Commonly Asked Questions from Small and Very Small Plants on Slaughter
Q1: What are the regulatory requirements regarding the chilling of giblets and necks?
A1: Giblets must be chilled to 40° F or below within 2 hours from the time they are removed from
the inedible viscera [9 CFR 381.66(c)(4)]. Giblets as defined in 9 CFR 381.1 do not include
necks and therefore, necks do not have separate chilling requirements. If the neck is still
attached to the carcass, the carcass requirements are followed. If the neck is separated from the
carcass, establishments should consider the chilling time and temperature for separated necks in
their hazard analysis. 9 CFR 381.66(b)(2) may be used as part of the support for decisions made
about chilling times and temperatures for necks.
Q2: Can the temperature of eviscerated and non-eviscerated poultry carcasses be allowed to
exceed 55 o F?
A2: No. Eviscerated and non-eviscerated carcasses are required to be chilled to 40° F
immediately after slaughter following the time requirements for weight of carcass in 381.66(b)(2).
During further processing, they may rise to a maximum of 55° F, provided the temperature is
promptly lowered to 40° F or less, or they are placed in a freezer.
Q3: Is there a requirement for chiller overflow?
A3: No. There is no longer a regulatory requirement for gallons of water per bird.
Establishments are required to ensure that the chiller water is kept in sanitary condition, to meet
the pathogen reduction standard for Salmonella in 9 CFR 381.94(b), and to comply with the
retained water requirements in 9 CFR 441.10.
Q4: When is the process considered to be out of control in Finished Product Standards testing in
SIS, NELS, and NTIS slaughter systems per 9 CFR 381.76(b)(3)(iv)(c)?
A4: The process is deemed to be out of control, and noncompliance is documented, when FSIS
initiates Finished Product Standards testing, the subgroup absolute limit is exceeded, and either:
all of the last