Chapter 3 – Pre-requisite Programs
3.4 General Construction Requirements

This page is part of the Guidance Document Repository (GDR).

Looking for related documents?
Search for related documents in the Guidance Document Repository

3.4.1 Suitability of Construction Materials

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 Requirements:

28. (1) It is a requirement for the registration of an establishment pursuant to subsection 27(3) that the establishment

  • (c) be constructed of material that is suitable for the purpose for which it is to be used and is durable and free of any noxious constituent;
  • (f) have floors, walls and ceilings that are hard and smooth and otherwise constructed in such a way that they can be cleaned and are impervious to moisture at the locations in the establishment where
    • (i) food animals are slaughtered or carcasses are dressed, and
    • (ii) meat products are refrigerated, stored in a refrigerated state, processed, packaged, labelled, shipped, received or otherwise transported;

34. (8) The walls, ceilings, floors, doors, windows and other parts of any area of a registered establishment where food animals are slaughtered, carcasses are dressed or meat products are refrigerated, frozen, stored, processed, packaged, labelled, shipped, received or otherwise handled shall not be composed of any material, or have applied to them any coating, other than a material or coating that is durable and does not contain any noxious constituent.

Ensuing Policy Requirements

Walls, Ceilings and Overhead Structures, Floors, Doorways and Doors, Windows, Elevators, Shafts, Stairs

It is no longer mandatory to register construction materials with the CFIA. The existing CFIA reference listing will continue to be accessible on the CFIA website but will no longer be updated. For available link, please refer to the Non-mandatory Items for Consideration part of this section.

For construction materials not previously registered as part of the existing reference listing, the operator shall request a letter of guarantee from the supplier to demonstrate compliance with section 34 (8) of Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990. Letter(s) of guarantee must be made available to the inspector upon request. The supplier must be able to guarantee that the material used is durable and does not contain any noxious consitituent.

For acceptable letters of guarantee refer to the Food Safety and Enhancement Program Manual (FSEP), section 3.1.1.2, B.2.1. Purchasing/Receiving/Shipping/, B.2.1.1.

In case CFIA determines that construction materials used in a registered establishment do not comply with section 34 (8) of Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990, CFIA may request the operator to remove non-compliant construction materials and discontinue any further use of them in a registered establishment.

Furthermore the CFIA may take enforcement action(s), including a recall of affected meat products, if an inspector has reasonable grounds to believe that the use of these construction materials pose a public health hazard.

To promote sanitary conditions in a registered establishment, it is essential that walls, ceilings and overhead structures, floors, doorways and doors, windows, elevators, shafts, stairs be constructed of smooth, hard and impervious material, and be free of pitting, indentations, cracks and crevices.

Walls

Design and construction of the wall to floor, inside wall-to-wall, and wall to ceiling corners must allow for easy cleaning and inspection and prevent accumulation of contaminants.

The design and construction of ledges of wall concrete curbs, horizontal wall structural steel support or windows sills, where required, shall prevent the accumulation of contaminants or possibilities of storing any objects on the ledges.

Ceilings and Overhead Structures

Design and construction of ceilings and all overhead structures must prevent the potential contamination of meat products and allow for easy cleaning and inspection.

Ceiling height and location of overhead structures must provide adequate clearance for cleaning and inspection of equipment, promote adequate ventilation and air movement, and facilitate the easy movement of product, equipment, etc. throughout the registered establishment.

Rails and Rail Support Systems

Rails and rail support systems shall be designed, constructed, and installed to promote sanitary conditions.

Rail heights, spacing and locations shall be appropriate to prevent suspended meat products from potential sources of contamination.

Rail heights, spacing and locations shall meet specific program requirements.

Floors

Floors shall be designed and constructed to promote the effective cleaning, removal of all wastes and prevention of potential contamination of meat products.

Doorways and Doors

Doorways must be of sufficient size to facilitate the movement of product, equipment, and personnel, and to prevent the potential contamination of meat products.

The doorways and doors shall be designed and constructed to provide for proper protection against the entry of potential contaminants for meat products.

All doors located in rooms/areas intended for handling of meat product, ingredients and packaging materials shall not lead directly to the outside, except for the doors located in shipping/receiving areas and intended for shipping and receiving activities, and doors designated as emergency exits where required by applicable legislation.

Windows

Windows shall be designed and constructed to provide for proper protection against the entry of potential contaminants for meat products.

Windows shall be designed and constructed of materials that are of a type that will not cause contamination of meat products in the event of breakage.

