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Sharing Our Audit Results

Mérieux NutriSciences Audit Results

Criteria for this audit are based on the “National Chicken Council Animal Welfare Guidelines” published by the National Chicken Council (updated in 2017 and PAACO certified) and “Poultry Slaughter Plant and Farm Audit: Critical Control Points for Bird Welfare, August 2005,” published by Temple Grandin, PHD, at

NutriSciences conducted annual audits at 11 of our poultry live production and harvesting operations, including hatchery, grow out (farms), catching and transportation, and processing. The audit covers a total of 67 audit points, scored on a scale of 1-5, for a maximum possible score of 335 points. Operations are rated on a percentage basis.

  • We received scores between 98.81 and 100 for all locations audited.
  • We had 0 major non-conformances.
  • We had 11 minor non-conformances:
    • 3 of these were for effectiveness of harvest mechanical knife
    • 2 for ineffective training programs chicks and bird handling
    • 2 for birds not receiving proper darkness between 8 and 11 days
    • 1 not enough rodent traps
    • 1 fans not all working in cooling sheds
    • 1 leg health check completed more than 7 days from harvest
    • 1 exceeded pounds per square target with 2 flocks

USDA Process Verified Program Audit Results

Our USDA Process Verified Program (Updated continuously and PAACO certified) covers all of our live-production and harvesting operations. The audit tool combines the principles from the National Chicken Council Animal Welfare Guidelines (Updated 2017 and PAACO certified) and our “Best Practices.” Participation in this program is approved by the Agricultural Marketing Service of the USDA. Companies that operate under a Process Verified Program must comply with criteria outlined in the program requirements, and that are audited annually. Since the AMS audits were developed utilizing ISO 19001 Guides for Quality Management Systems audits, they are not “scored.” Instead, they only identify non-conformances, which are classified as “major” and or “minor.”

The past year, the USDA Livestock, Poultry, and Seed Program’s Quality Assessment Division conducted annual audits in 1 of our 11 chicken live-production and harvesting operations for conformance to our USDA Process Verified Program Poultry Care. Each audit covers a minimum of 188 audit points in more than 50 areas. In 2021 we had 3 major Non-Conformances and 9 minor Non-Conformances with our PVP audits:

  • 3 Majors:
    • Not conducting leg injuries checks per the standard
    • Training records not complete
    • 1 associate working that wasn't trained
  • 9 Minors:
    • 3 for failed leg injuries check
    • 2 for ammonia above 25 PPM
    • 2 for failed footpad health score
    • 1 for excessive caked litter
    • 1 for not meeting lighting program between 7 and 11 days

Global Animal Partnership

Some of our customers require Global Animal Partnership (GAP) certification, which applies to the farms raising chickens for those products. GAP certified farms are audited every 15 months.

  • During 2021, GAP audited 174 farms, all of which passed GAP certification. GAP identified:
    • 1 major non-conformances - for stocking density issues
    • 13 minor non-conformances - highest number of issues were for mortality greater than 5% (6), (4) footpad scores greater than 15, (2) minors for stocking density and (1) for drinkers raised more than 1 before loading

USDA Certified Organic

Every farm raising organic chickens for us is third party audited for meeting the requirements of the National Organic Program for USDA Certified Organic. Farms are inspected annually by third party organic certifiers.

  • All 172 farms raising organic chickens passed their audit. The audits identified 21 non-conformances.
    • 5 feed record issues
    • 4 needing a larger buffer area
    • 2 rodent bait issues
    • 10 other issues for different things

Customer Welfare Audits

Our operations are regularly subject to audits by our customers to ensure adherence to their standards. We passed all customer audits.

Third-Party Video Monitoring

We use third-party video monitoring in live-bird handling areas of all 11 of our harvest facilities. This includes random reviews of video covering 13.1 million birds in 283,900 audit events during 2021. During that time, we achieved a compliance rate of 99.83 percent.

We also had 7 of our operations using video to monitor our live haul operations. This includes random reviews of video covering 2.1 million birds in 12,600 audit events during 2021. During that time, we achieved a compliance rate of 99.84 percent. 

Company Stewardship Report

Learn about the steps we're taking to reach our goal of becoming the most trusted name in food and agricultural products.