Chapter 3 – Pre-requisite Programs
3.6 Transportation, Receiving, Storage and Shipping

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3.6.1 Animal Transportation Vehicles and Containers

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.

(6) No crate or transport container used to transport a bird to a registered establishment for slaughter shall be admitted to the registered establishment unless the crate or transport container was cleaned before transport.

(7) Every crate and transport container that has been used for the purpose referred to in subsection (6) shall be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly before it leaves the registered establishment.

38. (1) No food animal shall be presented for slaughter in a registered establishment if the condition of the animal would or would be likely to constitute a contamination hazard during the dressing of its carcass.

Ensuing Policy Requirements

None

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

In general, the cleaner animals are upon reaching the slaughter floor, the better the chances of reducing contamination levels on dressed carcasses.

The vehicles and crates used to transport animals to slaughter play an important role in the overall sanitary practices in a registered establishment.

3.6.2 Food Transportation Vehicles and Containers

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 Requirements:

49. No edible meat product shall be transported to or from a registered establishment unless the transport container in which it is transported:

  • (a) is constructed of material that is free of any noxious constituent;
  • (b) has inside surfaces that are hard, smooth, impervious to moisture, in good repair and clean;
  • (c) is capable of protecting meat products and containers thereof against contamination;
  • (d) is equipped, where applicable, to maintain meat products in a refrigerated or frozen state;
  • (e) is equipped, where applicable, to prevent meat products from freezing where freezing could adversely affect them; and
  • (f) is not being used and has not been used for the transport of animals, control products as defined in the Pest Control Products Act (2002, c. 28) or any other material or substance that might adulterate the meat product.

Ensuing Policy Requirements

Transport containers used to ship meat products must be properly cleaned and sanitized (where applicable) and of suitable design, to prevent microbial, physical and chemical contamination of the meat products.

The operator shall have a written program for the transport carrier pre-loading inspection, cleaning and sanitizing (where applicable) of transport containers and written procedures in place to ensure the maintenance of product integrity during transport which includes packaging and loading procedures and carrier refrigeration verifications along with appropriate controls and records.

Meat products shall not be carried in the same transport containers which are used for conveying live animals, controlled products as defined in the Pest Control Products Act (2002, c. 28) or other substances that might adulterate the meat product.

Meat products shall not be carried in the same transport containers as other goods in a manner which may directly or indirectly adulterate meat products.

Where required, transport containers shall be capable of maintaining the temperature of meat products in refrigerated or frozen state as applicable.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

Unwaxed cardboard containers should not be shipped in transport containers where they may become wet.

3.6.3 Receiving

3.6.3.1 Receiving of Live Animals

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 Requirements:

45. (1) A carcass of a food animal may be admitted to a registered establishment in which food animals are slaughtered if the food animal died while en route to the registered establishment, and the carcass is conveyed immediately and directly from the live animal receiving area to the inedible products area of the registered establishment.

61. Every operator and every person engaged in the handling and slaughtering of a food animal in a registered establishment shall comply with sections 61.1 to 80.

61.1 A calf that is admitted to a registered establishment shall be condemned if the operator of the establishment or an official veterinarian has reasonable grounds to believe that the calf was not transported to the establishment in accordance with the provisions of section 7 of the Recommended Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Farm Animals - Veal Calves, published in 1998 by the Canadian Agri-Food Research Council.

62. (1) No food animal shall be handled in a manner that subjects the animal to avoidable distress or avoidable pain.

(2) No goad or electrical prod shall be applied to the anal, genital or facial region of a food animal.

63. (1) Different species of food animals shall be kept separate from each other.

(2) Every food animal that is obviously diseased or injured shall immediately be segregated from apparently healthy food animals.

(3) Every food animal that is a potential danger to other food animals shall immediately be segregated from those other food animals.

66. (1) Every shipment of birds, other than ostriches, rheas and emus, presented for slaughter in a registered establishment shall be accompanied by a flock information document completed by the producer in a form acceptable to the Director.

