Putting Glass Walls on Pennsylvania Slaughterhouses So We Can
See Behind Closed Doors
Empire Kosher Poultry
Address: 1 River Rd, Juniata Cty, Mifflintown, PA 17059
Establishment No.: p1015
USDA Inspection Report: 23 Jan 2012
Citation: At approximately 10:58am while performing a Good Commercial Practice task, I observed a live chicken fall into a DOA barrel. The barrel appeared to recently be placed under the conveyor belt that drops the poultry into the DOA barrel; this was noted as the barrel was empty. Within a few seconds a bird dropped 7-8 feet off of the conveyor belt and into the barrel. The bird was on its stomach and rhythmically breathing. Within approximately 2-3 seconds another bird dropped on the first breathing bird. Rabbi Rokach was standing beside me. I immediately asked him to stop the lines so as not to cause the bird more injury, and to get the bird out of the barrel. Upon further examination of the chicken, it appeared to be bright, alert, and responsive. The neck was examined for a cut and no cut had been made. Regulatory control action was taken and the chicken kill lines remained stopped. Mr. 1st Processing Superintendent, and Mr. Plant Manager, were informed of the situation. Mr. and Mr. offered the solution to re-train employees, interview each employee on the chicken kill lines, place an employee at the DOA barrel temporarily to ensure that all birds going into the barrel have their neck cut, and train any new employees or current employees that move to the kill area from another location in the establishment. I followed Mr. and Mr. to the kill room where they spoke to the men on the kill lines. The men were told that every bird that goes on the conveyor belt to the DOA barrel must have its neck cut, even if the bird is presumed to be dead. I confirmed that an employee was placed at the DOA barrel, then proceeded to lift the regulatory control action, and allow the establishment to begin slaughter again. The chicken kill lines were under regulatory control for approximately 30 minutes. The establishment is in noncompliance with 9 CFR 381.65(b), poultry must be slaughtered in accordance with good commercial practices.
381.65(b) Poultry must be slaughtered in accordance with good commercial practices in a manner that will result in thorough bleeding of the carcasses and ensure that breathing has stopped prior to scalding. Blood from the killing operation must be confined to a relatively small area.