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BEEF QUALITY ASSURANCE AND PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT

By Larry Carroll,2014-11-21 23:00
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BEEF QUALITY ASSURANCE AND PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT

    BEEF QUALITY ASSURANCE AND PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT

    MONITORING IN THE PACKING HOUSE

    DEE GRIFFIN, DVM, MS

    University of Nebraska, Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center

    Table of Contents:

    Etiquette, manners and safety ……………………………………………….. page 1

    What to know before you go to the packing plant ………………………..… page 1

    Equipment ………………………………………………………………………….. page 1

    Know your objectives …………………………………………………………….. page 2

    Mapping the plant …………………………………………………………………. page 3

    The Report ………………………………………………………………………….. page4

Appendix:

    Inspection data collections forms ……………………………………… page 6 & 7

    Inspection report form and inspection glossary …………………….. page 8-11

    Non-performing (Cull) data collection form …………………………… page 12

    Understanding Common USDA-FSIS Condemnation Definitions …….. page 13-14

     A note about scoring lungs ………………………………………………. page 15

    Lung Lesion Scoring Form …………….…………………………………. page 16

    Lung Lesion Photo Example …………..…………………………………. page 17

    4-S’s (Safety of self, animal, food and everyone else ………………. page 18

    BEEF QUALITY ASSURANCE AND PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT

     MONITORING IN THE PACKING HOUSE

    DEE GRIFFIN, DVM, MS

    University of Nebraska, Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center

    Many approaches can be taken to monitor the disease status of herds. Inspection at packing houses performed routinely on selected animals has long been an important addition to health monitoring in swine and poultry. Prior to 1980 routine beef cattle inspections were typically limited to monitoring liver abscesses. This paper describes the technique of conducting a routine health management inspection in a modern packing plant. This technique, gathering information in a packing plant, has evolved over the past decade.

ROUTINE INSPECTION OF CATTLE FROM FEEDLOTS

    It is crucial to the success of your inspection to establish a working relationship with the packing plant management and personnel before trying to conduct a packing plant inspection. The management and personnel should be expecting you on the day of an inspection. They should know what you want to accomplish, and what information, data, and/or samples you are interested in collecting. If you and the packing plant supervisors are not prepared for your objectives, your presence can jeopardize worker safety in a modern packing houses processing over 300 finish fed cattle an hour. The "3 S's": Safety is your most

    important objective: safety for your self, safety of the workers and safety of the product. Remember you are working with food, and cleanliness in a packing plant is the most important mission packers face everyday.. don’t screw it up. No gum, tobacco, jewelry, etc. CROSS CONTAMINATION MUST BE PREVENTED… I recommend taking three coats/coveralls and changing as you move from ear tags to offal table to rail-out area. If you have any questions about how to conduct your activities, DON’T start until you visit with a supervisor (typically wearing a green hard hat).

    One other important first thought: confidentiality is must be absolute. There is no faster way to lose the trust of packers and producers.

    It is important for the USDA-FSIS Veterinary Medical Officer (VMO) and his inspectors to be familiar with your activities. If your activities interfere with the proper inspection of animals or cause contamination of animals, you will not only lose your welcome in the plant, but you may be held liable for the product loss.

    Establish a list of objectives for each set of cattle inspected. These will be influenced by the presenting history.

Standard pre-packer processing information:

     What is the description of the cattle?

     How many cattle will be involved in the inspection?

     From where did the cattle come?

     What was their background prior to feedlot placement?

     What is the history of performance in the feedlot?

     What is the history of problems in the feedlot?

    If is useful to examine the cattle as a group and their records prior to presentation at the packing house. This pre-processing examination allows you to formulate a specific approach to gathering the information you need. It also allows you to have specific treatment information on individual animals you may need to look at, or information you may feel is important to share with the VMO.

Standard equipment needed to conduct a packing house inspection.

    Approved white hard hat (hard hat colors have meaning.. don't pick your school colors), hearing protection, safety glasses, clean approved steel toed boots, multiple layers of clean protective clothing (remove outer layer as you move to cleaner areas in plant), data collection forms/note pad, stopwatch, sample bags & marker.

    Taking a knife in the plant is not recommended but if you do you must get approval from the plant and have the appropriate safety equipment (approved protective glove, arm protection, and sheath).

