Clean/Dirty Slaughter Animals

Animals with clean hides or skins at slaughter are easier to slaughter in a hygienically way and produce less contamination and bacteria on the meat than animals with dirty hides or skins.  

Clean skins and hides at slaughter lead to hygienic processing and less meat contamination than dirty skins and hides. The same applies to shorn sheep. Long wool makes the skin stiffer and it easily bends onto the meat during skinning, which causes contamination on the slaughter surface. Long wool is also difficult for the operators to cut through. It is therefore important for food safety to have clean animals for slaughter.

According to regulations, animals for slaughter must be clean. A national guideline describes the Norwegian system in abattoirs for categorizing animals according to their cleanliness and deductions in payment (economic penalty) for farmers who supply dirty animals for slaughter or animals to be slaughtered with long wool. After the E. coli case in 2006, this scheme was included. In addition, the industry wants to:

  • Channel high-risk carcasses into a separate product stream that will undergo heat treatment or a similar process before consumption
  • Advice to producers to help increase the supply of satisfactory clean animals for slaughter