requiring it to be retained for final

Carcasses, parts of carcasses and accompanying viscera, are found to be unfit for food are
condemned by inspector and placed in condemned meat room to be properly disposed off
under his own supervision.

Where T.B. has been found on routine examination it is customary to in incise the
following carcass lymph nodes; prepectoral, nodes of upper and lower thoracic wall,
prescapular, lumbar, precrural, external and internal iliacs, superficial inguinal and the

Inspection of the mesenteric lymph nodes by making longitudinal incisions through them
for Tuberculosis especially and also for the general conditions of the lymph nodes of the


A rapid examination is made of the head, lungs, heart, liver, spleen, stomach and
intestines, (Uterus and Udder) if stamped healthy.

These organs are wheeled off in a tray for the preparation of tripe etc. If there is an
evidence of Tuberculosis or some other affection, the abdominal content or contents are
marked for destruction.


Post-mortem inspection of calves

The detailed examination of lymph nodes of the head is not warranted; but a visual
examination of the mouth and tongue should be made for Foot and Mouth disease and
calf diphtheria.

The abomasums has to be examined for peptic ulcers and the small intestines for
evidence of dysentery and white scour in.

The portal lymph nodes have to be examined for evidence of congenital Tuberculosis.

The umbilicus and joints are to be looked for evidence of septic omphalophlebitis.

The lungs, kidney and spinal cord are to be examined for melanotic deposits.

Post-mortem inspection of sheep and goats

These require a less detailed inspection than calves and pigs.

Examination for satisfactory bleeding and setting the carcasses of sheep and goats.

The lungs are examined for parasitic infections especially hydatid cysts or nematodes, the
liver for fascioliasis and the knee and stifle joints for arthritis.

Fractured ribs and septic pleurisy may often be encountered.

For accurate identification of carcasses and their relative organs and to provide reliable
information for any subsequent examination on the "detained" line synchronization of
conveyorised lines carrying carcasses and offals is absolutely necessary.

Systems for recording disease data vary according to the particular operation and the type
and rate of slaughter.

While there is ample time to make good records on re-inspection, this is not the case for
rail inspection especially in plants with large throughputs, where a form of auto link with
a central recording office would seems to be the best system.

Post-mortem inspection of pigs

Pig carcasses are examined as that for cattle.

The skin has to be examined for swine erysipelas, swine fever, urticaria and for shotty

The tail has to be examined necrosis, the feet for abscess formation and the udder for
mastitis or actinomycosis.

The viscera has to be examined as for cattle and particular attention to be made to
pneumonia and secondary complications that develop in virus pneumonia, mainly
pleurisy, pericarditis and peritonitis.

The submaxillary, bronchial and mesenteric lymph nodes have to be inspected for T.B.
Abscess in the submaxillary lymph caused by passage of sharp foreign bodies through the
wall of the pharynx.

Liver is incised in case of cirrhosis and portal lymph nodes as a routine procedure. The
kidney surface should be examined.



Slaughter of food animals is done either in public slaughterhouses called Abattoirs,

usually the property of local government authorities or in private slaughterhouses owned
by individual or retail butchers.

The latter must be registered and should hold a license.


There are 3600 registered slaughterhouses in India besides, a number of slaughter booths
where mostly clandestine slaughter takes place.

Most of the slaughterhouses are lack in proper facilities of lairage, inspection, water,
light, electricity, collection of edible and inedible offal and disposal of slaughter effluents.

Mostly they are very old and dilapidated due to lack of planning and funds as the
planners fail to understand the necessity of slaughterhouses over the public health and
meat consumption.

The expenditure involved may be low in comparison with the advantages, which could
accrue in construction of slaughterhouses. The person involved in the slaughter process
are ill trained and often go with the practices not at all encouraging for hygienic and
wholesome meat production.

There are no proper avenues in the slaughterhouses to utilize the slaughterhouse

byproducts, In some places - the heads, feet and other offal are given to poor women in
return for help during slaughtering by flaying, washing and doing similar types of work,
who often succumb to number of health hazards.