(2) The flock information document shall include

  • (a) the producer's name and address or a code allowing identification of the producer's name and address;
  • (b) the identification of the flock of origin by specifying the farm, barn and lot or flock number; and
  • (c) information, as required by the provisions of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures that deal with flock information documents, about:
    • (i) the status and history of the health of the flock of origin;
    • (ii) the veterinary services that have been provided to the birds;
    • (iii) the husbandry practices that have been followed for the flock of origin;
    • (iv) the number of birds and crates shipped and the size of the crates; and
    • (v) the loading of the birds in the transport containers.

(3) For every shipment of birds, other than ostriches, rheas and emus, that are slaughtered in a registered establishment, the operator shall keep and retain, for not less than one year beginning on the day on which the birds are slaughtered, records that contain, as required by the provisions of the Manual of Procedures that deal with growers' profiles,

  • (a) the information required by subsection (2);
  • (b) the date and time at which the slaughter process began;
  • (c) the condition of the birds on their arrival and their average weight;
  • (d) the number of birds found dead at the time the shipment was presented for slaughter; and
  • (e) the number of birds in the shipment that were condemned and the reasons for the condemnation.

Ensuing Policy Requirements

Control program(s) covering the receiving and housing of live animals shall address all potential predictable events and emergencies (e.g. foreign animal diseases) to ensure animal welfare requirements are met at all time. Based on the design and construction of live animals holding pens and their capacity, this program shall also include contingency plans addressing the following situations:

  • where the slaughter of animals is delayed, slowed or stopped (e.g. mechanical breakdown);
  • where entire live animal holding area is emptied, cleaned and restocked in mass (i.e. one way all in - all out);
  • timely unloading of imported animals where temporary housing in other locations is not an option (i.e. animals designated for immediate slaughter transported in sealed vehicles);
  • suitable alternate locations where animals can be unloaded, housed and slaughtered considering distance, weather conditions, total transport time, suitability/availability of transport vehicles and biosecurity.

The operator must ensure that animals are not subjected to avoidable distress or undue suffering during any of the steps for unloading and housing. The operator shall refer to Chapters 12, 17 and 19 of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures for any additional specific program requirements.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

None

3.6.3.2 Receiving of Meat Products

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 Requirements:

38 (2) No carcass of a food animal shall be admitted to an area of a registered establishment where food animals are dressed if the condition of the carcass would or would be likely to constitute a contamination hazard during the dressing of the carcass.

44. (1) Subject to subsection (2) and section 45, no meat product shall be

  • (a) admitted to or processed in a registered establishment without evidence that the meat product
    • (i) was inspected in another registered establishment in accordance with these Regulations,
    • (ii) is a meat product referred to in paragraph 3(3)(e), or
    • (iii) was imported into Canada in accordance with these Regulations;
    • (iv) is derived from a game animal referred to in subsection 44.1 (1); or
  • (b) admitted or readmitted to a registered establishment after being removed from a registered establishment and shipped to a place other than a registered establishment.

(2) A meat product that is shipped from a registered establishment to a retail store, restaurant or public institution or that is exported may be readmitted to a designated area of a registered establishment for reinspection and disposition by an inspector.

115. A meat product may be shipped from a registered establishment without having a label marked on it in accordance with this Part where

  • (a) it is shipped from the registered establishment in a bulk container or transport container that was sealed with an official seal under the authority of an inspector to another establishment that is registered for an activity set out in paragraph 27(1)(b) or (e);
  • (b) it is accompanied by
    • (i) a document from the operator stating that the meat product is edible, and
    • (ii) in the case of a prepared meat product, an ingredient listing; and
  • (c) the official seal is broken only with the consent of an inspector.

130. (1) No person shall remove or alter an official seal or official tag applied by or under the authority of an inspector unless authorized to do so by an inspector.

Ensuing Policy Requirements

The operator shall have a written program and maintain records for the receiving of meat products in a registered establishment.

Meat products, presented for admission to a registered establishment, shall be labelled in accordance with sections 94 to 109 of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990.