Elevators, Shafts, Stairs

Elevator cars and shafts intended for the transportation of meat products shall be designed, constructed and installed to promote sanitary conditions, and made of materials meeting the same criteria as materials used for the construction of any meat products handling areas.

Stairs, catwalks, walkovers, mezzanines, etc. shall be designed, constructed and installed to prevent potential direct or indirect contamination of meat products, and made of suitable materials.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

Reference Listing of Accepted Construction Materials, Packaging Materials and Non-Food Chemical Products

3.4.2 Water Supply

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 Requirements:

28. (1) It is a requirement for the registration of an establishment pursuant to subsection 27(3) that the establishment

  • (n) subject to subsection (2), be capable of supplying potable hot and cold water that is protected against contamination and is adequate in quantity and pressure to serve the water needs of the establishment;

(2) An establishment registered pursuant to subsection 27(3) may supply water other than potable water referred to in paragraph (1)(n) where it is used solely for fire protection, boilers or auxiliary services and there is no connection between the system for that water and the system for potable water.

34. (11) Every detergent, sanitizer or other chemical agent used in a registered establishment shall be properly labelled and stored and used in a manner that prevents contamination of meat products, ingredients, packaging and labelling material and of the surfaces with which they come into contact.

(12) Where steam is used in the processing of a meat product in a registered establishment, the steam shall be generated from potable water and shall contain no harmful substances and the supply of steam shall be adequate in quantity and pressure to serve all the needs of the establishment.

Ensuing Policy Requirements

Potable water lines shall be protected from contamination.

Where non-potable water is used, the line(s) shall be clearly and distinctly identified.

Adequate facilities shall be provided for monitoring and maintaining potability, storage, temperature, and distribution of water in the registered establishment. Only potable water shall be used in meat product handling, processing, and sanitation procedures.

Water supplied to a registered establishment shall meet the current limits for potability of Health Canada Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

Where the supply of potable water is derived from a private well, adequate protection must be afforded to the wellhead to prevent contamination of the water supply.

Where storage tanks are used, they shall be designed, constructed, and installed in such a way as to prevent contamination of stored water.

At the time of initial registration of an establishment, the applicant shall provide the CFIA with a proof that water used in an establishment meet current limits for potability.

Refer to section 3.9.2 for requirements concerning on-going water potability testing in a registered establishment.

Water Reuse

The need to conserve water through reuse is crucial given the finite nature of this resource and increasing demands for its use in domestic, agricultural, and manufacturing activities.

Water re-circulated for reuse should be treated and maintained in such a condition that no risk to the safety and suitability of meat products results from its use.

Proper maintenance of water conditioning systems is critical to avoid the systems becoming sources of contamination. For example, filter systems can become sources of bacteria and their metabolites if bacteria are allowed to grow on the organic materials that have accumulated on the filter.

Appropriate safety and suitability criteria that meet the intended outcomes should be established for any water used in the registered establishment.

These criteria depend upon the origin and the intended use of the water. For example, reuse water intended for incorporation into a meat product shall meet the microbiological specifications for potable water.

Water reuse or recycling may be allowed in a registered establishment under certain conditions identified by the specific program requirements.

Reconditioning of water for reuse and use of reclaimed, re-circulated and recycled water should be managed in accordance with HACCP principles. Any reuse of water should be subject to a hazard analysis including assessment of whether it is appropriate for reconditioning. Critical control point(s) should be identified, as appropriate, and critical limit(s) established and monitored to verify compliance.

Water Treatment

Where water treatment systems are used in a registered establishment (e.g. chlorination, ozonation, etc.) it is essential that the operator establish procedures to ensure the treated water is potable.

It is required that a metering device for adding water treatment agent in the correct concentration, relative to the water flow rate, is designed to readily indicate malfunction.

The operator shall establish the necessary frequency of tests of treated water to be performed in a registered establishment to determine the level of a water treating agent at a specific point in the water supply system which is remotely located from the agent application site, but before distribution of water to the establishment system.

The operator shall establish the maximum use level of ozone in the water system before the Health Canada residual level of 0.05 ppm of ozone is reached in the atmosphere within the registered establishment.

For information concerning the use of hyper-chlorinated water in a registered establishment, please refer to specific program requirements indicated in the applicable chapter(s) of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures.

Ice

The operator shall ensure that the ice used in the registered establishment is manufactured from potable water only.

The operator shall conduct the ice potability test on a regular basis. The frequency of ice potability testing shall take under consideration the source of ice being used in the registered establishment (i.e. manufactured on site or purchased from the outside sources).