The elements of meat hygiene were seldomly be practiced, bad habits and unhygienic
meat handling practices, such as the chopping up or soaking of meat in water before sale
are in vogue.

No restriction in the movement of unauthorized persons and entry of the stray dogs at the
site of slaughter in the abattoirs.


The butchers, livestock, meat and hide traders generally are not ready to accept for any
improvement in relation to slaughter process, slaughterhouse and related matters.

They constitute a conservative hostile group to anything new which they consider to be a
nuisance. They also intended to think that such tightening control over their industry
may check their income or increase their losses if they accept centralized slaughter and to
work according to strict hygienic measures.

In such conditions new slaughterhouses and a tightening up of hygienic control may be



Construction of modern, improved slaughterhouses with facilities of all the elements of

hygienic slaughter.

Butchers and consumers have to be educated to the idea of proper standards set up for
their benefit.

An appreciation of hygiene and civil consciousness have to be developed to encourage

healthy meat trade and discourage clandestine slaughter in the wake of little legislation.

Licences have to be enforced in regard to slaughter and other related factors with
enforcement of illegal entry of unauthorised persons within the slaughter premises.

Proper disposal of slaughterhouse effluents and use of byproducts must be ensured.

The transportation of meat with adequate health coverage should be done for possible
contamination or infestation of the meat.

Entry of stray dogs / birds to the site of slaughter must be restricted.

Personnel hygiene of the butchers, cleanliness of the appliances, knives and use of
phytochemicals must be ensured to uplift total hygienic standard of the concerned area
and persons.

Improved abattoirs, staffed by skilled personnel, may lead to loss of employment by the
groups of slaughterers, assistant slaughterers and sub-assistant slaughterers who carry out
the actual slaughtering operations for the owner of the animals or for the butcher - for
many butchers do not themselves perform this work.

The co-operation of the local authorities required to effect changes from obsolete to
improved slaughtering system have to be ensured.

The advantages that is achieved through changes have to be demonstrated periodically to

the butchers, consumers and stakeholders in terms their respective profits.


Centralised slaughter is helpful for achieving hygienic wholesome meat with less
environmental pollution and with optimum collection of byproducts.

Better and efficient antemortem inspection and postmortem examination can

be performed.

Slaughtering and dressing of animals is performed under sanitary conditions.

Identification of diseases of zoonotic importance.

Prevention of fraudulent substitution.

Implementation of slaughter operation procedures, rules, regulations and acts will be


Meat of assured wholesomeness only will be made available for public consumption.

Ensures economic handling of the by-products including hides, offals, glands, blood and
condemned material leading to reduction on overheads on buildings, equipment and


To ascertain the ultimate maximum daily kill of each class of animal

Proposal for proper disposal and treatment of the edible and inedible by-products.

The actual system of operation - be determined, bearing in mind the local conditions.

To decide whether it is a complete meat plant including full processing operations in one
or more floors or an abattoir adapted solely for slaughter and dressing.

The factory abattoir requires regular full-time skilled slaughtermen to deal with all kinds
of livestock.

The abattoir should be constructed considering the livestock population, type of

livestock, marketing facilities and socio-economic conditions of the local area.


The essential considerations to be borne in mind while selecting a site for the
construction of a slaughterhouse are
o Available of sufficient land for expansion
o Accessibility by road and rail transport
o Water facility
o Supply of electricity and
o Facility for sewage disposal

o Proximity for supply of labour

o Proximity to regular supply of resource animals
o Social and religious background of the local habitants

EA - considers the outputs to the environment, during the construction phase and from
the plant in normal operation but. In the case of meat plant the following are considered
o Effect of increased traffic movements in the locality
o Noise and dust during construction phase
o Operational noise
o Odour
o Emission of combustion gases
o Waste water disposal.
o EA must be carried out before commissioning the project


Used in determining the suitability or otherwise of the proposed plant in the particular

Planning authorities will often require the production of an ES.

A substantial document to be accompanied by a non-technical summary for use by


Available to all interested parties.

Used by the planning authority in determining a planning application and by review

bodies in the event of any appeal or public enquiry.

The elements of ES

Justification of the need for the development.