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Standard packing house inspection objectives:

     Variation in animal frame size.....……..percent +/- 25 cm

     Identification tags........…………………inspection verification

     Implant retention..................…………..rate

     Implanting technique assessment.......rate

     Hide defects (mud and brands).......…rate, location, & severity

     Carcass bruising...................………...rate, location, age, & severity

     Carcass contamination from hides.....rate

     Variation in carcass finish......………..estimated +/- one yield grade

     Abdominal adhesions................……...rate, etiology, and severity

     Liver abnormalities................………….rate, etiology and severity

     Lung abnormalities.................………….rate, etiology, and severity

     Heart abnormalities................………….rate and etiology

     Large/small intestinal abnormalities…..rate

     Rumen abnormalities................……….rate, etiology, and severity

     Abomasal abnormalities.............……...rate, etiology, and severity

     Reproductive abnormalities........……...pregnancy staging and rate

     Kidney abnormalities...............………..rate, etiology and severity

     Carcass trim caused by adhesions......severity

     Carcass trim caused by injections...…rate, location, severity

     Carcass retention...................………...rate

This list of objectives follows the order in which observations can be made as the animals progress through

    the packing plant.

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KNOW YOUR OBJECTIVES

    It is important to understand that cattle move past an inspection location at the approximate rate of five animals per minute and the typical processing line holds less than 150 animals. When inspecting a group of 150 animals, the first animal processed will be in the cooler before the last animal enters the processing line. At certain inspection locations it will be possible to gather information on only a portion of the animals being processed. Based on your pre-processing examination and evaluation of the cattle, you should be able to prioritize the appropriate objectives. While you will be able to collect data on all of the listed objectives, targeting specific objectives based of the clinical history is important.

    Before you can establish the number of observations to be taken associated with each objective, you must estimate the rate of occurrence of each defect you expect to find. If the incidence rate of the defect you are recording is low you will be required to take more observations to accurately evaluate the occurrence. Analysis of your observations should consider animals do not come through the processing line in random order.

    For general quality assurance inspections it is best to follow the first 30 to 60 animals from beginning to end of processing. This allows an overview of all possible defect areas. With the exception of implants and hide defects you can back track and make extended observations of other areas where quality defects may have been noted.

MAP THE CHAIN SPEED AND INSPECTION LOCATIONS IN A PACKING PLANT

    It is important to know exactly where your inspection locations will be in a plant, exactly how many animals are between inspection locations and exactly how long it will take an animal to get from one location to another. To collect data on specific targeted objectives you must know exactly where each animal will be in the packing plant during processing.

    It is even more important to know where to stand and how to stay out of the way of inspectors and packing plant workers. It is in your best interest to get to the packing plant one to two hours early. You will have time to establish the proper inspection locations and note how to avoid interfering with inspectors or plant workers. You may also benefit if the packing house schedule changes. It is not uncommon for packing plants to change the processing order on groups of cattle, but seldom will they move the processing time up more than two hours. By being early you are less likely to miss the cattle you need to observe.

    You can accurately determine the rate cattle are being processed (chain speed) by using your stopwatch. For example, the plant maybe processing an average of 270 animals per hour (4.5/minute), but if they are processing 280 animal per hour (4.7/minute) during the time you are inspecting you could miss important information because you overestimated the time you would have between inspecting implants and inspecting lungs. You must know how many animals will be on the rail between inspection locations, and how long it takes for an animal to get from one location to another. For example, if 23 animals will be on the rail between the location you inspect lungs and the location you inspect larynxes, being off by 0.1 animals per minute could cause you to miss an important observation by six seconds.

    Having made your plant speed and location map, and knowing the number of cattle in the group you are to inspect, you can establish how many animals you have time to observe at each location. Start your stopwatch when you begin inspecting, record the number of defects, and calculate the rate of defects based on the observed defects per time. For example, if the chain is moving 5.2 animals per minute past you and you observe 5 implants abscessed in 12 minutes the rate would be [5/(5.2*12)] or [5/62.4] 8 percent. During an inspection you only need to record the defects per location and the time at the location.

    If you are organized and have some experience, there are many objectives you can collect data on at the same time. For example, variation in frame size, implant technique, implant retention, and verification of animal identification can be collected at the same time. By getting to the packing plant early you can establish which objectives you can group at each location.

    Additionally, the USDA-FSIS inspectors keep track of selected defects. For example, the USDA-FSIS inspectors count liver defects. If critical evaluation of the severity of liver abscess is not of concern, recording the beginning and ending liver abscess count on the cattle you are inspecting will provide you with the liver abscess rate for the cattle you inspected.

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(A form for collecting observation is included in the appendix.)

THE REPORT

    It is very important to remember, the data belongs to the packing house, however most packers do not want copies of the data collected. They are concerned that the information is held in strict confidence. It is the packers good will and interest in improving the quality of product produced by the industry that allows access to animals as they are processed.

