Labelling Requirements for Meat and Poultry Products
Voluntary Claims and Statements

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Fat Claims

All acceptable Nutrient Content Claims related to fat are listed in the Summary Table of Fat Claims. Claims such as "Contains not more than x% fat" or "Contains less than x% fat" are not acceptable. However, claim such as "Contains less than (number) g of fat per serving" could be acceptable if the food and its label meet the requirements listed in Column # 2 and # 3 of the above mentioned table.

"Lean" and "Extra Lean"

The conditions and permitted foods for using the claims "lean" and "extra lean" can be found in items i) and j) of the Summary Table of Fat Claims.

Prepared foods such as meat pie, lasagna, pizza, meat/poultry/fish sauces or pastes are not eligible to make these claims.

Note: It is not permitted to label the product "Lean (name of the meat cut or prepared meat product)" with the claim "92% fat free" (instead of "contains 8% fat"). Furthermore, labels with claims such as "ABC packers lean or extra lean ham" are not considered acceptable.

The above definitions of "lean" and "extra lean" do not apply to the ground meat or ground poultry which are subject to the standards for ground meats as defined in Schedule I of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990. For more information, refer to Common Name – Meat and Poultry Products.

Protein Claims: Percent (%) Meat Protein

Protein Claims outlines the conditions for making a protein claim.

The percent (%) meat protein declaration is required as part of the common name for meat and poultry products with added phosphate salts and/or water. For more information, please refer to Phosphated Meats and Meat Products.


The term "fresh" gives the impression that the food has not been processed or preserved in any way. The claim "fresh (naming the food)" should therefore be used to describe a food that is not canned, cured, dehydrated, frozen or otherwise processed or preserved. The following types of ingredients are eligible to use fresh claims:

  • Meats, including poultry products that have not been treated by any means, other than by refrigeration, vacuum packaging or modified atmosphere packaging to ensure their preservation, may be called "fresh".
  • "Fresh sausage" made with frozen meat may be described as "fresh" [Schedule 1, MIR].

Refer to Fresh Claims for more information.

Method of Production or Animal Production

For information on method of production or animal production claims, refer to Method of Production.

Air-chilled Poultry

The use of the term "air-chilled" is permitted for poultry products that are refrigerated in a way to show that there is no moisture gain as a result of post evisceration washing, chilling and drainage. This method has to be implemented as a control program by the establishment using it.

Claims such as "no water added during the chilling process" are permitted if the poultry is air chilled and the Operator demonstrates through a quality control program and data that there is no more than 0.5% of water retained (to account for the scale variability) post evisceration [7.7, Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures].

Additional Terms

No word or phrase set out in column I of an item of the table below on processing and labelling requirements for meat products can be shown on the label of a meat product unless the meat product meets the requirements set out in column II [94(6), MIR].

Processing and Labelling Requirements for Meat Products [Schedule IV, MIR]
Item Column I
Word or Phrase
Column II
  • "Baked"
  • "Oven roasted"
Having dry heat applied without direct contact with a flame for a time sufficient to produce the characteristics of a baked or roasted meat product, such as a brown crust on the surface, rendering out-of-surface fat or caramelization of sugar. The meat product must be ready-to-eat.
2. "Barbecued" Cooked with seasoning. The meat product must be ready-to-eat.
  • "Basted"
  • "Deep basted"
  • "Prebasted"
  • "Self basting"
Injected with meat broth containing at least 15% solid matter, butter or edible fats or oils that are of vegetable origin, up to a maximum of 3%.
4. "Breaded" Coated with a combination of batter and bread or cracker crumbs.
  • "Cooked"
  • "Fully cooked"
Subjected to heat for a time sufficient to produce the characteristics of a cooked meat product in respect of friability, colour, texture and flavour. The meat product must be ready-to-eat.
6. "Corned" Cured.
  • "Dried"
  • "Dry"
  • "Semi-dry"
Dehydrated. The meat product must be ready-to-eat.
8. "Freeze-dried" Dehydrated by a process of freeze drying.
9. "Jellied" Gelling agent added at more than 0.25%.
10. "Rolled" Boned, rolled and tied.
11. "Semi-boneless" At least 45% deboned.
12. "Shankless"
  1. In the case of a foreleg, having the forelimb removed at the elbow joint;
  2. In the case of a hind leg, having the hind limb removed at the knee joint.
13. "Smoked" Treated with smoke as prescribed by the Food and Drug Regulations.
  • "Stuffed"
  • "Stuffed with"
Stuffed with any or all of the following ingredients: bread, grains, fruits, nuts, vegetables, or like substances or with a prepared meat product, and may include seasoning, animal or vegetable fat.
15. "With giblets" Containing a liver, a heart or a gizzard or any combination of them from the same species.
16. "With natural juices" Packaged in a package containing the juices generated by the cooking of the meat product.

Meat Cut and Species Specific Claims

Claims highlighting a specific meat cut, species or subspecies can be made on labels and in advertising if they meet the common name requirements for the meat product. For example:

Meat cut claim

"Contains X% Sirloin" on the label of a "Beef Burger".

Species-specific claim

"Contains X% Angus" on the label of a "Beef Burger".

Any claims about the percentage of a meat cut or specific species in a meat product must be based on the total product formulation.

For information on the common name requirements that must be met to make these claims, refer to Highlighting Meat Cuts in Common Name and Species-specific Common Names.

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