The poultry slaughterhouses and water
Water is a crucial resource for poultry farming due to its relevant roles in the farm and the slaughterhouses, where it is used for...
Water is a crucial resource for poultry farming due to its relevant roles in the farm and the processing plant, where it is used for transportation, sanitization, and heat exchange. However, daily in the slaughterhouse, we forget that water is also a finite and expensive resource. These reasons are more than justifiable for implementing a water conservation program in slaughterhouses.
Latin America has varied and abundant natural resources, which often leads to a lack of awareness regarding their use. The casual use of water in poultry slaughterhouses is a good example.
That has to change because the meat industry is being pressured and demanded to change its methods and practices in different areas of the activity.
Among the users, the sustainability of the businesses is one of the priorities, and water use is only one of its many variables. But we can start with it, waking up to the environmental and economic importance of implementing a conservation program!
A conservation program is an investment that pays off. It is a collective responsibility, and for it to bear fruit requires a long-term commitment to its operation and results from all hierarchical levels of the plant, especially senior management. Its implementation is based on some points, very simple in general terms, which facilitates and speeds up its start-up:
- Declare the conservation program of strategic interest of the company.
- Know the plant, measuring the [register] current consumption, total or rather by sector and activity, if there are the means for this.
- Measure the water pressure that feeds the plant and the different sectors and activities. Consumption is a direct function of pressure! If the pressure is high (above 40 to 50 psi), it is recommended to reduce it gradually over a few weeks.
- Break down water consumption by equipment – showers, coolers, evisceration, offal processing, or others – which will be the basis for creating the opportunity map.
- Declare war on water leaks.
- Implement a consumption indicator – for example, liters/bird slaughtered – and establish reduction goals that are feasible and gradual.
- Confirm the reduction in consumption by monitoring the products' microbiological quality, the plant's highest priority.
- Launch the PDCA for the conservation program.
- Don't forget to recognize achievements.
* Author's literature available upon request
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