Last Update: 4 Jan 2022.

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7.1 Standard operating procedure (SOP) for carcase dressing

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Pig Welfare, Slaughter and Biosecurity / Carcase dressing

Standard operating procedure (SOP) for carcase dressing

7.1.1 The site shall have standard operating procedures (SOP`s) that clearly define the desired quality attributes required for clean carcases.

7.1.2 All carcases shall be scalded, de-haired, singed and scraped to produce a firm, clean and undamaged rind. 

7.1.3 Carcases shall be carefully opened, and the back-bone split centrally down to the head to enable complete removal of the spinal cord. 

7.1.4 The ventral (belly) face of the carcase shall be opened carefully, either manually or by use of automated opening robots, to ensure that gut content does not contaminate the meat surface during viscera removal. 

7.1.5 Minor gut contamination shall be removed by manual trimming.

7.1.6 Where carcases become heavily contaminated due to burst gut incidents e.g. excessive intestinal content spillage, they shall be standard operating procedures (SOP`s) in place that identify and segregate contaminated carcases that are excluded from the charter.

7.1.7 Viscera and pluck shall be removed in such a way that offal does not touch the working platform at the removal point.

7.1.8 A system shall be available for informing producers of any partial or complete carcase condemnation.

7.1.9 Records of communication of condemned carcases with the producer shall be retained.

7.1.10 The health mark shall be applied to each side of the carcase after post mortem inspection and in addition there shall be an identification number that confirms the slaughter date.


For manual opening, the blade of the operatives’ knife may be inverted whilst opening the ventral face of the carcase to minimise the risk of inadvertently puncturing the viscera. Contact the BMPA for visual guidance on levels of burst gut contamination.

7.1.8 The system for informing the producer shall be appropriate.


Visual inspection of process and carcases. Verify system for excluding heavily contaminated carcases from charter.

7.1.8 Examples of records of communication since the last audit.