Chapter 4 - Meat Processing Controls and Procedures
4.18 Packaging

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Packaging materials include cartons, wrapping materials, films, synthetic casings, nettings, trays, pouches, bags and any other material which may come into contact with a meat product. This also includes gases used in modified atmosphere packaging. Packaging materials must not impart any undesirable substance to the meat product, either chemically, physically or microbiologically and must protect them sufficiently to avoid contamination (See MIR, 92, FDR B.23.001)

Packaging procedures must be included it the operator's prerequisite programs and HACCP system.

It is the operator's responsibility to determine compatible areas and non-compatible areas for different processing steps, as part of the prerequisite program and HACCP system. Refer to the FSEP Manual and Chapter 3, Prerequisite Programs for more details.

Storage conditions must in accordance with Chapter 3 of this manual.

Liners must be used when packaging exposed meat products into unwaxed cardboard containers. Every effort must be made to prevent the meat products from coming into contact with the exposed surfaces of any shipping containers during filling.

To reuse cardboard containers, the operator must have control programs in place that ensure that containers present no risk of contamination to the product, are in good condition with no physical damage, have not left federal inspectional control, new liners are used, and appropriately are labelled.

The operator is required to maintain a listing of all of the packaging material used in the establishment. Packaging materials, including gases, must be listed in the Reference Listing of Accepted Construction Materials, Packaging Materials and Non-Food Chemical Products.

The operator is required to maintain a listing of all of the packaging material used in the establishment. It is no longer mandatory to register packaging materials and non-food chemicals. The existing reference listing will continue to be accessible on the CFIA website but will no longer be updated. Please refer to Chapter 3.6, Pre-requisite Programs for the requirements for acceptable packaging materials and non-food chemical products.

4.18.1 Combo Bins

Acceptably constructed combo bins may be used for storage and transportation of refrigerated or frozen meat products. Whenever combo bins are used for the storage of meat products in freezers or for the shipment of refrigerated or frozen meat products from a registered establishment, the meat products must be protected by adequate lids or covers to prevent contamination.

Combo bins cannot not be stored, assembled and/or filled directly on the floor. The operator must prevent leakage.

4.18.2 Reusable Shipping Containers

Accepted reusable shipping containers may be used in registered establishments provided the following conditions are met:

  • It is the operator's responsibility to determine compatible areas and non-compatible areas for different processing steps, as part of the prerequisite program and HACCP system. Refer to the FSEP Manual and Chapter 3, Prerequisite Programs for more details. Specifically:
    • The operator must control the risk of cross contamination from non cleaned containers.
    • The washing and rinsing must ensure that the containers are visibly clean. The state of these containers should be maintained in a condition that will be acceptable as a food contact surface.
    • Storage conditions must in accordance with Chapter 3 of this manual.
    • Shipping containers with a lid qualifying for direct food contact must be of sufficient strength to support the weight of the ones above. They can not have perforations; if perforated, a liner must be used. The lid must be adequately designed to prevent contamination of the product.
    • When using shipping containers without a lid, the bottom of the stacked shipping containers must not be supported by the shipping containers below. The bottom of the container cannot have drainage holes or perforations. Only product packaged in sealed bags may be shipped in these shipping containers without lids.
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