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The body of a dead animal; in reference to animals used for human food, the body after the hide, head, tail, extremities, and viscera have been removed.
[F. carcasse, fr. It. carcassa]


Food industry
The body of a livestock animal from which the head, hide, legs, tail and viscera have been removed before rendering it into cuts of meat.

Vox populi
Any dead animal, including a human, for which the term cadaver is generally preferred.


A dead body; the term is usually used to describe nonhuman bodies such as the remains of a steer or a sheep.

carcass, carcase

1. the body of an animal killed for meat. The head, the legs below the knees and hocks, the tail, the skin and most of the viscera are removed. The kidneys are left in and in most instances the body is split down the middle through the sternum and the vertebral bodies. Pig carcasses are dehaired (see below). Bird carcasses are not split; the feathers are removed after scalding but the skin is not removed and no viscera are left in place. In New York dressed poultry the viscera are left in.
2. the body of any dead animal.

carcass condemnation
meat inspection is carried out on the live animal and on viscera but the principal activity is during the carcass stage. If specific abnormalities are found which indicate that the carcass, or part of it, is unfit for human consumption it is condemned. It may be used for other purposes, e.g. after special processing inclusion in animal feeds.
carcass contamination
bacterial contamination of the carcass is a serious cause of deterioration of meat during storage. It is contributed to by having the animal come onto the abattoir floor with the hair and hide badly contaminated, by careless handling of the hide and the viscera, especially the alimentary tract, contamination of the water in scalding tanks for birds and pigs, and by lack of personal hygiene on the part of abattoir workers.
carcass dehairing
pig carcasses are not skinned. They are scalded and the bristles and superficial layers of skin scraped off. The scalding vat can be a source of serious contamination.
carcass differentiation
identification of the species, sex and age of a carcass is an important function of meat hygiene because of the need to guarantee the authenticity of the description of meat at the retail point. Much of this can be done on gross examination but final determination may require laboratory tests, especially in cases where fraudulent substitution is suspected.
carcass disposal
is necessary in an abattoir for condemned carcasses. Complete incineration is necessary in cases of highly infectious disease. Heat treatment sufficient to sterilize the tissues is carried out on less dangerous materials, leading to the preparation of animal feeds or agricultural fertilizer.
At practice premises the problem is a serious one if local government provisions do not include incineration of animal material. On site incineration may be prohibited by local legislation and the need to avoid unpleasant smells. Burial is satisfactory but tedious.
carcass dressing
removal of the hide, appendages and viscera.
carcass drip
see weeping.
carcass electrical stimulation
a method of tenderizing meat by the application of electrical stimulation so as to cause muscle contraction, lowering of pH and faster autolysis.
fevered carcass
congestion of the vessels so that the surfaces of tissues have a redder appearance, and individual vessels are more readily seen.
carcass merit
scale used in assessing carcass traits.
carcass setting
rigor mortis. The muscles are hard, the joints fixed, muscle tissue loses its translucence. Proper setting is an indication of satisfactory preparation for storage of the meat without deterioration.
carcass traits
criteria used in assessing quality of a carcass. Important in determining price, suitability of breeding program, value of sire. Includes length, weight, proportion of fat and lean, distribution of fat, relative size of valuable cuts.
carcass yield
proportion of the animal's liveweight salvaged at carcass point. Called also dressed weight, killing out percentage.
References in classic literature ?
I cast it behind me, and seizing the carcase dragged it to the edge of the rock and left it.
Vexed with having such a bad haul, when he had mended his nets, which the carcase of the ass had broken in several places, he threw them a second time.
Yet after all that must be said against Pope, it is only fair to conclude, as does his biographer, Sir Leslie Stephen: 'It was a gallant spirit which got so much work out of this crazy carcase, and kept it going, spite of all its feebleness, for fifty-six years.
It belongs to my chieftain," and here he touched his hat, "and while I would be but a silly messenger to grudge some of it that the rest might come safe, I should show myself a hound indeed if I bought my own carcase any too dear.
There were very few steamers in those latitudes then; and when they desired to leave this dead and drifting carcase, no ship came in sight.
Sometimes whispers of hate were heard passing between the languid skeletons that drifted endlessly to and fro, north and south, east and west, upon that carcase of a ship.
It's enough to turn a man ill, to see his lean old carcase shivering in that way, like a ugly ghost just rose from the grave.
Doctor examines the dank carcase, and pronounces, not hopefully, that it is worth while trying to reanimate the same.
Yes,' said Sam, 'and I vish they'd bring out the have-his- carcase.
3 The quality of pig carcasses covered by the contract is in accordance with the applicable rules defining the requirements veterinary trade, food safety and nutrition and EU regulations laying down the Community scale for grading pig carcases and the detailed rules for the application of the Community scale for grading pig carcases.
PRIME beef carcases improved in quality during 2012.
Even with the relatively high slaughter age profile, around a third of the dairy bulls in the study produced carcases weighing less than the 260-280kg minimum set by the modern market.