Labelling Requirements for Meat and Poultry Products
Durable Life Date and Storage Instructions – Meat and Poultry Products

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The words "Best Before" and "Meilleur avant" followed by the durable life date must appear on the label of a prepackaged meat product where the durable life of the meat product is 90 days or less, as prescribed in B.01.007 of the FDR and in Section 94 of the MIR.

Storage Instructions

All consumer and bulk containers used in connection with edible meat products in a registered establishment must be labelled with storage instructions unless the meat contained therein is one of the following shelf-stable types:

  • commercially sterile meat products in cans, jars, or pouches (excluding pasteurized products);
  • dried meat products with a water activity (aw) value of 0.85 or less;
  • meat products which have a pH value of 4.6 or lower;
  • meat products packed in a salt or saturated salt solution;
  • fermented meat products that have a pH level of 5.3 or less and an aw of 0.90 or less. It is understood that the pH of 5.3 or less is achieved at the end of the fermentation period; or
  • meat products for which the operator submitted to the Director, Meat Programs Division, a quality control program and supporting data demonstrating that the process is validated to produce safe products and to ensure shelf stability.

All edible meat products, not considered as shelf stable, prepared in a registered establishment must be labelled with storage instructions consisting of one of the following statements:

"Keep refrigerated" or "Keep frozen", whichever is applicable. Storage instructions may be in the check-off form on labels of all containers (prepackaged products) or shipping containers, with the appropriate instruction checked off. The storage instructions shall be shown on the principal display panel [96(1), MIR].

For certain types of institutional products, the following may also be acceptable: "Keep refrigerated if used before (date) or freeze immediately".

Meat products prepared in non-registered establishments are subject to the date marking and storage instructions requirements of the FDR. For more information, refer to Date Markings.

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