In respect to admission of unmarked or unstamped meat product to a registered establishment, the following options constitute sufficient evidence that the meat product was inspected in another registered establishment:

  1. in a vehicle or combo bin that is sealed with a government seal, a warning sign (CFIA/ACIA 0077) placed on the vehicle and the shipment accompanied by a declaration from the operator or a person designated by the operator (CFIA/ACIA 1452) giving assurance that the meat product has been inspected in accordance with the Meat Inspection Act and Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990;
  2. in fully marked cartons closed with a tape bearing the meat inspection legend. The seal provided by the tape must be such that the container cannot be opened without breaking the seal. This procedure is not satisfactory for the sealing of waxed cartons;
  3. in fully marked cartons (non-waxed or waxed) to which a strap has been applied that bears in a permanent manner, either the establishment's registration number, or the operator's name, or both;
  4. in fully marked combo bins with a long enough liner that is sealed with an operator's seal bearing either the establishment's registration number, or the operator's name, or both. The operator's seal may be a plastic strap or a metallic seal, and must be non-removable without breaking the seal or tearing the liner. Alternatively, a government seal may be used, accompanied by the documentation required in option 1;
  5. in fully marked reusable containers and waxed cartons closed with an operator's seal bearing the operator's name and the establishment's registration number. Such an operator's seal must make it very difficult to open such waxed carton or returnable container without breaking the seal;
  6. in a sealed liner that bears the meat inspection legend (the meat inspection legend may be printed on that liner, glued to the liner or in the form of an insert);
  7. in fully marked containers closed by a pressure sensitive tamper evident label that doubles as a seal (refer to Chapter 7 of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures). This label sticker shall display either the meat inspection legend or a complete label;
  8. in fully marked containers shrinkwrapped with a stick-on meat inspection legend or a complete label on the outside of the shrink wrap;

In the case of receipt of an unmarked prepared meat product in a registered establishment the ingredient listing must accompany the prepared meat product.

Readmitting Meat Products Shipped to a Retail Store, Restaurant or Public institution

The operator shall have a written program and maintain records for receiving meat products that were shipped to a retail store, restaurant or public institution.

Meat products, if readmitted to the registered establishment, shall be placed in a designated area (refer to section 3.5.6 of this document) for re-inspection and disposition.

Re-inspected meat products identified as condemned must be transferred to the inedible section of the registered establishment as soon as possible and dealt with in accordance with section 54 of the MIR.

Readmitting Meat Products Exported out of Canada

Any meat product that has been exported out of Canada and presented for readmission to a registered establishment shall be handled in accordance with specific program requirements as described in Chapter 11 of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

The CFIA recommends that the operator assures himself that the meat products admitted to a registered establishment will not affect the operator's eligibility for export to countries with restriction (refer to Chapter 11 of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures).

3.6.3.3 Receiving of Packaging Material and Non-Food Chemicals

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 Requirements:

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.

54. (4) No substance shall be used to denature a meat product in a registered establishment unless the Director has found the substance to be acceptable for that use and has registered the substance in a register kept for that purpose.

92. (1) No material used in packaging or labelling a meat product in a registered establishment shall come into contact with the meat product if the contact might prevent the meat product from conforming to the requirements of these Regulations or the Food and Drug Regulations.

(2) No material used in packaging or labelling a meat product in a registered establishment shall come into contact with the meat product unless the material

  • (a) is durable and effective, having regard to the manner in which it is used; and
  • (b) is suitable for the purpose for which it is to be used.

Ensuing Policy Requirements

The operator shall have a written program and maintain records for the receiving of packaging materials for meat products and non-food chemicals.

It is no longer mandatory to register packaging materials and non-food chemicals prior to their use in a registered establishment. The existing reference list 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 packaging materials and non-food chemicals not previously registered as part of the existing reference listing, the operator shall request a letter of guarantee from the supplier to demonstrate compliance. Letter(s) of guarantee must be made available to the inspector upon request.

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.

Exceptions exist for the new processing aids intended to be used as antimicrobial agents (e.g. Carcass washes) prior to their use in federally registered meat establishments and all new packaging materials intended to be used in infant formula or in a novel process (e.g. High Pressure Processing). In these particular cases, the CFIA will still require a mandatory Health Canada's safety assessment. The operator shall instead request a Health Canada's Letter of No Objection (LONO) from the supplier to demonsrate compliance. The letter of guarantee is optional to retain in addion to the LONO in theses cases.

