Goose Processors wants amendment to ready-to-cook poultry regulations

Canada’s Northern Goose Processors Ltd. has petitioned USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to amend regulations implementing the Poultry Products Inspection Regulations’ proposed definition of ready-to-cook poultry.

The 47-page submission was assigned petition number 22-01 and referred to the FSIS Office of Policy and Program Development.

It calls for amending an existing regulation for ready-to-cook poultry, meaning slaughter of poultry free from protruding feathers from the head, feet, crop, oil gland, trachea, esophagus, entrails, and lungs are removed along with mature reproductive organs and kidneys. Involved is a product that is suitable for cooking without further processing.

The amendment to the ready-to-cook poultry regulation is sought by Elissa C. Norden of the Teulon, Manitoba-based Northern Goose Processors Ltd. The petition claims that “amending the definition of ready-to-cook poultry would not sacrifice the integrity of food safety.”

Melissa Hammar, acting director of the FSIS regulations staff, responded to the Northern Goose Processors petition with this explanation:

“The petition requests that FSIS amend 9 CFR 381.1 to change the Ready to Cook Poultry definition to include partial dressing of a carcass as authorized by the Secretary if the producer shows that there is a market for the product and that the carcass can pass a post-mortem inspection. 

“As stated in your petition, FSIS does not recognize a poultry product with the head remaining intact as a product eligible to bear the mark of inspection. Because the head remains intact, the product defaults to the exempt product category. 

“The petition states that the Chinese Young Goose with Head product produced by your company meets the physical description of certain religious exempt products but that labeling the product as religious exempt would be false and would not accurately reflect the actual product in the package. 

“According to the petition, keeping the head intact by changing the 9 CFR 381.1 definition is needed to remove a barrier to product development.”

The petition requests that FSIS amend 9 CFR 381.1 to change the Ready to Cook Poultry definition to include partial dressing of a carcass as authorized by the Secretary if the producer shows that there is a market for the product and that the carcass can pass a post-mortem inspection.

Northern Goose specializes in the processing and selling of naturally grown geese. It’s been in business since 1976.

The Northern Goose petition is the first to be filed with FSIS in 2022.

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