Frequently Asked Questions: Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990

The FAQs below are meant to provide Canadians and businesses with general information about the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's regulations.

1. What is the purpose of these regulations?

The Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990, under the authority of the Meat Inspection Act, provide requirements for international and interprovincial trade in meat products, the establishments in which such meat products are prepared, the inspections of the meat products and the standards to which the meat products must conform.

2. What are the key elements of these regulations?

Part I – Standards: regulates standards and identification of a meat product as edible or for use as animal food.

Part II – Registration, Licensing, Maintenance, Operations and Thermal Processing: sets out requirements for an establishment to be registered and for an operator to be licensed, safely operate an establishment and thermally process low-acid meat products in hermetically sealed containers.

Part III – Examination, Inspection, Humane Treatment and Slaughter, Packaging and Labelling: sets out requirements for the safe and humane handling and slaughtering, and post-mortem examination and inspection of a food animal. It also establishes packing and labelling requirements for meat products.

Part IV – Trade: sets out requirements for the exporting of a meat product and for the packaging and labelling of the product to be in accordance with requirements of the importing country. It also regulates the importing of a meat product into Canada and provides for the removal of a non-compliant meat product from Canada.

Part V – Administration: provides for the inspection of a registered establishment, and for the seizure and detention of meat products.

Schedule I – Standards for Meat Products: sets out requirements to meet certain standards for specific meat products.

3. How do these regulations affect Canadian businesses?

These regulations set out requirements for federally registered establishments and importers to ensure that their meat and poultry products are safe and wholesome. Under these regulations, registered and non-registered establishments are provided with requirements for labelling compliance.

4. When did these regulations come into force?

The Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 came into force May 14, 1990. They replaced the previous Meat Inspection Regulations made under Order in Council P.C. 1979-2123 on August 9, 1979.

5. Where can I get more information?

Please refer to the Meat and Poultry Products section of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's website for more information.

Questions on meat products may be directed to the CFIA Meat Hygiene Specialists at the CFIA regional office.

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