Description of site and processes. Identification of outputs to the environment.

Report of established baseline data (ambient air quality levels, traffic flows, etc.).

Anticipated environment impacts at both construction and operational stages.

Proposed measures to mitigate impacts.


Two sets of drawings and four sets of specifications submitted to responsible authority
for approval.

The specifications must include

details of proposed throughput and capacity,

number of employees - category wise

building construction,

water supply,

refrigeration capacity,



equipment and operations,

details for pest control - fly screening,

the methods to be used for steam and vapour removal - proposed flow lines for product,
equipment, personnel and packaging.

Guidance notes for prospective applicants and their consulting architects and engineers are
normally available from government departments and these should be carefully studied
The site plan (scale 1:500)

The site plan show the complete premises and the location in relation to roads, railways,
waterways and adjoining properties and their function, catch basins, water and sewer
lines, storage tanks, etc.,

The floor plan (scale: 1:50 or 1:100)

Relates to layout of walls, doorways, windows, partitions, rail systems, equipment,

benches, platforms, toilets, chutes, conveyors, staircases, hot and cold- water
connections, ventilation fans, work positions of operatives, etc.

The position of drainage gutters and floor gradients must also be included.

The plumbing plan

Details of the drainage system, ensuring that toilet and floor soil lines are separated until
outside the building and that the former do not connect with grease traps.

Specialized knowledge is required to design and construct a meat plant.

Competent architects, veterinarians and engineers with greater experience are employed
along with reputable contractors.

Plan should compliance with hygiene, health and safety, EC regulations, good building
standards and practices, precaution against fire.


The site to be selected should

Be located outside the city or town, in a place, which will not soon become an abode of
habitation. The rural site generally outweigh those of the other sites, hence it is
recommended that a rural location be chosen where possible,

Be of such size as to allow for future expansion,

Be on an elevated plane to facilitate better natural drainage and prevent water stagnation.
A stock-proof fence to keep slaughter stock in and other animals out should surround the

Be in a direction in which wind passes out from dwellings; neither to the leeward nor
windward of the town. If the prevailing winds are north/south, the abattoir should be built
to the east or west of the town. The land could be landscaped and planted with trees, to
provide windbreaks, shade and shelter, if not to make the building more attractive,

Be accessible from all parts of the city or town,

Be provided with rail tracks for receipt of animals by railways,

Be within reach of the highway,

Have permeable soil and suitable for good foundations including piling. Arable farmland
should not be chosen, as it may be a waste of productive land for the cultivation of crops
may be subject to drift of crop spraying chemicals.

Have ample water supply for washing, etc., at an estimated requirement of 150 gallons
per animal slaughtered or 10,000 litres/tonne of dressed carcass weight,

Enjoy unhindered ventilation and light,

Ability to separate clean and dirty areas and access,

Proximity to supply of varied labour,

Good availability of stock nearby, and

Mains electricity and sewerage.

The actual site need not be a flat one.

Indeed, slopes can provide suitable loading bays for stock and product and are of value
when two or more floors are contemplated.

In general, therefore, urban sites should be avoided; rural and nominated sites are


The size of the site should be given a careful consideration with allowance for the various
buildings and traffic circulation.

Modern livestock and meat transport vehicles have very large turning circles: 14 m for a
vehicle 15 m long.

Completely separate routes for stock and meat vehicles should be provided.

Approach roads should be at least 6 m wide.

When all the various buildings are considered, it will be realized that a large area is

Area requirement

Generally for a small abattoir (up to 30,000 units*/year) the area required will be about 12 acres.

For a medium plant (50,000+ units*/year) about 2-4 acres will be required.

A large abattoir handling over 100,000 units* annually will require about 4-6 acres of

*One livesotock unit is equivalent to ONE adult bovine or TWO pigs, THREE calves or
FIVE sheep.

The facilities required in a abattoir are

o Water
o Electricity
o Drainage
o Lighting
o Ventilation
o Floor and wall finishes

o Doors
o Equipment design
o Pest control

Mains water supply should provide an ample supply of potable water.

