Chapter 7 – Packaging and labelling
7.7 Non-mandatory information on labels for edible meat products in registered establishments

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(a) Pictorial representation (vignette)

A pictorial representation (vignette) may be used on containers of meat products, provided such pictorial representations are neither false nor misleading as to the character and value of the contents. (See Section 5 of the Food and Drugs Act, Section 7 of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and subsection 94(7) of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990.)

Each vignette will be evaluated on its own merit.

(b) Suggested serving

On a vignette which illustrates a food that is not part of the package and could be misleading to consumers, the words "Suggested Serving" shall be placed in proximity to the vignette. This indicates that the vignette provides a serving suggestion and does not represent the exact content of the package.

(c) Product of Canada, Made in Canada

As of December 31, 2008, a revised definition and guidelines for "Product of Canada" and "Made in Canada" came into effect.

Refer to the Guidelines on the use of "Product of Canada" or "Made in Canada" Claims for information regarding these types of statements. The issue of beef made from animals born in the U.S. but having resided for 60 days or more in a Canadian feedlot, was addressed, as an interim measure, in July 2011 – refer to the guideline document above.

Some importing countries make it a mandatory requirement that the wording "Product of Canada" be shown on the label used in connection with exported meat products. It is the exporter's responsibility to comply with the requirements of importing countries.

(d) Trade marks and brand names

Trade marks and brand names may be used on labels of meat products in registered establishments. The use of the usual symbols associated with trade marks (e.g. ®, T.M. [trade mark] or Reg'd T.M. [registered trademark]) are also acceptable in close proximity to a trade mark. It should be pointed out however that the mere registration of a trade mark by the Trade Marks Branch of Industry Canada does not entitle an operator to use the registered trade mark in connection with all labels of meat products. It will be the responsibility of the operator to comply with the spirit of Article 5 of the Food and Drugs Act and Article 7 of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act in regard to the use of trade marks and brand names. Any label registration granted does not extend to the trade mark.

(e) Fat content claims

For information on claims regarding fat content in meat products, please refer to the Voluntary Claims and Statements for Meat and Poultry Products section of the Industry Labelling Tool.

(f) Use of the term "air chilled" for poultry

The use of the term "air chilled" is permitted for poultry refrigerated in this way, provided the establishment has implemented a control program to show that there is no moisture gain as a result of post evisceration washing, chilling and drainage (see Chapter 19, section 19.8.4). Also claims such as "no water absorption" or "no added water" or similar phrases are not acceptable.

Claims such as "no water added during the air chilling process" are permitted if the poultry is air chilled and the Operator demonstrates through a quality control program and data that there is no more than 0.5% of water retained (to account for the scale variability) post evisceration (i.e., green weight is before inside-outside washer and final weight after chilling process for poultry and before final wash and after refrigeration but before shipping for red meat).

7.7.1 Method of production claims – evaluation procedures

Pre-market registration of labels and recipes for certain meat and processed products no longer required

Regulations Amending the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990

This section of the manual has been relocated. Please refer to the Claim Substantiation section under the Method of Production Claims webpage. Labelling requirements related to voluntary claims may be found under the Claims and Statements section of the Industry Labelling Tool.

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