Chapter 3 – Pre-requisite Programs
3.10 Recall Procedures, Distribution Records and Complaints

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Meat Inspection Act

13. (1) For the purposes of this Act and the regulations, an inspector may, subject to subsections (3) to (5), at any time enter any place or stop and enter any vehicle in which the inspector believes on reasonable grounds there is any meat product or other thing to which this Act applies and may

  • (a) open any package that the inspector believes on reasonable grounds does not comply with this Act or the regulations;
  • (b) inspect and take samples of any meat product or other thing that the inspector believes on reasonable grounds does not comply with this Act or the regulations; and
  • (c) require any person to produce for inspection, or for the purpose of obtaining copies or extracts, any book, shipping bill, bill of lading or other document or record that the inspector believes on reasonable grounds contains any information relevant to the administration or enforcement of this Act or the regulations.

(2) The owner or person in charge of a place or vehicle referred to in subsection (1) and every person found in that place or vehicle shall give the inspector all reasonable assistance to enable the inspector to carry out his duties and functions under this Act and shall furnish the inspector with any information the inspector may reasonably require with respect to the administration or enforcement of this Act and the regulations.

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990

30. Every operator shall maintain and operate the registered establishment in accordance with sections 30.1, 30.2, 32 to 34, 36 to 60.3

30.1(1) The operator of an establishment shall develop, implement and maintain

  • (a) the required pre-requisite programs, HACCP plans and other control programs as set out in the FSEP Manual and the Manual of Procedures; and
  • (b) the procedures to ensure compliance with the performance requirements set out in the Manual of Procedures

60.1 (1) An operator who has processed, packaged, labelled, stored or distributed a meat product, or any person who imports a meat product, and who learns that the meat product might constitute a risk to the public health or might not meet the requirements of these Regulations shall investigate the matter and notify an inspector.

(2) If the results of the investigation indicate that the meat product constitutes a risk to the public health, the operator or importer shall notify the President immediately after becoming aware of the results.

60.2 (1) Every operator or importer shall develop, implement and maintain written procedures for the recall of meat products that shall meet the requirements set out in the FSEP Manual and the Manual of Procedures.

(2) The operator or importer shall develop and maintain any product distribution records that are necessary to facilitate the location of products in the event of a product recall.

(3) The operator or importer shall review the product recall procedures and shall conduct a product recall simulation at least once a year.

(4) On the request of an inspector, the operator or importer shall make available to the inspector, in a readily accessible location, a copy of the product recall procedures, the results of the product recall simulations for the previous year and the product distribution records

  • (a) for the last three years in the case of any meat product that is treated as a shelf stable in a manner described in any of paragraphs 94(3)(a) to (f); and
  • (b) for a period that is at least equivalent to twice the possible shelf life for any other meat product.

60.3 Every operator shall prepare written procedures that conform to the requirements set out in the FSEP Manual and keep and maintain records for receiving, investigating and responding to product complaints.

Ensuing Policy Requirements

Program

The operator shall have an effective recall program, as per the Food Safety Enhancement Program (FSEP) guidance, which shall include (but is not limited to):

  1. tracking, analysis, actions taken, and records of product complaints;
  2. the person(s) responsible for co-ordination and implementation of a recall;
  3. methods to be used to identify, locate, and control recalled product;
  4. a requirement to investigate other products that may be affected by the hazard and that should be included in the recall;
  5. the procedure to be used for monitoring the effectiveness of the recall (e.g., mock recall effectiveness check to the appropriate level of distribution specified in the recall notice); and
  6. procedures to verify the capability of the recall program to rapidly identify and control a code lot of potentially affected product and reconcile the amount of product produced, in inventory and in distribution – deficiencies are identified and corrected.

Personnel

The personnel identified by the operator as responsible for the recall (see point b above) shall be available for contact with CFIA at any time during the recall and shall have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the operator concerning the recalled meat product(s) within the time frame provided by the CFIA.

Notification to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency

As required under 60.1(1) of the MIR, where an operator learns that a meat product might constitute a risk to the public health or might not meet the requirements of the MIR, the matter shall be investigated and an inspector of the CFIA notified.

As required under 60.1(2) of the MIR, if the results of such investigation indicate that the meat product constitutes a risk to public health, the Operator or Importer shall immediately notify the President (or his delegate: Area Executive Directors, Operations Branch or Area Associate Executive Directors, Operations Branch).

This notification includes the following:

  1. the amount of implicated product in inventory and distributed;
  2. the name, size, code or lot numbers of food recalled;
  3. the area of distribution of product (e.g., local, national, international); and
  4. the reason for the recall.

Product Code Identification

As required by section 95.(3) of the MIR, all meat products shall be labelled with the production date or with a code identifying the production lot.

Accordingly, all meat products must have permanent, legible code marks or lot numbers on the packages.

Where a code is used, the code should identify the establishment, the day, month and year in which the food was produced. As well, the code marks used and the exact meaning of the code should be available and should represent the container code within.

Distribution Details

As required under s. 60.2(2) of the MIR, the operator or importer shall develop and maintain any product distribution records that are necessary to facilitate the location of products in the event of a product recall. These records should include the following:

  1. records of customer names, addresses, and telephone numbers associated with the implicated meat product; and
  2. records of production, inventory, and distribution by lot available for the lot of meat product tested.

For any additional information, the operator may refer to the CFIA's Food Recall and Emergency Response page.

Records

As required by 60.2(4) of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990, the operator or importer must make available to an Inspector of the CFIA, specified information in a readily accessible location, including product distribution records.

Further, as all reasonable assistance must be given to an Inspector of the CFIA to allow him/her to carry out his/her duties and functions under the MIA and MIR [s.13.(2) MIA], product distribution records relating to a meat product recall must be produced to CFIA in a timely manner.

Distribution records must also be developed and maintained in a manner that facilitates the timely review of the documents in order to locate products associated with a meat product recall quickly. As specified under the FSEP Manual at 3.1.4, all records must be up-to-date, legible, accurate and properly filed. Thus, there should be no time delay in providing documents to the CFIA.

Further, as the CFIA must be able to evaluate and use the product distribution records in an efficient and timely manner, it is preferred that all distribution records be provided in a commonly accessible format like MS Excel, MS Access, or XML. Should the distribution records be password protected it will be necessary to include the password with the provided records

A failure to comply with the requirements of the Meat Inspection Act, the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990, the FSEP Manual or the Manual of Procedures as above referenced may lead to suspension of the operator's licence to operate and/or prosecution. Please see Chapter 14 of this manual for further details regarding licence suspension and prosecution.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

None

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