Water should be distributed to all parts of the plant under adequate pressure, which in the
mains pipeline should be at least 20 psi. The hot water supply should have a temperature
of 82C.

Water storage tanks must hold at least one days water requirement. The recommended
water requirement is
o 454 litres/day per pigs,
o 272 liters/day per bovine and
o 45 litres/day per sheep or goat.
o plus 25% at a reasonable pressure of 15 psi

If non-potable water is used for steam production, refrigeration or fire control, it must be
carried in separate lines and identified as such.

Bacon factories and manufacturing operations require special assessment.


Industrial three phase electricity supply should be provided besides a stand-by generator
must be installed in the slaughterhouse for uninterrupted power supply.

Provision of central steam boilers may be fuelled with oil or gas for supply of hot water
and steam to different units in the abattoir.


The floors in wet areas should slope uniformly to drains with a gradient of 1:50. One
drain is for each 40 m2 of floor area. The internal drainage should be in the form of open
concrete channels leading to open gullies, situated immediately outside and connected to
closed drains.

Low places where water and blood could collect are to be guarded against. Where blood
tends to collect, e.g. under dressing rails, special provision must be made to supply
drainage valleys at a gradient of at least 1:25. The valleys themselves should be 60 cm
wide and should continue under dressing lines for the collection of all blood and bone

Catch Basins - Catch basins must be provided on drains for grease recovery.

Traps and Vents - Traps and vents must also be provided on drains, properly sealed and
easily cleanable and the latter to be effectively vented to outside the building.

Special arrangements have to be made for dealing with stomach and intestinal contents,
the drains for bovine material to be at least 20 cm in diameter and for the smaller species
15 cm.

All drains in the slaughter hall be trapped with 4 mm screens, to prevent the possibility of
contamination of the effluent.

Grids covering drains should be made of cast iron or other approved material.


Adequate natural or artificial lighting must be provided throughout the meat plant.

The type of lighting should not distort colours. It is generally recommended that the
overall intensity should not be less than
o 540 lux (50 foot-candles) at all inspection points
o 220 lux (20 foot-candles) in workrooms
o 110 lux (10 foot-candles) in other areas

These intensities of light are usually taken at levels of 0.9 m from the floor, except in
inspection areas where the height is 1.5 m.

Protective shields must be fitted to lights in areas where fresh meat and offal are exposed
to prevent contamination from shattered glass.


Adequate ventilation should be provided to prevent excessive heat, steam and


Ventilation prevents the accumulation of odours, dust, etc., but it should not excessive,
that may cause draughts and thus problems for staff.

Openings of the ventilators and windows should be screened and sills sloped.


All parts of the meat plants must be able to clean easily and the floors and walls should
be non-toxic and non-absorbent. The floors should be non slippery.

It is recommended that walls should be coated with a smooth, durable, impervious

material to a height of not less than 3 m from the floor.

Surface materials should be capable of withstanding impact, doors should be wide

enough to allow easy passage of personnel.

Good ventilation, insulation and easily cleaned surfaces will minimize the disruption of
routine works.

Abattoir operations entail wet floors on which are usually present quantities of fat and
blood. While floor finishes should be easily cleaned, they should also non-slip.

Walls and floors may be made of concrete or tiles. Wall sheets are often used in the form
of plastic laminates, aluminum, polished asbestos, PVC-faced rust less metal or stainless


These should be wide enough to allow passage of product without contact with the

A width of 1.37 m (4.5 ft) is usually adequate.

Doors must be constructed of rust-resistant material. If made of wood, they should be

covered with rust-resistant smooth impermeable material.

Double-acting doors should have a glass (reinforced) panel at eye level.

Plastic strip doors are not much suitable for fitting in abattoir because they are difficult
for proper cleaning.


Equipment design aspects as well as operating efficiency, durability etc. to be considered.

Faults in construction and design include: Use of wood for equipment and tools. Wood
cannot be cleaned and disinfected with ease and is liable to deteriorate rapidly in moist

Use of unsuitable fastenings, which can work loose and contaminate the product.

