Scientific Opinion on Hatchery Waste as animal by-products
The risk posed by the possible use of dead-in-shell chicks for the production of processed petfood was assessed. According to current legislation two processing methods were considered i) treatment to a minimum Fc value of 3; and ii) treatment of at least 90°C throughout the substance of the final product. A list of the possible pathogens potentially present in the material to be treated was compiled and the available literature data was used to assess the ability of the processing methods to inactivate the most resistant pathogens identified. The processing methods were assessed assuming that the heat treatments would be performed in a moist environment. Spores of Clostridium botulinum were identified as the most resistant hazard potentially present in the material to be processed. Circovirus and parvovirus, and Enterococcus faecium were considered respectively as the most resistant viruses and non-sporulating bacterium to heat treatment. Moreover, depending on storage conditions, the generation of bacterial toxins could be possible. Consequently, the processing methods considered were assessed against their ability to inactivate those hazards. The risk related to the use of dead-in-shell chicks, submitted to a conventional heat treatment to a minimum Fc value of 3 in a moist environment, for the production of canned petfood was considered negligible. No indication is given in the current regulation on the processing time and heating method needed for the treatment at 90°C throughout the substance of the final product. A treatment lasting 18 seconds can assure a rapid destruction of the non-sporeforming bacteria identified as hazards. However, this treatment is not able to inactivate other relevant hazards such as bacterial spores, thermoresistant viruses and some toxins. The final risk posed by the agents that may survive this treatment additionally depends on several factors and cannot be considered to be negligible.