Steam

Boiler treatment agents shall be used according to the manufacturers directions. Their use shall not lead to the contamination of water and meat products. Please refer to section 3.6.3.3 of this chapter for information concerning the use of non-food chemicals in a registered establishment.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

None

3.4.3 Hand Washing Facilities

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 Requirements:

28. (1) It is a requirement for the registration of an establishment pursuant to subsection 27(3) that the establishment

  • (k.1) have handwashing facilities that are operated hands-free and drained directly, and in sufficient number to maintain sanitary conditions, given the number of employees and nature of the anticipated activities in the establishment, and that are situated in locations that are readily accessible to maintain such conditions.

Ensuing Policy Requirements

Hand washing facilities shall be:

  1. operated in a hands-free manner;
  2. capable of supplying hot and cold water in an appropriate amount under sufficient pressure; and
  3. easily accessible for production and inspection personnel

The location of hand washing facilities shall meet specific program requirements.

For operational requirements of hand washing facilities refer to section 3.9.2 of this chapter.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

None

3.4.4 Drinking Water Fountains

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 Requirements:

34. (1.1) The building, equipment, utensils, transport containers and all other facilities of a registered establishment shall be maintained in a sanitary condition.

56. (5) Every person who enters or is in any area of a registered establishment where a meat product or an ingredient is prepared, packaged, labelled, stored or otherwise handled shall refrain from spitting, chewing gum, smoking or consuming tobacco products or consuming food, other than water dispensed from a drinking fountain

Ensuing Policy Requirements

Drinking water fountains, where provided, must operate in a hands-free manner, be directly drained, easily accessible, protected from contamination, and not be a potential source of food contamination.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

None

3.4.5 Water Sanitizer for Utensils

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 Requirements:

28. (1) It is a requirement for the registration of an establishment pursuant to subsection 27(3) that the establishment

  • (u) have, where utensils are used in the handling of a meat product, water sanitizers that are capable of being maintained at a temperature of not less than 82°C for the sanitizing of the utensils;

Ensuing Policy Requirements

Water sanitizers shall be capable of maintaining visibly clean water during operation.

For operational requirements of water sanitizers, refer to section 3.9.2 of this chapter.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

None

3.4.6 Facilities for the Cleaning of Rooms, Equipment and Protective Clothing

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 Requirements:

28. (1) It is a requirement for the registration of an establishment pursuant to subsection 27(3) that the establishment

  • (k) have facilities for the cleaning of protective clothing, if an application for registration is made for one of the activities set out in paragraph 27(1)(a),(b), (c), (e) or (f);
  • (s) have adequate facilities and means for the thorough washing, cleaning and sanitizing of equipment;

Ensuing Policy Requirements

An adequate number of conveniently located facilities must be provided throughout the registered establishment for the cleaning of rooms, equipment, and protective clothing.

These facilities shall not create any potential source of contamination to food.

Where required, temperature indicators shall be installed at facilities supplying water at the temperature of 82°C or higher.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

None

3.4.7 Drainage and Sewage System

3.4.7.1 Drains

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 Requirements:

28. (1) It is a requirement for the registration of an establishment pursuant to subsection 27(3) that the establishment

  • (p) have drainage and sewage systems that
    • (i) are designed and constructed to prevent the risk of contamination by waste water,
    • (ii) are adequate to dispose of all waste water, and
    • (iii) where drainage channels are fully or partially open, prevent waste water from flowing from a contaminated area towards or into a clean area.

34. (9) All lavatories, sinks and drains in a registered establishment shall be maintained in a manner that prevents any odours or fumes there from pervading any room where meat products are refrigerated, stored, processed, packaged, labelled or otherwise handled.

Ensuing Policy Requirements

The design and construction of drainage and sewage systems in a registered establishment shall not pose the risk of contaminating food and things associated with food, and production of food.

The number, size, and location of drains and drain inlets shall provide proper and constant removal of the fluid wastes and prevent water from flooding the surrounding areas or pooling around the drain inlet.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

The CFIA recommends that:

  • every means of establishment effluent disposal should meet all municipal and provincial requirements;
  • the drainage from toilets, urinals, floor drains, and hand wash facilities in welfare areas should be separate and apart from other sewage lines;
  • floor and hub drains should be deep-seal trapped;
  • all drain lines should be properly vented to the outside air and equipped with effective rodent screens; and
  • all means of separating organic matter from the establishment effluent (e.g., catch basins, grease traps, interceptors) where required by local authorities, should be located either in:
    1. the inedible products area; or
    2. a dedicated room of the registered establishment with outside access only; or
    3. outside of the establishment. The area surrounding an outside separator should have an impervious surface and should be sloped towards the separator.

