Labelling Requirements for Meat and Poultry Products
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Meat Products for Which a Minimum Meat Protein Content is Prescribed

[MIR Schedule I; FDR, Divisions 14 and 22]

The following table provides the minimum meat protein level for specific products. Note that Column 1 and 2 repeat across the page.

Column 1
Meat Product
Column 2
Minimum Meat Product Protein Table Note 2
Meat Pattie Table Note 3 15% (uncooked)
Meat Balls Table Note 3
Meat Burger Table Note 3
Meat Chopette Table Note 3
Meat Croquette Table Note 3
Meat Cutlette Table Note 3
Meat Steakette Table Note 3
11.5% (uncooked)
Meat Balls Table Note 3
Meat Burger Table Note 3
Meat Chopette Table Note 3
Meat Croquette Table Note 3
Meat Cutlette Table Note 3
Meat Steakette Table Note 3
Flakes of Meat Table Note 3 15%
Sausage (ready to eat)
Liver Sausage
Blood Sausage 9.5%
Corned Beef 21% when enclosed in a hermetically sealed container
Meat Roll Table Note 3 15%
Tourtière 11.5%
Blood and Tongue Sausage 9.5%
Breakfast Sausage
Dinner Sausage
Sausage Meat
7.5% (uncooked)
Preserved Sausage or (if sodium or potassium nitrite or both, or sodium erythorbate or erythorbic acid are added)
Cured Sausage
7.5% (uncooked)
Potted Meat Table Note 3
Meat Paste Table Note 3
Meat Spread Table Note 3
Meat Paté Table Note 3
Liver Paste
Liver Spread
Paté de Foie
Meat Loaf Table Note 3
Meat Lunch Table Note 3
Luncheon Meat Table Note 3
Chopped Ham 12%
Creton 11.5%
Country-Style Creton 12%
Black Pudding
Blood Pudding

Table Notes

Table Note 2

Unless otherwise specified, the % meat protein is for products in the cooked state.

Return to table note 2  referrer

Table note 3

The word meat may be replaced by the name of the animal species or the cut of meat of the animal species.

Return to table note 3  referrer

Compliance Policy for Protein Standards of Meat and Poultry Products Containing Phosphate Salts and/or Water

Tolerances for declarations of energy and nutrients in the Nutrition Facts table are described in the Compliance Test.

The following compliance policy applies to:

  • the minimum meat protein standards for meat and poultry [MIR, 1990],
  • meat and poultry products to which phosphate salts or water have been added [B.14.021, B.22.012, FDR], and
  • the labelling requirements for meat and poultry products to which phosphate salts and/or water have been added, [B.01.090, B01.091, FDR].

See Declaration of the Minimum Meat Protein Content as Part of the Common Name for more details on labelling requirements and minimum protein levels.

The purpose of the policy is to provide information on sampling plans and tolerances to help in the accurate labelling of meat products with added phosphate salts and/or water.


  1. It is the responsibility of industry to ensure that the food meets the protein composition requirements of the applicable regulations and that labelling information accurately reflects the nutrient content of the product.
  2. Manufacturers should have good quality control of the formulation of the product to minimize variability.
  3. Results obtained by following a sampling plan will help with verification of labelling information and formula control.

Sampling Plan

For the purpose of this section, lot and sample have been defined as follows:

A lot is a collection of primary containers or units of the same size, type and style produced under conditions as uniform as possible, with a common container code or marking or, if not code or marking, a day's production. In no case would more than a day's production be considered a lot.

A sample is the unit of analysis. It shall consist of five units selected randomly from a lot; the units may be composited and analyzed as a single sample, or may be analyzed individually and the results averaged.

Note: Bones, covering pork rind or a visible fat layer (i.e. subcutaneous fat or fat between the muscles) shall not be included in a sample used to determine meat protein content for the purpose of the minimum meat protein content [B. 14.021, B.22.012, FDR]. It is also not included in the main panel declaration of protein content [B.01.090, FDR].

A sample size of five consumer units is used in all cases. The sampling plan provides the option of either a composite sample or the average of individual samples. Either method will give values which are representative of the lot. Analysis of individual samples, however, will permit calculation of the nutrient variability from container to container.

The production lot should be properly sampled and analyzed by trained staff using recognized methods of measurement such as Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) methodsFootnote 4. The analyst may determine how best to collect and analyze products in order to ensure accuracy of the declared values.


Tolerances for protein/nutrient content are set at these levels:

  • minimum meat protein content – equal to requirement
  • main panel per cent meat protein – 10 percent from label value

For the front panel statement of the % meat protein content as part of the common name, a 10% tolerance from label value is applied where the declaration is above the minimum level. This level balances the need for reliable values to allow consumers to make informed choices with the need for a technically achievable range. There may be significant variability in the protein content of meat and poultry products containing added phosphate or water as a result of variabilities in food manufacturing and processing systems and the inherent variability of protein in the food.

Minimum Meat Protein Standard [MIR, 1990; B.14.021, B.22.012, FDR]

The lot is deemed to be out of compliance when the protein content of the sample (composite or mean) is less than the minimum meat protein requirement, or when a single unit is less than 90 percent of the minimum.

Percent (%) Meat Protein Declaration (main panel as part of common name [B.01.090, FDR])

  1. Where the percent (%) meat protein declaration is equal to the minimum required protein level:

    A lot would be considered as non-compliance if the meat protein content of the sample (composite or mean) is less than the minimum, or if a single unit is less than 90 percent of the minimum.

  2. Where the declared percent (%) meat protein is greater than the minimum required protein level:

    A lot is considered as non-compliance when the meat protein content of the sample (composite or mean) is less than 90 percent of the declared value.

Meat protein content levels that are greater than the amount declared are acceptable, provided they are within good manufacturing practices.

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