    It is best for your next call to be to the feedlot from which the cattle came and have a conference with the manager to discuss your findings.

    An example of a typical report is included in the appendix. All data is summarized on the first page. This is the data that will be included in the feedlots data base. Comparative data from other cattle collected during the same time period can be included, (BASELINE DATA). Additional discussion detailing the analysis for each objective follows the summarized data.

Feedlot managers find this portion useful in their discussions with cattle owners.

    (a copy of the report form and explanation in included in the appendix)

PUTTING INSPECTION RESULTS TO WORK

    Using the inspection technique described, and analyzing the reports allows adjustment in management to improve carcass quality/decrease carcass defects, and properly assess sub-clinical disease.. The most dramatic of these is specifically locating carcass bruises and adjusting animal handling to control this costly problem. Validation of disease occurrence allows focused management on specific problems.

NON-PERFORMING CATTLE / CULLS

Populations of “Non-performing” cattle, cattle that do not gain weight at a rate similar to their pen mates, and

    “Normal-performing” cattle must be evaluated separated. Because the industry is paid for most non-

    performers based on the animal’s grade, yield, and final weight taken from the carcass rail following inspection, the terms “grade and yield” or “railers” are frequently applied to information gathered on non-

    performing feedlot cattle.

    The information from these two populations of cattle typically comes from two different sources. Most large packing plants are designed to process 300 animals per hour and are not capable of humanely handling cattle that weigh less than 500 lbs. Non-performing feedlot cattle frequently fit this constraint and are processed by smaller packers that have more flexibility in the size animal it processes. Additionally, non-performing feedlot cattle frequently have scars from a previous disease. These scars require more time to properly trim the carcass before it can be considered acceptable for marketing. Larger packing plants do not have time to devote to properly handle this class of cattle.

    It is very important to check the production and health record of the non-performing animals to insure all with drawal times have been met before sending them to a packer. Check urine sample for antibiotics is an excellent practice.

The form used for non-performing cattle is included in the appendix.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

    The confidence gained gathering useful information from packing house inspections of beef cattle was vital to the development of the first “Verified Production Control” program certified by the USDA-FSIS.

    The packing houses involved in the early surveys were not fabricating carcasses. The identification of additional product loss associated with injection site damage in the population of normal-performing animals that has been identified since 1988. The awareness of this problem is in part due to the increase number of modern packing houses fabricating carcasses into wholesale cuts, “boxed beef” .This problem points out the value consulting feedlot veterinarians may serve to their feedlots and the beef feeding industry by establishing inspection protocols appropriate to the fabrication process.

    Monitoring cattle at packing plants is extremely useful, not only to the feedlot, but the practicing veterinarian and nutritionist. It is the best way to identify sub-clinical disease, both infectious and management, assess health performance, and monitor beef quality. Routine inspections provide useful information to the feedlot from which management decisions can be improved. It also provide the veterinarian with information which is useful helping improve disease management. Total Quality Management seems a popular phrase in the 90’s .Few veterinary techniques will allow you to participate any better than packing plant inspections of cattle.

    Don’t forget the basics: Safety, Safety and Safety. Your are working with food. Don’t contaminate or cross contaminate … I recommend taking three coats/coveralls and changing as you move from ear tags to offal table to rail-out area. If you have any questions about how to conduct your activities, DON’T start until you visit with a supervisor (typically wearing a yellow or green hard hat).

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    PACKER INSPECTION FORM (Finish Feeding) (CHECK THE RAIL OUTS)

     Plant: _____________ Date:____________ FL:_________________ Lot#:________

    Chain sp:___.__/M, _____.__/6M ______ /hr Unique’s Id & # _____/______ Line-up # _________

     IN PIT

    Start time: #______

     HIDE:DIRT = +1to+3

     ---------------- +1=difuse, +3=strip

     R: / C: BRANDS (Rump/Colo-rib)

     M / B / A IMPLANT(M,B,A) L/R

     ---------------- VFS / MUS (1-3: avg+var)

    time: VFS_____ MUS (avg_____: var________) #_____ & eta _____

     / / TRAC’ / TngHair / AGE

    time: #_____ & eta _____

     L R

    F: / BRUS’ (F,B,S) L/R

    B: /

    S: / VCF / VCM

    Time: VCF_____ VCM (1-3) #_____ & eta _____

     A (ln) | G (cc) | P (adh) | F-Other | E LUNG A / G / P / F-O / E

     +1 = <1%, (< ? sm lobe) +1 | | | |

     +2 = 1-5%, (?-1 sm lobe) +2 | | | |

     +3 = > 5%, (> 1 sm lobe) +3 | | | |

     Missing = +3 #_____ & eta _____ time: m=_____

     HEART’