Requests for LONOs for processing aids intended to be used as antimicrobial agents or packaging materials intended to be used in infant formula or in a novel process must be accompanied by data and information for assessment by Health Canada. Guidance for making submissions to Health Canada is available on Health Canada's website.

Guide for Preparing Food Processing Aid Submissions
Information Requirements For Food Packaging Submissions

In addition, Health Canada has recently published a policy for issuing an interim Letter of No Objection (iLONO) for processing aids to expedite the availability to the food industry of processing aids that have been assigned priority handling according to Health Canada's Policy of Priority Scheduling and Expedited Handling of Submissions that have the Capacity to Enhance Food Safety. To learn more about this policy, please refer to http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/consult/2013-ilono-apno/index-eng.php

CFIA will review the letter of guarantee and/or LONO as part of inspection activities. Where a LOG is used, the CFIA may request additional evidence that ensures that packaging materials and non-food chemicals comply with Food and Drug Act and Food and Drug Regulations. This may include product identity, product composition, supporting documentation for proposed usage, extraction/migration data and toxicology data, any previous safety assessments or no objection letter from Health Canada, CFIA or other third party. This evidence shall be supplied to the inspector within 60 days from the date of the request.

The evidence or support for the letter of guarantee can be provided to the CFIA directly from the supplier in cases of proprietary information concerns.

In case CFIA determines that packaging materials or non-food chemicals used in a registered establishment do not comply with the Food and Drug Act and Food and Drug Regulations, CFIA may request to discontinue the use of packaging materials or non-food chemicals 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 packaging materials or non-food chemicals pose a public health hazard.

Only those commercial pesticides that have been registered with the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) under the Pest Control Products Act (2002, c. 28) and its Regulations and have been issued a PCP Registration #, along with specific directions for use in a food processing establishment are permitted for use in a commercial food establishment, in keeping with the instructions outlined on the registered label.

To determine if a pesticide product meets these requirements, please refer to Pesticides and Pest Management.

The received packaging materials shall be free of any contamination.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

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

3.6.3.4 Receiving of Non-meat Food Ingredients

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 Requirements:

46. No substance intended for use in a meat product as an ingredient, a component or a food additive shall be admitted to a registered establishment unless

  • (a) it meets the requirements of these Regulations and the Food and Drug Regulations;
  • (b) where applicable, it is labelled to indicate the product and its composition and to provide directions for its use; and
  • (c) in the case of nitrite or nitrate, it is packaged separately from any spice, seasoning or other proteinaceous ingredient.

Ensuing Policy Requirements

The operator shall have a written program and maintain records for the receiving of non-meat food ingredients.

The operator shall have written specifications for all non-meat food ingredients to prevent potential contamination of meat products.

The operator shall refer to other applicable chapters of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures for additional specific program requirements.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

None

3.6.4 Storage

3.6.4.1 Housing of Live Animals

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 Requirements:

38. (1) No food animal shall be presented for slaughter in a registered establishment if the condition of the animal would or would be likely to constitute a contamination hazard during the dressing of its carcass.

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.

65. Every food animal in a holding pen awaiting slaughter shall be provided with access to potable water and shall, if held for more than 24 hours, be provided with feed.

Ensuing Policy Requirements

Requirements listed in section 3.6.3.1 apply.

In addition the operator's sanitation program shall enhance achievement of appropriate conditions of live animals holding facilities on an on-going basis that minimise, to the greatest extent practicable, soiling and cross-contamination of animals with food-borne pathogens.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

Holding of animals presented for slaughter has an important effect on many aspects of slaughter, dressing and the production of meat products that are safe and suitable for human consumption.

The cleanliness of animals has a major influence on the level of microbiological cross-contamination of the carcass and other edible parts during slaughter and dressing.

3.6.4.2 Storage of Edible Meat Products

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 Requirements:

2. (1) In these Regulations,

"refrigerate" means to lower the temperature of a meat product to, and to maintain the temperature at, 4°C or lower, but does not include to freeze; (réfrigérer)

50. No meat product and no food intended for use as an ingredient of a meat product shall be kept in a registered establishment at a temperature or humidity that may cause the meat product or food to deteriorate, to become inedible or to become unfit for use as animal food.