Provision of ledges and corners where meat, fat etc., can lodge and cause bacterial build

Badly recessed nuts, bolts and screws can also gather scraps and hinder cleansing.

Use of expanded metal for decks, walkways and staircases especially near conveyors. All
these should be constructed from non-slip solid plate.

Metal joints, which are rough. Joints should be welded and then ground to a smooth

Fixed covers for conveyors that makes cleaning difficult.

The design and location of equipment should be such as to allow for ease and efficiency
of cleaning and disinfection.

The slaughter house must be fitted with overhead weigh bridges, stunning pens, stunning
equipment, overheads rails (twin bar runways), electric hoists, pulley, beef trees, hooks,
electric hide removers, tail pullers, carcass splitting saws, trolleys, hot water sprayers, etc.

The special requirements for the slaughtering of pigs include, gaseous stunning, pig traps,
scalding and dehairing machinery.


The entrance of birds, rats, mice and insects such as flies and cockroaches can cause
serious problems like dirt and may carry food-poisoning organisms -responsible for

Birds - sparrows, starlings, feral pigeons and gulls inhabit areas where food and nesting
material are available.

They feed on meat scraps, dung, insects, grain and food scraps, discarded or even on
occasions purposely laid by personnel.


Rats and mice are also attracted by the presence of food and may gain entrance from
adjoining properties.

Mice are introduced into an abattoir in polystyrene insulation for use in chill rooms.

Droppings and musk trails are indicators of their presence.

A sketch plan of the premises indicating numbered bait points should be produced and a
record of usage of each point noted, as well as dates of inspection and any structural

Insects are drawn into food premises mainly by the presence of pre-digested food, such as
excreta, and by warmth.

Nearby breeding grounds such as waste pits, stagnant ponds and sewage works may be
responsible for the advent of flies.

Plant location and design are important factors in prevention of fly infestation; for e.g, the
manure bay must be sited away from meat areas.

Insecticidal sprays should be avoided in the abattoir considering meat is a consumable



Meat hygiene and sanitation perform the function of quality control to safeguard public
health and enhance the keeping quality of meat and its products.

Sanitation in meat industry is concerned with aseptic preparation, processing, packing,

storage, preservation and distribution of the meat.


The area surroundings the slaughterhouse building must be well maintained.

It should be properly drained leaving no scope for water logging.

Inedible material and manure should be collected in closed containers and removed

Building proper should be vermin and fly proof.

The junction between ceiling and walls should be rounded for convenient cleaning.

Floor angles and corners should be imperviously sealed.

Paint should be lead-free.

The machinery installed in the building should be smooth and its functional surfaces
should be easily accessible for cleaning.

Wood fittings are not allowed.

There must be adequate washing facilities for personnel hygiene.

Adequate facilities for disinfection of knives and tools should be there in the plant.

Eating and smoking is prohibitted except in the designated places.


This is a process (an attempt) to kill or eradicate most of the organisms on or from equipment
surfaces and other related places or articles.
The types of contamination

o This is related to food safety and keeping quality.

o This implies to remaining minerals, detergents, scales, sanitizer, etc.,

o This is degree of sanitation where no visible and remains where it should not be.

o This relates to efficient cleanliness, disposal of waste water, oil and sewage.
o Sanitation is one of the most important functions in any meat plant.
o It involves a technology more detailed than that of slaughter and carcass dressing.
o It demands good working conditions, well-trained and responsible operatives
influencing on meat quality and product shelf life.
o It costs less to be clean than to be dirty.
o The chief function of sanitation is the protection of the product from
o Work areas are to be visually clean and odourless.
o Personnel have to be protected from contamination and possible infection.
o Poor hygiene standards can lead to

bad product quality,

loss of customers

outbreaks of food poisoning.

affect the shelf life and

can lead to actual production delay and condemnations.

o Cleaning and sterilization of trolleys and gambrels and other equipment in the
meat after each run are the most important tasks.
o There must be a sterilizing room or rooms managed by specialised personnel.
o Inspection by a responsible and competent individual should include a preoperations and on operational inspection.
o The ultimate aim must be to achieve a physically, chemically and
microbiologically clean environment.
Sanitation report

This is an integral item of any good sanitation programme, which deals the state of the
various plant areas and the action taken by the inspector, copies being given to
Management and to Licensing authorities.

