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Cancellation of Bulletin 42 - Inspection and Labelling of Fish Products that have Received some Heat Treatment but are not Ready-to-eat

Bulletin superseded

24/03/06

To: All Holders of the Fish Products Inspection Manual

Subject: Inspection and Labelling of Fish Products that have Received some Heat Treatment but are not Ready-to-eat

Note: This bulletin supersedes and replaces Bulletin 37Footnote 5. Please remove this bulletin from your manual.

The purpose of this bulletin is to inform manual holders of the specific labelling requirements for fish products that are not ready-to-eat but could be perceived as such by consumers. Examples of those products are: frozen blanched crab legs, frozen "flash fried" breaded fish portions, frozen fillets with grill marks.

The following labelling requirements have been established to address potential health and safety hazards from pathogenic organisms which could be related to the consumption of the products that are the subject of this Bulletin:

  • The statement "This is a raw product. It must be properly cooked prior to use", or similar must be present in close proximity to the common name.
  • Statements such as "ready-to-eat", and similar statements giving any impression that the fish product can be consumed without further heat treatment, are not permitted on the label [section 27 FIR].
  • Placing cooking instructions on the label is optional. However, if present the cooking instructions must be sufficient to ensure safety of the product.
  • If a vignette is present on the label, and this vignette creates an impression that the product is ready-to-eat, the statement "Serving suggestions" or similar must be on, or adjacent to the vignette [section 27, FIR].
  • In cases when storage conditions are mandatory [as per section B.01.007.(1.1)(b)(ii) of the Food and Drug Regulations] they must be present on the label. It is strongly recommended that storage conditions are also placed on the labels of those products on which this information is not required by the Regulations, e.g., frozen "flash fried" breaded fillets.

A fish product that has been subjected to heat treatment but is not a ready-to-eat product must be labelled in accordance with the requirements presented in this bulletin before it will be permitted entry into Canada and/or be sold in Canada.

Mary Ann Green
Director
Fish, Seafood and Production Division

Amendment no. 26 - Chapter 14, Net Content Determination

Amendment 26 - amendment to Chapter 14, Net Content Determination

Definitions

Net Weight:
with respect to unfrozen or frozen lobster meat, means the weight of the edible contents of a container after the liquid has been drained from the container by a method approved by the Minister and, with respect to any other fish, means the total weight of the edible contents of a container.

7. Procedure: Drained Contents

7.1 Non-frozen Products Packed in Water, Brine or Vinegar (many canned and semi-preserved products fall into this category)

7.1.1 Sample Preparation

Allow the sample units to come to a temperature of 20-25°C. No additional preliminary product preparation is necessary.

7.1.2 Weight Determination

  1. After opening the container, transfer product to a sieveFootnote 6, distributing evenly over the surface of the mesh. Incline the sieveFootnote 6 at an angle of 20 to 30 degrees from horizontal, or for canned product, incline the can at an angle of 20 to 30 degrees from horizontal.
  2. Without shifting the product, drain for a period of 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer the drained product to a scale and weigh, or weigh can and contents and tare the weight of the can. The resultant figure is the net content for that sample unit.

7.2 Glazed Frozen Products (including glazed shellfish, groundfish and crustacean products)

This is a drained weight because the glaze is being removed from the product. The product remains frozen.

7.2.1 Sample Preparation

  1. Remove package from storage, open and place product under gentle spray of cold water.
  2. Agitate carefully, spraying the product until all glaze which can be seen or felt is removed.

7.2.2 Weight Determination

  1. After deglazing, transfer product to a sieveFootnote 6.
  2. Incline the sieveFootnote 6 at an angle of 20 to 30 degrees from horizontal and drain for a period of 2 minutes. This will remove the spray water from the product. The product remains frozen during this step.
  3. Transfer the drained product to a tare pan and weigh. The resultant figure is the net content for that sample unit.

7.3 Frozen Crustacean Products Immersed in Water or Brine (e.g., popsicle pack lobster)

7.3.1 Sample Preparation

Thaw the sample unit by submerging in cool running or circulating water until a core meat temperature of between 10°C - 15°C (50°F - 59°F) is reached. This may be accomplished by using a sink with running tap water or a circulating water bath. Under some thawing conditions it may be necessary to allow the product to sit at room temperature until a minimum core temperature of 10°C (50°F) is reached.

7.3.2 Weight Determination

  1. After the product has thawed, as determined by a loss of rigidity, transfer the product to a sieveFootnote 6, distributing it evenly over the surface of the mesh, or for canned product invert over a beaker.
  2. Without shifting the product, incline the sieveFootnote 6 or can at an angle of 20 to 30 degrees from horizontal and drain for a period of 2 minutes.
  3. Transfer the drained product to a tare pan and weigh; or weigh the package (can) and the contents and then tare the weight of the packaging (can). The resultant figure is the net content for that sample unit.

7.4 Frozen Crustacean Products or Molluscan Shellfish Meats to which Water or Brine has been Added to the Final Product (e.g., frozen canned lobster meat)

7.4.1 Sample Preparation

  1. Open container of frozen product.
  2. Place contents of individual package in a wire mesh basket and immerse in a container of fresh water at 26 ± 3°C (80 ± 5°F) such that the top of the basket extends above the water level. The wire-mesh basket must be large enough to hold the contents of one package and with openings small enough to retain all pieces of the product.
  3. Introduce water of the same temperature, 26 ± 3°C (80 ± 5°F), at the bottom of the container at a flow rate of 4-11 litres per minute.

7.4.2 Weight Determination

  1. As soon as the product thaws, as determined by loss of rigidity, transfer all material to a sieveFootnote 6, distributing evenly.
  2. Without shifting the material, incline the sieveFootnote 6 to 30 degrees from horizontal in order to facilitate drainage.
  3. After two minutes, transfer product to a tare pan and weigh. The resultant figure is the net content for that sample unit.

Appendix E

In order to build flexibility into the policy document, the sieve number to be used when determining the drained weight is not designated. The intention is that the appropriately sized sieve will be used as dictated by the particulate size of the product.

There is guidance in the Codex Alimentarius and in publications of the American Organization of Analytical Chemists (AOAC) regarding the sieve size that may be chosen for a particular product type.

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