9 CFR 381.66 - Temperatures and chilling and freezing procedures.

§ 381.66 Temperatures and chilling and freezing procedures.

(a)General. Temperatures and procedures that are necessary for chilling and freezing ready-to-cook poultry, including all edible portions thereof, must be in accordance with operating procedures that ensure the prompt removal of the animal heat, preserve the condition and wholesomeness of the poultry, and assure that the products are not adulterated.

(b)Chilling performance standards, except for ratites. (1)(i) Each official poultry slaughter establishment must ensure that all poultry carcasses, parts, and giblets are chilled immediately after slaughter operations so that there is no outgrowth of pathogens, unless such poultry is to be frozen or cooked immediately at the official establishment.

(ii) Previously chilled poultry carcasses and major portions must be kept chilled so that there is no outgrowth of the pathogens, unless such poultry is to be packed and frozen immediately at the official establishment.

(2) After product has been chilled, the establishment must prevent the outgrowth of pathogens on the product as long as the product remains at the establishment.

(3) The establishment must develop, implement, and maintain written procedures for chilling that address, at a minimum, the potential for pathogen outgrowth, the conditions affecting carcass chilling, and when its chilling process is completed. The establishment must incorporate these procedures into its HACCP plan, or sanitation SOP, or other prerequisite program.

(c)Ice and water chilling.

(1) Only ice produced from potable water may be used for ice and water chilling, except that water and ice used for chilling may be reused in accordance with § 416.2(g). The ice must be handled and stored in a sanitary manner.


(i) Poultry chilling equipment must be operated in a manner consistent with meeting the applicable pathogen reduction performance standards for raw poultry products as set forth in § 381.94 and the provisions of the establishment's HACCP plan.

(ii) Major portions of poultry carcasses, as defined in § 381.170(b)(22), may be chilled in water and ice.

(d)Water absorption and retention.

(1) Poultry washing, chilling, and draining practices and procedures must be such as will minimize water absorption and retention at time of packaging.

(2) The establishment must provide scales, weights, identification devices, and other supplies necessary to conduct water tests.

(e)Air chilling. Air chilling is the method of chilling raw poultry carcasses and parts predominately with air. An antimicrobial intervention may be applied with water at the beginning of the chilling process, provided that its use does not result in any net pick-up of water or moisture during the chilling process. The initial antimicrobial intervention may result in some temperature reduction of the product, provided that the majority of temperature removal is accomplished exclusively by chilled air.


(1) Ready-to-cook poultry which is to be or is labeled with descriptive terms such as “fresh frozen,” “quick frozen” or “frozen fresh” or any other term implying a rapid change from a fresh state to a frozen state shall be placed into a freezer within 48 hours after initial chilling in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section. During this period, if such poultry is not immediately placed into a freezer after chilling and packaging, it shall be held at 36 °F. or lower.

(2) Ready-to-cook poultry shall be frozen in a manner so as to bring the internal temperature of the birds at the center of the package to 0 °F. or below within 72 hours from the time of entering the freezer. Such procedures shall not apply to raw poultry product described in § 381.129(b)(6)(i) of this subchapter.

(3) Upon written request, and under such conditions as may be prescribed by the Administrator, in specific cases, ready-to-cook poultry which is to be frozen immediately may be moved from the official establishment prior to freezing: Provided, That the plant and freezer are so located and such necessary arrangements are made that the Inspection Service will have access to the freezing room and adequate opportunity to determine compliance with the time and temperature requirements specified in paragraph (f)(2) of this section.

(4) Warm packaged ready-to-cook poultry which is to be chilled by immediate entry into a freezer within the official establishment shall within 2 hours from time of slaughter be placed in a plate freezer or a freezer with a functioning circulating air system where a temperature of −10 °F. or lower is maintained.

(5) Frozen poultry shall be held under conditions which will maintain the product in a solidly frozen state with temperature maintained as constant as possible under good commercial practice.

[ 37 FR 9706, May 16, 1972, as amended at 39 FR 4568, 4569, Feb. 5, 1974; 40 FR 42338, Sept. 12, 1975; 49 FR 9411, Mar. 13, 1984; 60 FR 44412, Aug. 25, 1995; 63 FR 48960, Sept. 11, 1998; 66 FR 1771, Jan. 9, 2001; 66 FR 19714, Apr. 17, 2001; 66 FR 22905, May 7, 2001; 79 FR 49634, Aug. 21, 2014]

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.

United States Code
U.S. Code: Title 7 - AGRICULTURE
U.S. Code: Title 21 - FOOD AND DRUGS

§ 451 - Congressional statement of findings

§ 452 - Congressional declaration of policy

§ 453 - Definitions

§ 454 - Federal and State cooperation in development and administration of State poultry product inspection programs

§ 455 - Inspection in official establishments

§ 456 - Operation of premises, facilities and equipment

§ 457 - Labeling and container standards

§ 458 - Prohibited acts

§ 459 - Compliance by all establishments

§ 460 - Miscellaneous activities subject to regulation

§ 461 - Offenses and punishment

§ 462 - Reporting of violations; notice; opportunity to present views

§ 463 - Rules and regulations

§ 464 - Exemptions

§ 465 - Limitations upon entry of poultry products and other materials into official establishments

§ 466 - Imports

§ 467 - Inspection services

§ 467a - Administrative detention; duration; pending judicial proceedings; notification of government authorities; release; removal of official marks

§ 467b - Seizure and condemnation

§ 467c - Federal court jurisdiction of enforcement and injunction proceedings and other kinds of cases; limitations; United States as plaintiff; subpenas

§ 467d - Administration and enforcement; applicability of penalty provisions; conduct of inquiries; power and jurisdiction of courts

§ 467e - Non-Federal jurisdiction of federally regulated matters; prohibition of additional or different requirements for establishments with inspection services and as...of adulterated or misbranded and imported articles; other matters

§ 467f - Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act applications

§ 468 - Cost of inspection; overtime

§ 469 - Authorization of appropriations

§ 470 - Omitted

Title 9 published on 05-Jan-2018 04:02

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 9 CFR Part 381 after this date.

  • 2017-06-16; vol. 82 # 115 - Friday, June 16, 2017
    1. 82 FR 27625 - Eligibility of the People's Republic of China (PRC) To Export to the United States Poultry Products From Birds Slaughtered in the PRC
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, Food Safety and Inspection Service
      Proposed rule.
      Comments must be received on or before August 15, 2017.
      9 CFR Part 381
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