Classification of Grossly Detectable Abnormalities and Conditions Seen at Postmortem in Canadian Poultry Abattoirs According to a Hazard Identification Decision Tree

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This study was designed to review all grossly detectable abnormalities and conditions (GDACs) encountered in poultry in Canadian abattoirs to determine which have potential to cause adverse health effects for the consumer. Review of the literature and consultation with scientists in the field of microbiology, epidemiology, poultry pathology, chemistry, and meat inspection served to generate an inventory of GDACs, and a decision tree containing algorithms was developed to identify GDACs potentially representing a health hazard to consumers. Through the use of the decision tree, GDACs were classified into different categories with regard to the risk they represent to humans. A number of GDACs were identified as being of potential concern from a food safety perspective, namely Erysipelas, fowl cholera, Campylobacteriosis, clostridial diseases, hepatitis/enteritis associated with Helicobacter, Listeriosis, Salmonella infections (nontyphoid infections, Salmonella arizonae, pullorum disease, and fowl typhoid), Staphylococcosis, and Toxoplasmosis. Further characterization - i.e., hazard characterization, exposure assessment, and risk characterization - is required to quantify or better characterize the probability that products derived from affected carcasses may affect the consumer as well as the resulting consequences. Risk assessment is a dynamic process. Results presented in this paper are based on available information and expert opinion. As new information is obtained, the inventory of GDACs and their classification may be modified.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Food Safety Risk Analysis Unit, Animal Disease Research Institute, 3851 Fallowfield Road, Nepean, Ontario, Canada K1A 0Y9 2: Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Food Safety Risk Analysis Unit, Animal Disease Research Institute, 3851 Fallowfield Road, Nepean, Ontario, Canada K1A 0Y9 3: Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 4: Health Canada, Contaminated Foods, Research Division, Sir Frederick G. Banting Research Center, Tunney's Pasture, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0L2; 5: Health Canada, Population and Public Health Branch, Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonosis, 110 Stone Road West, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 3W 6: Facultéde médecine vétérinaire, Universitéde Montréal, CP 5000, St-Hyacinthe, Québec, Canada J2S 7C6

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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