Labelling Requirements for Meat and Poultry Products
List of Ingredients – Meat and Poultry Products

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All ingredients, components and allergens of a meat product must be listed in descending order of their presence [94(1), MIR]. The Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) requirements respecting ingredients lists also apply to prepackaged meat products.

Exemptions from List of Ingredients

The following prepackaged meat products are exempt from declaring a list of ingredients:

  • Prepackaged meat, meat by-products, poultry and poultry meat by-products barbecued, roasted or broiled on the retail premises are exempt from declaring a list of ingredients [B.01.008, FDR].

There are also exemptions from declaring certain meat ingredients and components in the list of ingredients, as follows:

  • Sausage casings are not required to be shown on the label of prepackaged sausages as an ingredient or component [B.01.008, FDR]. However, for products subject to the MIA and MIR, the declaration of a natural casing is required if it is from a different species than the meat ingredients used in the sausage.
  • Prepared or preserved meat, meat by-products, poultry meat and poultry by-products used as ingredients in other foods, when the total amount of those ingredients is less than 10 percent of a prepackaged product that consists of an unstandardized food, are exempt from a declaration of their components [B.01.009, FDR].

See List of Ingredients for more information.

Cured Meat Products

The following are considered acceptable declarations of ingredients for cured meat products, such as ham and bacon:

  • Where the list of ingredients appears on the principal display panel, immediately below the common name of the meat product, the name of the meat product does not need to be repeated in the ingredient listing.
    • Example 1: Smoked ham
      • Cured with salt, sodium phosphate, sodium nitrate
    • Example 2: Bacon
      • Cured with water, salt, sugar, dextrose, sodium nitrate
      • Artificial maple flavour added
  • Where the ingredient listing is not immediately below the name but located elsewhere on the label, a total list of ingredients, including the kind of meat product, is necessary following the word "ingredients"
    • Example 1: smoked ham
      • Ingredients: ham, water, salt, sodium phosphate, sodium nitrate, smoke.
    • Example 2: bacon
      • Ingredients: pork, water, salt, sugar, dextrose, sodium nitrate, smoke, artificial maple flavour.

Products Where Mechanically Separated Meats Have Been Used

If more than one mechanically separated meat species is used in the meat block, the correct way to declare the ingredients list is to declare the types of mechanically separated meat in order of their proportion.

For example, the formulation below would be declared as:
Mechanically separated meat (chicken, pork, beef, veal), water ...

Species in meat block Per cent
Mechanically separated chicken 26.85%
Mechanically separated pork 20.00%
Mechanically separated beef 10.00%
Mechanically separated veal 9.55%
Water 22.60%
Spices and Filler 11.00%

If more than one mechanically separated species meat is used in the meat block as well as boneless meats and, where the mechanically separated meats represent, in total, the highest percentage of the meat block, the ingredient list must declare the mechanically tenderized meat first (in order of proportion).

For example, the formulation below would be declared as:
Mechanically separated meat (chicken, turkey, pork), beef, pork, beef by-products; water...

Meat used in meat block Per cent
Mechanically separated chicken 12.85%
Mechanically separated turkey 10.00%
Mechanically separated pork 8.00%
Beef 18.00%
Pork 9.00%
Beef by-products (plasma, tripes) 8.00%
Water 22.60%
Filler and spices 11.55%
Total of ingredients 100%

Products to Which Smoke or Smoke Flavour was Added

Smoke and smoke flavours are ingredients, and must be listed accordingly. The following designations are appropriate, depending on how these ingredients were added to the meat product:

  • "Naturally smoked": the meat product was exposed to smoke generated from the direct combustion of hardwood, hardwood sawdust or corn cobs. This can be done either in the presence of heat or not; and/or
  • "smoked" – the meat product was treated with smoke derived directly or indirectly (i.e. liquid smoke) from hardwood, hardwood sawdust or corn cobs. In the case of liquid smoke, the term "smoked" must be used only if the meat product was subjected to heat in the presence of a vaporized liquid smoke solution or when the meat product subjected to heat has been packaged in a casing or wrapping impregnated with liquid smoke; and/or
  • "smoke flavour" – this term must be used when liquid smoke has been added to the meat product by methods other than those mentioned above, e.g. adding liquid smoke directly into the emulsion.

Meat Products Wrapped in Collagen or Carrageenan Films

The use of edible wrappings (e.g. collagen or carrageenan) in the preparation of meat products other than sausages must be declared at the end of the ingredient list. For example, the declaration "wrapped in carrageenan", "coated with carrageenan" or "wrapped in collagen" must appear at the end of the ingredient list of hams wrapped in these materials.

Solid Meat Cuts to Which Meat Particles Have Been Injected With Brine

  • When a whole muscle cut has been injected with ground or emulsified meat particles (trimmings) in a proportion that is up to 15% of the fresh weight (green weight) of the meat at formulation, the label of the product does not need to indicate the presence of the trimmings. The calculation is done according to the following formula:

    the weight in kilograms of ground or emulsified trimmings, divided by the weight in kilograms of meat cuts before injection plus the weight in kilograms of the ground or emulsified trimmings, multiplied by 100, equals the percentage of added trimmings.

    For example:

    fifteen kilograms of ground or emulsified trimmings, divided by eighty five kilograms of cuts plus fifteen kilograms of ground or emulsified trimmings, multiplied by one hundred, equals fifteen percent of added trimmings.

  • When a whole muscle cut has been injected with ground or emulsified meat particles (trimmings) in a proportion that exceeds 15% of the fresh weight of the total meat content (green weight) at formulation, the ingredients list of the product's label needs to indicate the presence of the ground meat (pork, beef or poultry). For example, "A proportion of ground ham added" or "Ground and emulsified beef trimmings added" or "Ground and emulsified poultry trimmings added" or an equivalent statement must appear in the list of ingredients.
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