    KIDNEY’ WhiteSpots (WS) |

     Nephritis (N) WS | N

    #_____ & eta _____ |

    ULS: ABOMAS’

    PARA: #_____ & eta _____

    RUMEN’ Scars:

    #_____ & eta _____ Fungus:

    PREG’ #:

    #_____ & eta _____ est wt:

    Trims: Cont: #__ L ABS (pre)____

     #__ L DIS (pre)____

     #__ L TEL (pre)____

     #__ L PAR (pre)____

     #__ L CAR (pre)____

     #__ L CIR (pre)____

    #__ MISC (pre)____

    (CHECK THE RAIL OUTS!!!)

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    PACKER INSPECTION FORM (Non-Fed Culls) (CHECK THE RAIL OUTS)

     Plant: _______________ Date:____________ FL:_____________ Lot#:________

    Chain sp:___.__/M, _____.__/6M ______ /hr Unique ID’s Id & # _____/______ Line-up # _________

    Start time: IN PIT #______

     HIDE:DIRT = +1 to +3 ---------------------------------------------- BRANDS (Rump/Colo) /

    FEET: Lami, Pod, Sole (L) / (P) / (S) / EYES (1-2-3) L/R (1) / (2) / (3) /

     ---------------- JAWS L/R

    time: JAWS (L) ? #_____ & eta _____

    MAST: +1 to +3 (1) / (2) / (3) /;

     / Tongue / AGE

    time: #_____ & eta _____

     (1) / (2) / (3) / Joints: +1 to +3

    (<2): (2-4): (4->6): (<6): Condition Score:

    (F): / (B): / (S): / BRUS’(F,B,S) L/R

    (Mus 1-3) 1: 2: 3:

    (Fat color: Y-W: / / VCF (Mus & Fat (Y- W))

    time: #_____ & eta _____

     A : CC : P : FO : E

     LUNG=A/G/P/FO/E

     / / / /

    time: m=_____ #_____ & eta _____

     HEART’

    #: est wt: PREG UT PATH:

    Ov: Met: Adh: #_

     ____ & eta _____

    KIDNEY’ ( ws / n ) ws /n

    ULS: PARA: ABOMASUM

    Scars: Fungus: RUMEN'#____ & eta

    _____

     NEOPLASM

    CONDEM: E, P, S, N____ E: P: S: N: O:

    Trims: Cont: #__ L ABS (pre)____

     #__ L DIS (pre)____

     #__ L TEL (pre)____

     #__ L PAR (pre)____

     #__ L CAR (pre)____

     #__ L CIR (pre)____

    #__ MISC (pre)____

    (CHECK THE RAIL OUTS!!!)

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THE REPORT

    Quality and Production Control Monitoring Inspection

    To: From: Dee Griffin

     NU-GPVEC

     PO Box 187

     Clay Center, NE 68933

     402-762-4500

    Date: ID #: #Cattle: Sex: Packer:

    INSPECTION RESULTS: PERCENT OF CATTLE OBSERVED

    (The numbers in parenthesis are the total number of cattle from the group examined.)

    Quality or Production Control Points Monitored # Observed Percent Interpretation Hide Defects (HIDE) No brands, (Brand, Mud, and External Parasites) clean Implant Defects (IMPLANT) (missing, bunched, cartilage embedded, abscessed) 5% Abs (60), Frame Size Variation (FSV)

     15-20% (60) Carcass Finish Variation (CFV)

     10% (60) Bruising (BRUISE)

     0% (60) Injection Trim and Location (INJ-TRIM) Skimmed

     0% All Cattle Tracheal & Tongue defects / Est.Age (TRAC-TNG)

     0% (40) Lung defects (LUNG) (active, 10% (40) adhesions/collapsed/consolidated/parasites)

    Heart lesions (HEART)

     5% (40) Liver abscesses (LIV-AB) (Total and Severe) 13% (102) Liver Flukes (LIV-FLU)

     7% (102) Adhesions of the intestines or abdomen (ADHES)

     4% (102) Kidney Defects (KIDNEY)

     5% (40) Rumen lesions from previous acidosis (ACID)

     less < (20)

    10%

    Parasites in the abomasum (PARASITE) 25% (4)

     25%

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Pregnancies (PREG) ----

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