The Sanitation Report is completed daily and rendered weekly.

To develop an effective sanitation programme it is necessary to identify needs and defects

Establish detailed cleaning instructions for all areas and equipment

Set up and further improvement of the working programme

Ensure that all personnel receive proper training in hygiene, environmental and personnel


The contamination occurring in abattoirs is largely derived

From the animals entering it. The accumulation of animals in lairages further increases
the possibility of cross-contamination (Salmonella is often incriminated).

Inside the meat plant bacteria can spread by contact with personnel, clothing, surfaces
and equipment.

Vermin, birds, insects and animals are other means of spread of bacteria.

Visitors and other personnel and their vehicles employed in the ancillary trades can also
spread microorganisms into the premises of plant.

A heavily contaminated hide or fleece will transfer considerable amounts of

contamination to the carcass at the dressing process.

Improper washing of hands and clothing, regular sterilization of equipment and efficient
hygienic techniques are also responsible for the occurrence of contamination.

After skinning about 10,000 to 100,000 bacteria/cm2 can be found on the tissues.

About 80,000 to 40 million organisms could be found in each blade of knives.

As many as 3 x 109 bacteria/gm of scrapings has been noticed in leggings of operatives

after skinning 100 carcasses in six hours.

As many as 2 million bacteria can be noticed in the hands of meat operatives.

Hence it is necessary to minimise the initial contamination on the animals as low as

possible and strict hygiene precautions at all stages in the abattoir itself has to be


An ample supply of good, hygienic, soft and hot water at a temperature of not less
than 82 C and adequate number of hose points are essential.

The usual method of applying hot water in meat plant is through high-pressure jet
cleaners with 14kg f/cm2.

The manual operation of spray guns in which the pressure is in the 35-49 kg f/cm 2 range,
the volume of water being low, averaging about 9 litres/minute.

Application of detergent followed by sanitizer or a combination of both is necessary for

an actual meat premises under adequate pressure and temperature (not less than 14 kg
f/cm2 and 82C).

Dry cleaning should commence immediately after operations have ceased and should
embrace the whole premises, where disinfectant should be used.

This good system will ensure the final daily operation after the completion of
slaughtering rendered more effectively.

Cleansing operations must be done frequently to prohibit any built-up of bacteria on

trolleys, hooks, gambrels, etc., which come in contact with the meat.

Instead of using highly sophisticated cleansing installations, manual cleansing has been
found to be more effective in some parts of the slaughterhouse.

It is essential to have a schedule of cleansing.

It involves a constant use of cold hosing and a daily application of hot water (82C) plus

At less frequent intervals other cleansing methods may be necessary.

Recently two methods of detergency have been introduced which greatly reduce the need
for manual work. They are foam and gel cleaning .

The foam or gel adheres to the surfaces allowing time for the chemical to breakdown the
soil, which is then rinsed away with hot water under pressure.

Depending on whether protein or fat is to be removed an acid or an alkaline compound

respectively is used.

The foam and gel cleaning solutions are usually applied rapidly through a lance from a
unit operated by compressed air or by an electrically operated compressor.

45 litres of foam solution expands to 729-909 litres, sufficient to cover 55.7 92.9 cm 2 of
surfaces in 15-20 minutes.

The gel does not collapse and can be applied in a very hot form and is useful for thin,
tenacious protein or fat films where longer contact times and/or heat may be

Advantages of foam cleansing

It saves on labour. Surface areas can be covered in a relatively short time. It can penetrate
inaccessible areas, often eliminating the need for the dismantling of equipment.

It is economical since the foam clings to surfaces and does not run to waste. Foam can
effectively substitute for other cleansing compounds in the cleaning schedule.

