The effect on meat quality and the presence of haemorrhages were assessed in head-only electrically stunned and non-stunned lambs. Colour (L*, a*, b*), muscle ultimate pH (pHu), chilling losses and carcass weight at 45 min and 24 h were not significantly different between treatments. However, the amount of blood lost relative to live body weight and the killing-out were significantly higher (P <0.05) in electrically stunned lambs compared with non-stunned lambs. No carcasses with petechiae, ecchymosis, haematomas and bone fractures were found in either treatment. On the other hand, the incidence of hearts with petechiae was significantly (P <0.05) higher in electrically stunned lambs compared with lambs slaughtered without prior stunning. It is concluded that meat quality and the incidence of haemorrhages are unaffected by head-only electrical stunning for 3 s at a constant voltage of 250 V. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Electrical stunning
- Meat quality