Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

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Poultry Processing Industry eTool

Tasks Cutting & Deboning

After a chicken has been eviscerated and cleaned, it is prepared for packaging as a whole bird, or it may enter one of two processes: 1) the cutting process for preparation of a bone-in product, or 2) the cutting and deboning process for preparation of bone-out products.



In the cutting process, the wings and legs/thighs are removed from the carcass and the back is cut away from the breast. Bones are not removed.  At this point parts can be packaged as a consumer product, bulk-packed for delivery to other processors, or shipped to other parts of the plant for further processing.



Within-plant processing of cut-up parts generally involves creating creation of a bone-out product. The deboning process involves cutting meat away from the bone using traditional knives or Whizzard knives and trimming and cleaning with traditional bladed knives or scissors. The deboned parts are generally packaged as a fresh or flash frozen consumer product.

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