It is biodegradable and does not give rise to effluent problem. Foam does not splash and
is comparatively safe to use, although strong alkalis and acids must be used with care


Remove all gross fat, skin and most scraps. In the slaughter hall this is round-the-clock
operation and must be associated with tidy working methods

Application of cleaning compounds at proper temperatures for their optimum activity

Rinsing with hot water



Temperature, force or agitation, time and chemical concentration are involved in cleaning

The use of light mineral oil has been found to be on surfaces and as an aid to

Hoses must be equipped with proper nozzles.

The pressure, volume and shape of the stream of water are critical for effective
cleansing. e.g. a fishtail jet of water is much more effective than a round stream.

Hoses should be adequate in number (both hot and cold) and of short length.

If hung vertically they can be more effectively applied to restricted areas.

Lengthy unwieldy hoses are both a nuisance and a danger.

Fat, soil, clay, seed, hay, straw, hair, wool and blood are common entities to be dealt
within the meat industry.

Water for cleaning, hand washing, carcass spraying, etc., must be of potable quality.

For refrigeration, steam production and fire precautions water may be of a lower standard


There are several automated systems to cope with what is probably the most important problem
in the food industry sanitation. Three main types of automated cleansing systems are

Cleaning in place system (CIP)

Central cleaning system (CCS)

Self contained cleaning system (SCCS)

The Cleaning-in-place system

The CIP was first developed for the dairy industry.

It is a closed system in which cleaning compounds are circulated by a pump through a

series of pipes to the components to be cleaned.

It is basically designed for cleaning internal surfaces only but also used for external

Even though it is used for the internal cleaning of mixers, choppers and other equipment
that necessitates the use of tanks, at present, it has a limited application in the meat

Central cleaning system

CCS has a central pumping source supplying cleaning solutions under pressure to remote
locations in a meat plant.

In one CCS the cleaning materials may be mixed centrally and delivered to the various
points through one manifold, the plant water supply being used for rinsing.

The unit should be capable of achieving pressures of 35-49 kg f/cm 2 and a flow of 136181 litres/min.

It is a flexible system in that if a pump fails a unit from another area can be used, whereas
in the CCS the entire sanitation process stops if this eventuality should occur.

Continuous cleaning of viscera conveyors and other equipment in contact with edible
material is another essential task.

In the other CCS the detergent is transported through a separate manifold to each remote
station where it is mixed with the high pressure water system as required and used
through a cleaning gun. With these two separate lines (which are more costly), both
pressure wash and pressure rinse can be carried out. The self-contained cleaning system.

Self contained cleaning system

SCCS has the pumping source and chemical spray systems contained in one unit and may
not have facilities for foam production.

Some units produce hot water while others employ a steam-mixing valve or utilise the
separate hot-water system of the plant.

Some SCCS are able to use an alkaline cleaner and acid cleaner and a sanitizer at each
remote station.

Some forms of this automated cleaning equipment are portable and can be removed from
one location to another, being connected to an electrical or air and water source of power


Different levels of training in the various functions of a meat plant are required for
different staff members in meat plant.

But the level of training is the same for all from the company director to the latest recruit
in relation to cleanliness, clothing attitudes and behaviour.

Basic training in hygiene on induction would include the nature of hygiene, how it affects
the operative, his or her colleagues and consumer, hygiene practices, regulations and
procedures of meat plant and health requirements of personnel.

These items can be fully explained in a reasonable booklet given to the new employees in
whom the nature of viruses, bacteria, yeasts and moulds is explained, along with
occupational hazards.

On the job training can deal with the use of equipment and tools and their sterilization,
protective clothing, good housekeeping in relation to hygienic practices, accidents and
their reporting, use of dressings and first aid room (if available) and safety measures.

On-going training programmes are concerned mainly with furthering awareness of the
need for good hygiene practices among personnel by way of posters, lectures, personal
approach, etc.

Since cuts of various types are the most common form of injury encountered in a meat
plant the need for personal hygiene, hair and hand care, toilet, general cleanliness and
prompt treatment of cuts abrasions and other skin lesions must be stressed.

The elements of sanitation, refrigeration, the awareness of hazards for consumers,

reporting procedures and responsibilities also have to be communicated to employees.


Effluent means dirty water with organic matter such as blood, dung, urine, fat, trimmings,
fascia, etc.