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

This section applies to the registered establishment only and does not apply to the shipped meat product.

The operator shall have a written program and maintain records for the storage of edible meat products.

Rooms used for the storage of refrigerated meat products shall be capable of maintaining temperature of stored meat products at 4°C or less, however, temperatures must not be cold enough to cause the meat product to become frozen.

Freezers shall be designed, constructed, and equipped to comply with the applicable specific program requirements related to the freezing and storage of meat products in frozen state. The operator shall refer to the applicable chapter(s) of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures for additional information.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

None

3.6.4.3 Storage of Packaging Material

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

The operator shall have a written program and maintain records for the storage of packaging materials.

The packaging materials shall be stored in designated rooms in the registered establishment and handled in manner that prevents any potential contamination of meat products.

The operator shall refer to the applicable chapter(s) of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures for additional information.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

None

3.6.4.4 Storage of Non-Meat Food Ingredients

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

The operator shall have a written program and maintain records for the storage of non-meat food ingredients.

Non-meat food ingredients are considered edible and as such shall be stored in the designated rooms of a registered establishment and handled in a manner that prevents any potential contamination of meat products.

The operator shall refer to the applicable chapter(s) of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures for additional information.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

None

3.6.4.5 Storage of Non-food Chemical Products

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 Requirements:

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.

Ensuing Policy Requirements

The operator shall have a written program and maintain records for the storage of non-food chemical products.

Rooms used for the storage of non-food chemical products shall be physically separated from any areas of a registered establishment where meat products, or products used for the manufacturing or packaging of meat products, are shipped, received, stored, processed, packaged, or otherwise handled.

The operator must make sure that the non-food chemical products are effective for its intended purposes, and its use follows the manufacture instructions and conditions of approval.

The operator shall keep an up-to-date list of all non-food chemical products used in the registered establishment. The following information for each non-food chemical product on the list shall be provided:

  1. manufacturer's name and address;
  2. product name (brand name and descriptive name indicating function), plus the code number if applicable;
  3. its particular use in the establishment; and
  4. whether the product has been approved for this particular use.

The operator shall provide the responsible inspector with an on-demand access to the up-to-date list of all non-food chemical products used in the registered establishment.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

None

3.6.5 Shipping

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 Requirements:

48. (1) No edible meat product shall be shipped from a registered establishment unless the meat product is adequately protected against contamination and deterioration.

115. A meat product may be shipped from a registered establishment without having a label marked on it in accordance with this Part where

  • (a) it is shipped from the registered establishment in a bulk container or transport container that was sealed with an official seal under the authority of an inspector to another establishment that is registered for an activity set out in paragraph 27(1)(b) or (e);
  • (b) it is accompanied by
    • (i) a document from the operator stating that the meat product is edible, and
    • (ii) in the case of a prepared meat product, an ingredient listing; and
  • (c) the official seal is broken only with the consent of an inspector.

130. (1) No person shall remove or alter an official seal or official tag applied by or under the authority of an inspector unless authorized to do so by an inspector.

Ensuing Policy Requirements

The operator shall have a written program and maintain records for the shipping of meat products.

The operator shall refer to other applicable chapters of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures for information concerning cooling performance standards.

Operators who wish to ship meat products not meeting the cooling performance standards to another registered establishment shall have prior CFIA approved written agreement in place with an operator of each registered establishment receivng such meat products.

Unless shipped as unmarked meat products, the meat products shall be labelled in accordance with sections 94 through 109 of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990.

Shipment of Unmarked Meat Products

The operator shall refer to Chapters 10 and 11 of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures for information concerning the import and export of unmarked meat products.

Unmarked meat products may be shipped to another establishment registered for the processing of meat products or packing and labelling.

Unmarked meat products may only be shipped to a registered establishment in a bulk or transport container sealed with an official seal. Completed form CFIA/ACIA 1452 shall accompany the shipment.

Form CFIA/ACIA 0077 must be affixed to the official seal.

The operator shall refer to section 3.6.3.2 of this document for detailed information concerning the proof that the meat products were inspected in a registered establishment.

Non-mandatory Items for Consideration

The type of conveyances or containers required depends on the nature of the meat products and the conditions under which it has to be transported.

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