Submitted to: Proceedings of the Atalantic Poultry Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 12, 2007
Publication Date: February 15, 2007
Citation: Northcutt, J.K., Buhr, R.J. 2007. Poultry carcass downgrades: Who's responsible?. Proceedings of the Atalantic Poultry Conference. p. 62-67. Technical Abstract: Statistics collected in 2005 by the USDA indicate that nearly 1% of broilers (78 million broilers) and 1.7% of turkeys (4.2 million) were condemned post-mortem for infectious diseases (tuberculosis, leukosis, septicemica, airsacculitis, or synovitis) or other conditions (bruises, cadavers, contamination or overscalding). Of the condemned carcasses, 1% of the broilers and 0.5% of the turkeys were discarded because of bruising. The areas of the carcass where the majority of the bruises develop are the wings (36%), drum (27%) and breast (19%). It has been suggested that 98% of the bruises found on poultry carcasses occur during the last 24 h before processing. Research was conducted to develop a visual color guide to assist the poultry industry in minimizing injuries. This guide has been used by several poultry companies for animal welfare programs. Color measurements showed that bruises were darkest in color when they occurred 6 hours before processing (fully developed bruise color). All bruises became greener in color as the injury age increased, with maximum greenness in bruises that occurred 24 hours before processing. Our data suggest that the approximate age of a bruise may be estimated using objective color measurements and visual observations.