The disposal of effluent of abattoir is essential because of possibility of pollution leading

to human health hazards.

Large quantity of water is utilised in the abattoir to clean blood from slaughter section,
pen manure and similar material containing organic matter as suspended solids.

This wastewater has got a high pollution capacity and hence should not be connected to
municipal sewer line.

However, water from the toilet lines and cooling towers should be directly connected to
sewer system.

The concentration of effluent solids is measured in terms of biological oxygen demand

(BOD) usually expressed in parts per million (ppm) or mg/litre.


Biological oxygen demand is the amount of O2 required during the first five days for
decomposition of organic matter at 20C by aerobic biological action.

Higher the BOD level, greater is the organic matter content and greater its pollution
o Domestic sewage BOD5 = 250-300 mg/litre normal and permissible one
o Slaughterhouse - BOD5 = 1500-2000 mg/litre normal and permissible one

In general, abattoir effluent treatment involves the following steps

Primary treatment
o This consists of screening out solids and removing fat by hands.
o It is carried out in a tank constructed below the ground level.
o It is divided by a partition of strong steel meshes.
o The main trunk line drainage of meat plant or abattoir opens into the first part.
o The gross solid materials like bits of fat, flesh, stomach, intestine, hide, etc., are
filtered through the mesh.
o The waste water free of gross solids is pumped to the secondary filtration unit.

Secondary treatment
o This system depends upon cost, BOD level required, land area available, odour
level etc.
o This unit is erected at the first floor level and contains two vibrating screens with
fine mesh which are arranged at an angle.
o This unit separates the suspended solids. Subsequent treatment is done in tanks
erected at the ground level.

Fat separation

It is a specially designed tank where waste water is agitated by pumping the air at several

The separated fat rises to the top and is skimmed off at regular intervals.

Equalization tank

It is a large tank fitted with floating level mechanical aerator.

Here waste water is continuously agitated to have a uniform quality for proper biological

As a biological stimulant, a small quantity of activated sludge is also recycled into this

This method is capable of reducing up to 90% of the fats, 65% of the solids and BOD 5 by

Biological oxidation tanks or ponds

Further treatment of waste water depends on the availability of land or open space.

In limited land area, anaerobic process and if enough land area is available, aerobic
process is adopted.

Anaerobic process

This is used in which reduction of BOD5 is performed by bacteria in the absence of O2.

Ponds of 4.5 m deep and loaded to 7.5 kg BOD 5 per 5000 litres pond volume will give a
BOD5 reduction of 60-80% at temperatures of 32.5 35C.

The effluent is digested in enclosed digester at 32.5C.

The gas being burnt and heat generated for heating.

Aerobic process

In this the process, O2 assists bacterial action to reduce the BOD5.

Shallow ponds 0.9 1.2 m deep having a loading of 7.3 9.3 kg BOD 5 per day per
hectare of pond surface are mainly restricted to final treatment following other processes.

Activated sludge process

Involves utilizing biologically active sludge in small amount mixed with screened, presettled effluent and then agitated in presence of ample supply of aeration tank. This is a
well-known method of treating domestic sewage but it is not commonly used for meat

The oxidation ditch system

It was developed by Dr. A. Pasveer in Holland in 1953.

It is an one-stage process for purification of sewage by oxidation using an aeration rotor.

The raw sewage flows into the aeration zone where it is mixed with ditch contents;
oxidation is effected by the rotor.

Flow of the mixed liquor from the ditch to the final settlement tank is controlled by
means of an adjustable outlet weir which can regulate rotor blade depth and thereby
oxygen input.

Settled sludge from the final settlement tank is returned continuously to the oxidation

Biological filtration process

Percolating filters consists of 1.8 -2.4 meter beds of stones 50 -1000 mm in diameter.

Purification is accomplished by the action of a film of microorganisms covering the

stones on the organic matter.

At loadings of 75-87 kg BOD5 per 5000litres of packing per day a BOD5 reduction of
40% is possible.

This system is costly since it has a tendency to block and require a large area.

Before treating the effluent, data on flow rate, BOD levels, fat, solids should be
determined over a period of time.