3.4.8 Lighting

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 Requirements:

28. (1) It is a requirement for the registration of an establishment pursuant to subsection 27(3) that the establishment

  • (g) have rooms and areas with adequate lighting, ventilation and plumbing to meet the requirements of the activities carried out therein and constructed so as to facilitate their cleaning and disinfection;
  • (h) be equipped, in areas where food, food additives or packaging materials are exposed, with light bulbs and fixtures that are of a type that will not cause food contamination in the event of breakage;

Ensuing Policy Requirements

All rooms and areas of the establishment must be properly lighted by natural light, artificial light, or both. Special attention must be given to the amount and direction of lighting in inspection areas to prevent glare while providing the required maximum illumination.

All light in meat product inspection areas shall be without shadow or glare and have a minimum colour rendering index value of 85 so as not to distort the normal colour of meat products.

Specifically:

  1. all CFIA inspection stations and operator inspection sites (e.g., head preparation, check trim station, boneless meat reinspection site, return and imported meat reinspection sites, etc.) measured at the lowest inspection point shall be 540 lux;
  2. MPIP poultry carcass inspection stations and carcass salvage station(s) on the kill floor measured at the carcass abdominal cavity level shall be 2000 lux;
  3. inspection stations in high line speed beef or hog slaughter measured at the lowest carcass, head, viscera and abdominal cavity levels shall be 1000 lux;
  4. all suspect pens or areas designated for CFIA ante mortem inspection measured at lowest inspection point shall be 540 lux. This may be reduced to 110 lux after CFIA inspection; and
  5. all workrooms i.e., slaughter floor, processing and packaging areas (edible and inedible meat products) measured at the lowest working surface level shall be 220 lux.

Light sources and fixtures must not be a potential source of contamination to meat products. In this regard, design and location are important considerations.

3.4.9 Ventilation

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 Requirements:

28. (1) It is a requirement for the registration of an establishment pursuant to subsection 27(3) that the establishment

  • (g) have rooms and areas with adequate lighting, ventilation and plumbing to meet the requirements of the activities carried out therein and constructed so as to facilitate their cleaning and disinfection;
  • (m) have lavatories and, where appropriate, dressing rooms and lunch rooms that are
    • (iii) well lit and ventilated, and

37. The temperature and humidity of every room in a registered establishment where a meat product is refrigerated, stored, processed, packaged, labelled, shipped, received or otherwise handled shall be controlled to prevent the formation of moisture on walls, ceilings or equipment.

64. Every holding pen that is used for food animals awaiting slaughter shall be provided with adequate ventilation and shall not be used in a manner that results in their overcrowding.

Ensuing Policy Requirements

Proper location of air intakes and the use of effective filters are essential to prevent the introduction of air contaminated with insects, dust, smoke, objectionable odour, etc.

Ventilation systems of a registered establishment shall be designed and constructed to ensure airflow from least to most contaminated areas.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

None

3.4.10 Room/Area Temperature and Humidity

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 Requirements:

28. (1) It is a requirement for the registration of an establishment pursuant to subsection 27(3) that the establishment

  • (v) have adequate means of establishing, maintaining and verifying the temperature and humidity of rooms and areas where meat products are refrigerated, frozen, stored, processed, packaged or labelled; and

36. The temperature in a room or area of a registered establishment where a meat product is processed, packaged, labelled or handled shall be appropriate to ensure the preservation of a meat product.

Ensuing Policy Requirements

Applicant/operator shall consult with appropriate chapters of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures for Specific Program Requirements.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

An ambient room temperature of not more than 10°C proved over the years to be adequate to meet the requirements of section 36 of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990.

3.4.11 Reserved for future use

 

3.4.12 Check Trim Station

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 Requirements:

51. No meat product and no substance used in the processing, packaging, labelling or handling of a meat product in a registered establishment shall be contaminated.

Ensuing Policy Requirements

Where check trim station(s) is(are) required by specific program requirements the operator shall refer to Chapters 4, 17 and 19 for information concerning the locations of check trim stations within the registered establishment.

Check trim stations shall be equipped with:

  1. adequate lighting as prescribed in section 3.4.8;
  2. hand washing facilities as prescribed in section 3.4.3;
  3. water sanitizer for utensils as prescribed in section 3.4.5; and
  4. containers for holding inedible trimmings.

The design, construction and installation of check trim station shall not create any source of potential contamination, and be effective for the purpose.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

None

Date modified: