Labelling requirements for meat and poultry products

Important Notice

On December 14, 2016, amendments to nutrition labelling, list of ingredients and food colour requirements of the Food and Drug Regulations came into force. Regulated parties have a five (5) year transition period to meet the new labelling requirements.

Consult the Former – Labelling requirements for meat and poultry products for information on the former requirements.

On this page

Overview

This section summarizes the labelling requirements that apply to imported meat products (definition) (which includes poultry products), as well as those that are manufactured, processed, treated, preserved, graded, packaged or labelled in Canada for interprovincial trade and for export. In some cases, the labelling requirements would also apply when these products are intraprovincially traded.

Meat products are subject to the provisions of the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) and the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), as well as those of the Food and Drugs Act (FDA) and the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR).

When sold intraprovincially, meat products are subject to the labelling requirements under the FDA and FDR, as well as specific requirements of the SFCA and SFCR that apply to prepackaged foods sold in Canada, regardless of the level of trade. Provincial regulations may also have labelling requirements that apply when these products are sold within that province.

The labelling requirements detailed in the following section are specific to meat (including poultry) products for human consumption.  Refer to the Industry Labelling Tool for core labelling and voluntary claims and statements requirements that apply to all prepackaged foods.

Common name – Meat and poultry products

A common name is required on the principal display panel of non-prepackaged meat products (definition) that are interprovincially traded, imported or exported, as well as on the principal display panel of all prepackaged (definition) meat products [218(a), 283(1)(a), SFCR; B.01.006, FDR].

Common names for standardized meat products are shown in bold-faced type, but not in italics, in the document entitled Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products, incorporated by reference into the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), and in Division 14 and 22 of the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR). As with all foods with a standard of identity, only those foods that meet all the provisions set out in the standard can use the prescribed common name. For meat products that do not fall under a standard, the appropriate common name is the name by which the food is generally known.

In the case of a prepackaged poultry carcass that is dressed or partially dressed and has been graded, the common name must be shown [292, SFCR]:

  • if individually packaged, on the part of the package that lies on or over the anterior centre of the breast
  • if not individually packaged, on a tag attached to the V of the wishbone (i.e., breast tag)

For general information that applies to all foods, including meat products, refer to Common name.

Meat cut nomenclature

For retail meats, the Meat cuts manual defines the common names for meat cuts of beef, horse, lamb, pork, poultry and veal, as well as the limits within which each name may be used. The Wholesale meat specifications document provides the nomenclature for wholesale cuts of beef, chicken, lamb, pork, turkey and veal. Information on common names for cuts of ostrich meat can be found under Ostrich meat cut nomenclature.

The following products are exempt from using the designated terms in the Meat cuts manual:

  • products such as stewing beef, beef shish kebab, pork fondue or other meat which have been broken down into small pieces
  • minute (mechanically tenderized) steaks taken from the beef hip. In this case, these may be labelled with either
    • the appropriate term for the specific portion of the hip (e.g., "Rump Minute Steaks"), or
    • the term "Hip" (e.g., "Hip Minute Steaks")

Minute steaks which come from parts of the beef carcass other than the hip must in all cases be labelled with the appropriate term given in the diagram in the Meat Cuts Manual.

For ground meat, the name of the cut from which ground meat is prepared is not required to describe this product, although permitted by the standard of identity for ground meat in the Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products. Any references to the cut of meat must be truthful and not misleading. Refer to Ground meat for more information. 

Modified standardized common names for meat products

A meat product (definition) that deviates from a prescribed standard may not use the common name associated with that standard unless the standardized common name is modified to indicate how the food differs, in every respect, from the food described by the standard. For more information, see Modified standardized common names.

Example: Meat spread (for which a standard of identity is prescribed in item 18 of Part A of Table 2 of the Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products) to which tomato has been added, may no longer use the common name "Meat Spread", as this food does not comply with the standard. The common name must be modified to describe the deviation from the standard, such as "Meat Spread with Tomato".

If any of the specific terms included in Schedule 8 of the SFCR (e.g., "Oven Roasted" / "rôti au four") are used as part of the common name, the meat product must meet all prescribed requirements [288, SFCR]. For information on the use of these specific terms, consult the Additional terms section.

Coined names for meat products

Generally, coined names are not acceptable as common names. However, in some cases, coined names have been accepted as common names for unstandardized foods because they have become known to consumers over a long period of time or are commonly known. Coined names most commonly used for meat products (definition) include: fingers, nuggets, sticks and strips.

Products that are made from a solid piece of meat may use terms such as "Nuggets", "Fingers", etc. as part of the common name without further qualifications, e.g., "Chicken Nuggets".

Products made from meat that has been chopped and formed may use terms such as "Nuggets", "Fingers" etc. as part of the common name provided the common name accurately describes the form of the meat, e.g., "Chicken Nuggets, Chopped and Formed".

Products made from chopped meat and containing fillers may be described as "Nuggets", "Fingers" etc. provided a descriptive name immediately follows, e.g., "Nugget Shaped Chicken Burgers". Otherwise, the common name must fully describe the product.

For more information on the use of coined names, refer to Distinctive common names.

Highlighting meat cuts in the common name

When a cut of meat is highlighted in the common name of a meat product (definition) such as burgers, ground meat products, patties or sausages, the meat must be sourced only from the applicable cut as defined by the Meat cuts manual. Furthermore, the meat must be comprised of a normal distribution of constituents (i.e., muscle-fat ratio) as prescribed by common names and standards. The modifier is not permitted to appear between the prescribed words which make up the standardized common name, and to avoid potential confusion, the animal species should be included in the common name. The modifier should appear in the same size type and prominence as the common name. For example:

"Sirloin Beef Burger" would be acceptable on a product made from a meat block of 100% sirloin.

Where two or more cuts of meat are highlighted as part of the common name, the product shall contain all named cuts, shown in descending order of their proportion of the meat block. For example:

"Sirloin and Chuck Beef Burger" would be acceptable for a product made from a meat block that contains both sirloin and chuck, with sirloin content greater than or equal to the chuck content.

Species-specific common name

A species-specific common name to indicate that a meat product (definition) originated from a certain species or subspecies can be made on labels and in advertising provided the meat was derived from the carcass of a food animal of that species or subspecies. Examples of this would include, but are not limited to, Angus Beef, Wagyu Beef, Kobe Beef, Peking Duck, Muscovy Duck, North American Bison and Wild Boar.

Proof of origin and segregation, such as paper documentation, of the animals used to create the product must be provided to a CFIA inspector upon request to substantiate the claim.

When the subspecies is included as part of the common name of the meat product, such as burgers, ground meats products, patties or sausages, to avoid potential confusion, the animal species should be included in the common name and all should appear in the same type size and prominence. For example:

"Angus Beef Burger" would be an acceptable common name for a product made from a meat block of 100% Angus beef.

Where two or more species or subspecies are highlighted as part of the common name, the product shall contain all named species or subspecies, shown in descending order of their proportion of the meat block. For example:

"Angus and Wagyu Beef Burger" would be an acceptable common name for a product made from a meat block that contains both Angus and Wagyu, with Angus content greater than or equal to Wagyu content.

For more information, see Meat cut and species-specific claims.

Declaration of species

Meat products derived from multiple species

If a meat product (definition) consisting of meat, meat by-products, mechanically separated meat, or a combination of these meat ingredients is derived from more than one animal species, and any of these species is referred to in the common name, then all the animal species from which the meat ingredients are derived must be identified.

Example: A meat loaf containing beef and mutton, and pork by-product as meat product ingredients shall be described as either "Beef, Mutton and Pork Loaf" or simply as "Meat Loaf".

In the above example, beef constitutes the greatest percentage of the meat products used in the composition of the loaf, followed by mutton, and then pork by-product. The common name reflects the content of the three meat products in descending order of their proportion.

Retail meat cuts

The name used to describe all retail meat cuts, other than beef, must include an indication of the species. For example, the term "veal" must appear in conjunction with the term "shoulder" when a veal shoulder roast is offered for sale. However, the term "beef" is not required to appear on the label of a beef shoulder roast.

Ground meat

Standards of identity are prescribed for ground meat under items 1 to 4 in Part A of Table 2 of the Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products and sections B.14.015, B.14.015A and B.14.015B of the FDR. The appropriate common name for these products is the name that corresponds with the fat content, and other aspects of the standard, as follows:

  • Regular Ground (Naming the species or cut) – maximum 30% fat
  • Medium Ground (Naming the species or cut) – maximum 23% fat
  • Lean Ground (Naming the species or cut) – maximum 17% fat
  • Extra Lean Ground (Naming the species or cut) – maximum 10% fat

A product labelled with one of the above common names must not contain more than the maximum amount of fat and must only contain the ingredients provided for in the standard. The common name must accurately represent the animal species from which it is derived. For example, "Regular Ground Beef" may only contain beef with a fat content of 30% or lower.

Ground meat burgers and patties

In addition to the above standards for ground meats, "Meat Pattie" and "Meat Burger" also have prescribed standards set out under items 7 to 9 in Part A of Table 2 of the Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products. When combining the term "pattie" or "burger" with "ground meat" to describe a ground meat product, the product must meet the standards applicable to all the meat products in that name. For example, a product may only use the common name "Lean Ground Beef Pattie" if the product meets the standard for lean ground beef and does not contain any other ingredients. An appropriate common name for ground beef patties containing seasoning, salt or spices would be "Beef Patties".

Veal

Section 1.0 of the Beef, Bison and Veal Carcass Grade Requirements (PDF - 259 kb) (referred to as the Grades Document), prepared and published by the Canadian Beef Grading Agency, defines veal as the meat of a bovine animal with the hide off that has the maturity characteristics set out in Schedule IX of the Grades Document and a maximum carcass weight of 180 kg. Any carcass not meeting the definition of veal (e.g., weighs more than 180 kg) must be labelled as beef. In this case, the carcass must meet all specifications for beef, including all other regulatory requirements for beef, such as grading.

Ham

When interprovincially traded, imported or exported, the term "Ham" / "jambon" may only be used to describe a meat product that is derived from the hind leg of a dressed swine carcass above the tarsal joint [295, SFCR].

Furthermore, the following nomenclature has been adopted for the description of ham when modifiers such as "Boneless" are used in conjunction with the common name.

Whole boneless ham

The term "Whole Boneless Ham" may be used where the product contains all the muscles or pieces of muscles in the same proportion as would be derived from a whole ham and where the proportion of shank meat does not exceed that normally present in a whole ham. 

Boneless ham

The term "Boneless Ham" follows the same specifications as in "Whole Boneless Ham", except that some of the muscles or pieces of muscles derived from a whole ham need not be present.

Note: The manufacturing process used in the production of either "Whole Boneless Ham" or "Boneless Ham" should be such that the resulting final product contains a minimum of 80% meat in pieces of muscle weighing 25 g or more on a raw meat ingredient basis. If the final product does not respect this proportion and size of pieces of meat, the product shall be identified as "Chopped Ham" or "Minced Ham".

Jellied prepared meat

Food additives, such as gums and gelling agents, are not permitted for use as fillers (definition). Where a standard allows the use of a gelling agent (definition), agar, carrageenan or gelatin may be used in amounts up to 0.25% of the meat product (definition) without being reflected in the product's common name. The gelling agent used must however be listed as an ingredient [item 9, Schedule 8, SFCR].

When a gelling agent has been added to a meat product in quantities greater than 0.25%, the word "jellied" / "en gelée" must be shown on the label in close proximity (definition) to the common name [288, Schedule 8, SFCR; 22(2), Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products; B.14.039, FDR]. The gelling agent used must also be included in the list of ingredients.

Please refer to the table Processing and labelling requirements for meat products for more information.

Meat and poultry products with added phosphate salts and/or water

Refer to Phosphated meats and meat products section for common name requirements for meat products (definition) to which phosphate salts and/or water have been added.

Retained water declaration for raw single-ingredient meat products

The amount of water added and retained in raw single-ingredient meat products (definition) due to post-evisceration contact with water, in excess of naturally occurring moisture, must be declared as part of the product name on the principal display panel of consumer prepackaged (definition) products, or on the label of prepackaged other than consumer prepackaged products. Raw single-ingredient meat products include items such as dressed carcasses, parts of dressed carcasses, offal and giblets.

Please note that standards for water retention in dressed poultry carcasses are set out in section 20 of the Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products. As such, a declaration of retained water for dressed poultry carcasses is not required. However, poultry carcasses containing giblets (e.g., frozen turkeys) require a retained water declaration for the giblets.

Manner of declaring retained water

When water retention is declared for raw single-ingredient meat products, the following three phrases are acceptable:

  • "up to X% water retained"
  • "less than X% water retained", and
  • "up to X% retained water added due to processing"

The retained water percentage is always rounded to the nearest whole number. Retained water below 0.5% does not need to be declared. The permitted labelling variation is a maximum of 20% above the declared amount within the retained water statement.

Operators may include a "no retained water" statement on the label (optional) when no water added due to post-evisceration processing has been retained by the raw single-ingredient meat product.

Note: A claim such as "no water added" is not permitted since it may likely be considered misleading under subsections 5(1) of the FDA and 6(1) of the SFCA. Refer to Negative claims pertaining to the absence or non-addition of a substance for more information.

When the retained water declaration is presented as part of the product description, it must be conspicuously shown and written in characters not less than half the size of the product's common name or half the size of any additional mandatory information (e.g., "with giblets").

Packages containing a variety of raw, single-ingredient meat products (e.g., giblets) may declare the amount of retained water on the label by either:

  • listing a separate declaration for each component, or
  • making a single declaration which indicates the maximum water retained by the components

Meat products treated with salt and water in accordance with Judaic law

Only water absorbed and retained as part of the Kosher process may be excluded from the retained water declaration, provided that the product description contains the phrase "soaked and salted" or a similar phrase.

Prepared meat products

Any retained water in raw single-ingredient meat products, used as ingredients, does not need to be declared on the label of prepared, including multi-ingredient, meat products (e.g., raw or cooked sausage, pre-basted turkeys with or without giblets, giblets within a pre-basted turkey carcass, or deli meats). However, these meat products must comply with applicable standards of identity or composition requirements for the specific prepared meat product as described in the Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products or in the FDR.

Meat products formed with meat binders

Meat products (definition) formed or bound by meat binders must be accurately reflected in the common name of the product. When a meat binder is used to bind meat of the same species, the common name of the product should be "formed (naming the product) with (naming the meat binder)" or "(naming the product) pieces bound with (naming the meat binder)". For example, an appropriate common name for beef bound with beef fibrinogen would be "formed beef with fibrinogen".

When the source of the meat binder originates from a different species than the meat product, it must be reflected in the common name of the product. The common name should be "formed (naming the product) with (naming the meat binder and species)". For example, an appropriate common name for chicken pieces bound with beef fibrinogen would be "formed chicken with beef fibrinogen".

Additionally, the source of the meat binder must be declared as part of the common name used in the list of ingredients. For example, "beef, beef fibrinogen..." or "chicken, beef fibrinogen" would appear in the list of ingredients. It is also acceptable to declare the meat binder as "(naming the species) by-product" in the list of ingredients [B.14.003, FDR].

Transglutaminase, commonly known as meat glue, is a food additive permitted for use in meat products and in simulated meat products (definition). Meat products containing transglutaminase must treat the additive as a meat binder and comply with the rules above. If the combinations of meats that are bound together by transglutaminase are derived from more than one animal species, all species are expected to be listed in the common name and under the list of ingredients.

List of ingredients – Meat and poultry products

The requirements of the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) with respect to declaration of ingredients, components and allergens apply to the labels of prepackaged meat products (definition) [B.01.008 to B.01.010, FDR]. In addition, the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) require a list of ingredients, including components, on the labels applied or attached to meat products that are interprovincially traded, imported or exported and are not prepackaged [283(1)(b) and (c), 283(2), 284, 285, SFCR].

Exemptions from list of ingredients

The following prepackaged meat products are exempt from declaring a list of ingredients:

  • prepackaged meat, meat by-products, poultry and poultry meat by-products that are barbecued, roasted or broiled on the retail premises are exempt from declaring a list of ingredients [B.01.008(2), FDR]

There are also exemptions from declaring certain meat ingredients and components in the list of ingredients, as follows:

  • sausage casings are not required to be shown on the label of prepackaged sausages [B.01.008(3)(b), FDR]. However, the declaration of species of a natural casing is required if the casing is from a different species than the meat ingredients used in the sausage. Please see Sausages wrapped in natural casings for more information on this topic
  • prepared or preserved meat, meat by-products, poultry meat and poultry by-products used as ingredients in other foods, when the total amount of those ingredients is less than 10% of a prepackaged product that consists of an unstandardized food, are exempt from a declaration of their components [B.01.009(1), FDR]

See List of ingredients and allergens for more information.

Ingredients and components of non-prepackaged meat products

For a meat product that is not prepackaged, the ingredients must be declared on the label applied or attached to the meat product in descending order of their proportion by weight or as a percentage of the meat product [283(1)(b), SFCR].

The components of ingredients, if any, must be [283(1)(c), SFCR]:

  • listed after the ingredient of which they are components, in such a manner as to indicate that they are components of that ingredient
  • listed in descending order of their proportion in the ingredient or as a percentage of the ingredient, as determined before they are combined to form the ingredient, and
  • shown in accordance with sections B.01.009 and B.01.010 of the FDR which deal with exemption from component declaration, common names and class names for ingredients and components, similarly to prepackaged meat products

An ingredient is not required to be shown in the list of ingredients if all components of the ingredient are shown in the list as if they were ingredients [283(2), SFCR].

For more information, refer to Components and Common names sections of the List of ingredients and allergens page.

Sometimes there is variation in the supply of certain ingredients which results in manufacturers substituting, varying or omitting certain ingredients that are normally used. Rules regarding ingredient omission, substitution or variation in non-prepackaged meat products are similar to those that apply to prepackaged meat products [284, SFCR; B.01.011, FDR]. For detailed information, consult Flexibility in the declaration of a list of ingredients.

Products where mechanically separated meats have been used

If more than one mechanically separated meat species is used in the meat block, the correct way to declare the ingredients list is to declare the types of mechanically separated meat in order of their proportion.

For example, the formulation below would be declared as: 

Mechanically separated meat (chicken, pork, beef, veal), Water, ...

or alternatively as:

Mechanically separated chicken, Water, Mechanically separated pork, Mechanically separated beef, Mechanically separated veal, ...

Formulation of a meat product containing mechanically separated meats
Species in meat block Per cent
Mechanically separated chicken 26.85%
Mechanically separated pork 20.00%
Mechanically separated beef 10.00%
Mechanically separated veal 9.55%
Water 22.60%
Spices and filler 11.00%

If more than one mechanically separated species meat is used in the meat block along with various boneless meats and, where the mechanically separated meats represent, in total, the highest percentage of the meat block, the ingredient list may declare the mechanically separated meat first (in order of proportion).

For example, the formulation below would be declared as:

Mechanically separated meat (chicken, turkey, pork), Water, Beef, Pork, Beef by-product, ...

or alternatively as:

Water, Mechanically separated chicken, Beef, Mechanically separated turkey, Pork, Mechanically separated pork, Beef by-product, ...

Formulation of a meat product containing mechanically separated meats
Meat used in meat block Per cent
Mechanically separated chicken 18.00%
Mechanically separated turkey 10.00%
Mechanically separated pork 8.00%
Beef 12.85%
Pork 9.00%
Beef by-products (plasma, tripes) 8.00%
Water 22.60%
Filler and spices 11.55%

Products to which smoke or smoke flavour was added

Smoke and smoke flavours are ingredients and must be listed accordingly. The following designations are appropriate, depending on how these ingredients were added to the meat product:

  • "Naturally smoked" – the meat product was exposed to smoke generated from the direct combustion of hardwood, hardwood sawdust or corn cobs. This can be done either in the presence of heat or not
  • "Smoked" – the meat product was treated with smoke derived directly or indirectly (i.e., liquid smoke) from hardwood, hardwood sawdust or corn cobs. In the case of liquid smoke, the term "smoked" must be used only if the meat product was subjected to heat in the presence of a vaporized liquid smoke solution or when the meat product subjected to heat has been packaged in a casing or wrapping impregnated with liquid smoke
  • "Smoke flavour" – this term must be used when liquid smoke has been added to the meat product by methods other than those mentioned above, e.g., adding liquid smoke directly into the emulsion.

Sausages wrapped in natural casings

Although sausage casings are not required to be shown on the label of prepackaged sausages [B.01.008(3)(b), FDR], special attention must be paid to the origin of natural casings used as wrapping in sausage production.

When a natural casing is derived from an animal species already listed as a meat ingredient in the sausages, the declaration of the natural casing is not required. However, when a natural casing originates from a different animal species than that of the meat ingredients in the sausage, the species of the natural casing must be declared on the label [5(1), FDA; 6(1), SFCA; 289, SFCR].

The declaration of species of the natural casing used as wrapping may generally be added to either the common name of the product or added at the end of the list of ingredients. In the event that a natural casing was used as wrapping but has been removed from the sausages, the species from which the natural casing was derived must appear in the list of ingredients and may not appear in the common name, as it would be considered false and misleading under subsections 6(1) of the Safe Food for Canadians Act and 5(1) of the Food and Drugs Act.

Examples:

Declaration of the natural casing in the list of ingredients:

Common name: "Sausage" or "Pepperoni"

Ingredients: Beef, Pork, Water, ... Spices, Lamb natural casing

In this case, a casing from another animal species is used and must be declared at the end of the ingredient list.

Declaration of the natural casing with the common name of the product:

Common name: "Beef sausage in lamb natural casing" or "Sausage in lamb natural casing"

Ingredients: Beef, Water, ... Spices

Declaration of the natural casing without naming the animal species:

Common name: "Lamb sausage in natural casing" (when a lamb casing is used) or "Pork sausage in natural casing" (when a pork casing is used).

Lamb or pork will have to be featured in the list of ingredients since both the meat ingredient and the natural casing are derived from this same animal species.

Meat products wrapped in collagen or carrageenan films

The use of edible wrappings (e.g., collagen or carrageenan) in the preparation of meat products (definition) other than sausages must be declared at the end of the ingredient list. For example, the declaration "wrapped in carrageenan", "coated with carrageenan" or "wrapped in collagen" must appear at the end of the ingredient list of hams wrapped in these materials.

Solid meat cuts to which meat particles have been injected with brine

When a whole muscle cut has been injected with ground or emulsified meat particles (trimmings) in a proportion that is 15% or less of the fresh weight (green weight) of the meat at formulation, the label of the product does not need to indicate the presence of the trimmings. The calculation is done according to the following formula:

the weight in kilograms of ground or emulsified trimmings, divided by the weight in kilograms of meat cuts before injection plus the weight in kilograms of the ground or emulsified trimmings, multiplied by 100, equals the percentage of added trimmings.

For example:

fifteen kilograms of ground or emulsified trimmings, divided by eighty five kilograms of cuts plus fifteen kilograms of ground or emulsified trimmings, multiplied by one hundred, equals fifteen percent of added trimmings.

When a whole muscle cut has been injected with ground or emulsified meat particles (trimmings) in a proportion that exceeds 15% of the fresh weight (green weight) of the total meat content at formulation, the ingredients list of the product's label needs to indicate the presence of the ground or emulsified meat (pork, beef or poultry). For example, "A proportion of ground ham added" or "Ground and emulsified beef trimmings added" or "Ground and emulsified poultry trimmings added" or an equivalent statement must appear in the list of ingredients.

Net quantity – Meat and poultry products

Consumer prepackaged (definition) meat products (definition) require the net quantity declaration on the principal display panel in metric units [221, 232, SFCR]. Prepackaged other than consumer prepackaged meat products, as well as non-prepackaged meat products, that are interprovincially traded, imported or exported must be labelled with a net quantity declaration in metric units on the principal display panel as if they were consumer prepackaged [283(1)(a), 286(a), SFCR].
Therefore, the net quantity requirements of sections 233 to 236 and 239 of the SFCR for consumer prepackaged also apply to prepackaged other than consumer prepackaged meat products and non-prepackaged meat products. For detailed information, refer to the following sections on the Net quantity page:

As per the document Units of Measurement for the Net Quantity Declaration of Certain Foods, prepared by the CFIA and incorporated by reference into the SFCR, most prepackaged meat products are required to declare net quantity by weight [231(a), 244, SFCR]. Exceptions are summarized below.

Drained weight

The net quantity of prepackaged meat products packed in brine or vinegar must be declared by weight exclusive of free liquid, as indicated in Table 1 – Units of measurement for prepackaged food in the Units of Measurement for the Net Quantity Declaration of Certain Foods document [231(a), 244, SFCR]. While a drained weight methodology is used to determine the weight declaration, this declaration should not use the words "drained weight".

Volume

The net quantity of the following prepackaged meat products must be declared by volume as per Table 1 – Units of measurement for prepackaged food in Units of Measurement for the Net Quantity Declaration of Certain Foods [231(a), 244, SFCR]:

  • Beans with pork
  • Infant foods
  • Junior foods
  • Soups
  • Mincemeat

For more information relating to net quantity declarations, refer to Net quantity.

Standard container sizes – Meat and poultry products

Certain consumer prepackaged meat products (definition), namely sliced bacon, sliced ready-to-eat (definition) meat products, potted meat products, sausages and sausage meat, that are interprovincially traded, imported or exported must be packaged in containers of a size that correspond to a prescribed net quantity by weight as outlined for items 2 to 4 in Table 2 of Schedule 3 of the SFCR [189(1), SFCR].

The standard container sizes for these consumer prepackaged (definition) products are included in the following table.

Standard container sizes for consumer prepackaged meat products
Item #
in Table 2 of Schedule 3, SFCR
Meat product Net quantity by weight
2. Sliced bacon 100 g or less in increments of 1 g, 250 g, 375 g, 500 g, 1 kg
3. Sliced ready-to-eat meat products and potted meat products 100 g or less in increments of 1 g, 125 g, 150 g, 175 g, 200 g, 250 g, 300 g, 375 g, 400 g, 500 g, 600 g, 700 g, 900 g, 1 kg
4. Sausages and sausage meat 100 g or less in increments of 1 g, 125 g, 175 g, 225 g, 250 g, 300 g, 375 g, 450 g, 500 g, 600 g, 675 g, 750 g, 900 g, 1 kg

When any of the meat products mentioned in the above table are a catch-weight (definition) meat product labelled with the net weight for retail sale, or are contained in a hermetically sealed package (definition), or have a net quantity greater than 1 kg, they are no longer limited to the prescribed standard container sizes [189(3), SFCR].

As well, meat products that are not subject to standard container sizes may be marketed in any format.

Name and principal place of business – Meat and poultry products

The Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) and the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) require the labels of prepackaged meat products (definition) to carry the name and principal place of business of the responsible party [218(1)(b), SFCR; B.01.007(1.1)(a), FDR]. Non-prepackaged meat products interprovincially traded, imported or exported must also be labelled with the name and principal place of business on the principal display panel [283(1)(a), SFCR].

This requirement must be met by declaring the complete name and address of the person (definition) by or for whom the meat or poultry product is manufactured, prepared, produced, stored, packaged or labelled [218(1)(b), SFCR].

Multi-establishment firms may show the address of the head office instead of the address of the establishment preparing the product.

For more information, refer to Name and principal place of business.

Country of origin – Meat and poultry products

The words "Product of" / "produit de", followed by the name of the country of origin, must be declared on the label of an imported meat product (definition) in close proximity (definition) to the product's common name and in characters that are at least 1.6 mm in height, or 0.8 mm in height if the area of the principal display surface is 10 cm2 or less [210(2) and (3), 297(1) and (2), SFCR].

This applies whether or not the imported meat product is subsequently packaged or labelled in Canada without being manufactured or prepared in Canada [297(3), SFCR].

When the country of origin appears on a graded consumer prepackaged (definition) poultry carcass that is dressed or partially dressed, it must be shown in the same colour as the grade name [298, SFCR].

Country of origin declaration must be shown in:

  • both official languages for consumer prepackaged products, or
  • at least one official language (i.e., English or French) for prepackaged other than consumer prepackaged products [205(1), 206, SFCR]

Note: In the SFCR, country of origin is referred to as foreign state (definition) of origin.

Date markings and storage instructions – Meat and poultry products

Date markings

Prepackaged meat products (definition) with a durable life of 90 days or less are required to be labelled with date markings and storage instructions. The words "Best Before" and "Meilleur avant" followed by the durable life date must appear on the label [B.01.007, FDR].

Meat products packaged on the retail premises from which they are sold must bear a "packaged on" date and durable life date when they have a durable life of 90 days or less. In the event that the meat product is repackaged on site by the retailer, the original packaging date applied when the product was first packed or weighed must be maintained.

Storage instructions

Non-prepackaged meat products (definition) that are interprovincially traded, imported or exported, and all prepackaged meat products must be labelled with storage instructions unless the meat product is one of the following shelf-stable types:

  • commercially sterile meat products in hermetically sealed packages (definition)
  • dried meat products with a water activity (aw) of 0.85 or less
  • meat products which have a pH value of 4.6 or less
  • meat products packed in salt or saturated salt solution
  • fermented meat products that have a pH level of 5.3 or less, and an aw of 0.90 or less

The storage instructions must be shown on the principal display panel using one of the following expressions, whichever is applicable:  "Keep Refrigerated" and "Garder réfrigéré" or "Keep Frozen" and "Garder congelé". These instructions must appear in both official languages for prepackaged meat products, and may be in one official language for non-prepackaged meat products [48(2), 205(2), 283(1)(a), 286(b), SFCR; B.27.002(2), FDR].

Storage instructions may be in the check-off form on labels of meat products, with the appropriate instruction checked off.

For more information, refer to the Date markings and storage instructions page.

Nutrition labelling – Meat and poultry products

Exemptions from nutrition labelling

Some meat products (i.e., raw single ingredient meats, meat by-products, poultry meats or poultry meat by-products) are usually exempt from declaring a Nutrition Facts table (NFt) under subparagraph B.01.401(2)(b)(iii) of the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR).

However, some meat products (i.e., ground meat, ground meat by-products, ground poultry meat or ground poultry meat by-products) always lose the exemption and are required to carry an NFt [B.01.401(3)(d), FDR]. For more information, please refer to Reasons for losing the exemption.

Disclaimer on retail store signs

A disclaimer such as "subject to change with various suppliers" is not acceptable on retail store signs to qualify nutrition information covering a variety of meats on display. The retailer is responsible for providing accurate information concerning the product as sold and cannot be relieved of this responsibility by using a disclaimer.

Fat trim and skin

For meat and poultry, the fat trim and skin are considered part of the edible portion of the food if present when sold; therefore, they are counted toward the values in the NFt. The bone is not counted toward the values in the NFt.

Available display surface for bacon board packages

The available display surface (ADS) in the case of bacon board packages is the total surface of the package, excluding the space occupied by the UPC symbol, the package seams, and a surface equivalent to the length of the package by the width of a strip of bacon, so that the customer is able to see the bacon. The space equivalent to the length of the package by the width of a strip of bacon is only excluded in the calculation of the ADS if indeed the package has such a window to display the bacon. Refer to the Calculation methods for different packaging types for more information.

Legibility and location – Meat and poultry products

All information required on a meat product label must be clearly and prominently shown in a manner that is readily discernible and legible to any person under normal or customary conditions of purchase and use.

Details pertaining to type size and location requirements for label information specific to meat products are included throughout various sections of the Meat and poultry products page.

For additional information on general legibility and location requirements that apply to all foods, including meat products, consult Legibility and location in the Industry Labelling Tool.

Inspection legend

The inspection legends set out in Schedule 2 of the SFCR are prescribed for the purposes of the definition of inspection mark in section 2 of SFCA. It is prohibited for a person to apply to an edible meat product an inspection legend, or use in connection with such a product, unless specifically authorized to do so by sections 180 and 184 of the SFCR [2, 14, SFCA; 179, SFCR].

When traded interprovincially or exported, the inspection legend set out in Figure 1 of Schedule 2 of the SFCR must appear on the label of an edible meat product (definition), whether prepackaged or not, provided the conditions set out in subsections 180(1), (3) and (4) of the SFCR are met [282(1)(a), 287(1)(a), SFCR].

The inspection legend set out in Figure 2 of Schedule 2 of the SFCR is reserved for prepackaged meat products only that meet the conditions set out in subsection 180(2) of the SFCR, which pertain to the container, in addition to the other conditions of section 180 [287(1)(a), SFCR].

The inspection legends consist of a circular outline containing a maple leaf with the word Canada written across the maple leaf. When Figure 1 of Schedule 2 is used, the number identifying the licence holder's establishment must replace the numbers 00 that appear beneath the maple leaf [183, Figure 1 of Schedule 2, SFCR].

Figure 1 of Schedule 2, SFCR. Description follows
Download high resolution image (EPS 549 kb) (When using this high resolution image, the regulated party must ensure legibility requirements are met.)

Description of image – Inspection legend – Figure 1 of Schedule 2, SFCR

The inspection legend consists of the outline of a circle containing a solid, black maple leaf with the word "Canada" in white lettering centered within the maple leaf. Beneath the maple leaf, the numbers "00" in the inspection legend are to be replaced by the number identifying the licence holder's establishment.

When Figure 2 of Schedule 2 is used, the number identifying the licence holder's establishment is omitted from the inspection legend. This applies when the container of the meat product [180(2), SFCR]:

  • is a hermetically sealed package (definition) that is labelled legibly and permanently with the number identifying the licence holder's establishment (e.g., the number is stamped on the lid)
  • is a casing or bag closed by a clip, if the number identifying the licence holder's establishment is legibly engraved on the clip and is visible when the clip is closed, or
  • bears the number identifying the licence holder's establishment on any surface except the bottom of the container

Figure 2 of Schedule 2, SFCR. Description follows
Download high resolution image (EPS 560 kb) (When using this high resolution image, the regulated party must ensure legibility requirements are met.)

Description of image – Inspection legend – Figure 2 of Schedule 2, SFCR

The inspection legend consists of the outline of a circle containing a solid, black maple leaf with the word "Canada" in white lettering centered within the maple leaf. The number identifying the licence holder's establishment does not appear in this legend.

Please note that until January 14, 2022, the inspection legend set out in Schedule III of the repealed Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 may continue to be used, as a transitional measure, in lieu of the above [374(3)(a), SFCR]. As of January 15, 2022, the new inspection legends illustrated above must be used, as applicable. It is the responsibility of the regulated party to accurately reproduce the inspection legends set out in Schedule 2 of the SFCR.

When imported, an edible meat product, whether prepackaged or not, must bear the official inspection mark of the foreign state (definition) of origin [282(1)(b), 287(1)(b), SFCR].

For prepackaged other than consumer prepackaged edible meat products, the inspection legend or the official inspection mark of the foreign state of origin, as applicable, must be shown on the principal display panel. If a tamper-resistant seal is used, the inspection legend or the official inspection mark of the country of origin may be displayed on the seal, unless the seal is applied to the bottom of the container [287(2) and (3), SFCR]. Consumer prepackaged (definition) meat products may show their inspection legend or inspection mark on any part of the label, except the bottom [245(2) and (3), SFCR].

The inspection legend must meet the legibility and location requirements set out in the SFCR for mandatory information. It must be separate, distinct, and must not interfere with any other mandatory labelling requirements. With respect to type size requirements for the inspection legend, the numerals "00" in Figure 1 (i.e., the number identifying the licence holder's establishment) must be a minimum of 1.6 mm in height [208, 210, SFCR]. For Figure 1 and Figure 2, the word "Canada" must be distinguishable within the maple leaf [208, SFCR]. These legibility requirements correspond to a minimum circle diameter of the inspection legend of about 14 mm and the use of type that has a high level of colour contrast with the background label. The size of the inspection legend may be required to increase as the size of the package increases so that the inspection legend is prominently shown on the label. All components of the inspection legend must be in the same proportions as those shown in Figures 1 or 2 above to meet the legibility requirements in section 208 of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR).

When an inspection legend or official inspection mark of a foreign state is applied directly on an edible meat product that is not prepackaged, the transverse axis passing through the centre of the legend or mark must not measure less than 25 mm in length [282(2), SFCR].

For additional information specifically related to the marking of food animal carcasses with the inspection legend, refer to Application of the inspection legend on food animal carcasses before refrigeration.

Grade names

General requirements for graded carcasses

Please note that all references to the "Compendium" in this section refer to the Canadian Grade Compendium, which is prepared and published by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The Beef, Bison and Veal Carcass Grade Requirements (PDF - 259 kb), prepared and published by the Canadian Beef Grading Agency, will be referred to as the "Grades Document" for the purpose of this guidance.

In addition to the Grades Document which details the grade names (definition) and requirements for beef, bison and veal carcasses, Volume 1 of the Compendium includes grade names and requirements for ovine and poultry carcasses. Volume 9 of the Compendium specifies import grade requirements for livestock carcasses (definition) and poultry carcasses (definition).

Grading is optional for bison, ovine or veal carcasses, as well as dressed or partially dressed poultry carcasses. However, if these are graded and labelled with the applicable grade name, the grade requirements set out in Volume 1 of the Compendium or the Beef, Bison and Veal Carcass Grade Requirements (PDF - 259 kb), as applicable, must be adhered to when interprovincially traded, imported or exported [307(c) and (d), SFCR].

Beef carcasses that are interprovincially traded, imported or exported must be graded, must meet the grade requirements and be labelled with the applicable grade name in accordance with the Beef, Bison and Veal Carcass Grade Requirements (PDF - 259 kb). Despite this grading requirement, beef carcasses may be ungraded when labelled with the words "Ungraded Beef" / "boeuf non classifié" or "boeuf non classé" [204, 306(1), 306(2)(e) and (f), SFCR].  For details, refer to requirements specific to "beef carcasses" within the livestock carcasses section.

The particular conditions for grading that must be met for a grader (definition) to grade a livestock carcass are outlined in section 334 to 337 of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), while those applicable to a dressed or partially dressed poultry carcass are outlined in section 338 of the SFCR.

Licence holders may apply a grade name to and use a grade name in connection with a livestock carcass or a dressed or partially dressed poultry carcass that is identified in their licence if the carcass has been graded by a grader (definition), in addition to meeting other prescribed conditions [308(1)(b), (c), (e) and (f), SFCR]. In the case of a dressed or partially dressed poultry carcass, this includes complying with the standards set out in the Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products. For more information on general requirements, refer to the Grades page of the Industry Labelling Tool.

Volume 9 of the Compendium outlines the import grade requirements. Item 53 of the Table of import grade names for imported food specifies the Canadian and import grade names for poultry carcasses. If imported poultry carcasses meet the requirements of the Compendium for the applicable Canadian grade name in column 2 of the table, they must be labelled with the corresponding import grade name in column 3 [1(1), Compendium, Volume 9 – Import Grade Requirements]. The import grade names for imported poultry carcasses are GRADE A, GRADE C and GRADE UTILITY UTILITÉ.

There are no import grade names for beef carcasses (or a complete side, hind quarter, front quarter, primal cut (definition) or sub-primal cut (definition), bison, veal and ovine carcasses, as indicated in items 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the Table of imported foods without import grade names. When these are imported from a country that has a grade designation having requirements that are substantially equivalent to requirements for a Canadian grade name in Column 2 of the table, they must be labelled with that foreign grade designation rather than with the Canadian grade name [2(1), Compendium, Volume 9 – Import Grade Requirements].

When a grade name is applied to a beef carcass, bison carcass, ovine carcass, veal carcass, poultry carcass that is dressed or partially dressed, the grade name must be shown as illustrated in the Grades Document or the Compendium [313, SFCR]. For more information, refer to livestock carcasses and poultry carcasses below.

When a grade name is applied to a consumer prepackaged poultry carcass or livestock carcass (including a complete side, hind quarter, front quarter, primal cut or sub-primal cut of a beef carcass), the grade name must be shown on the principal display panel or in the manner set out in the Compendium [312(a), SFCR].

Specific type size requirements exist for the grade name on consumer prepackaged poultry carcasses. Refer to poultry carcasses below for details.

For consumer prepackaged livestock carcasses, the grade name must be declared in characters of at least the minimum height that is set out in the following table, which varies according to area of the principal display surface [312(b), Schedule 6, SFCR].

Minimum character height for grade names on consumer prepackaged livestock carcasses
Item Area of principal display surface Minimum character height
1 ≤ 32 cm2 (5 inches2) 1.6 mm (1/16 inch)
2 > 32 cm2 (5 inches2) but ≤ 258 cm2 (40 inches2) 3.2 mm (1/8 inch)
3 > 258 cm2 (40 inches2) but ≤ 645 cm2 (100 inches2) 6.4 mm (1/4 inch)
4 > 645 cm2 (100 inches2) but ≤ 2 580 cm2 (400 inches2) 9.5 mm (3/8 inch)
5 > 2 580 cm2 (400 inches2) 12.7 mm (1/2 inch)

Please note that grade names satisfy the bilingual labelling requirement for mandatory information appearing on consumer prepackaged food since most are already bilingual (e.g., Canada A, Canada B1, Canada C2) or, if not, are in both official languages when shown within the grade stamp (definition) as illustrated in the Compendium or Grades Document (e.g., the grade name CANADA UTILITY UTILITÉ for poultry carcasses).

Livestock carcasses

Grades for livestock carcasses are applicable to beef, bison, veal and ovine carcasses. In addition to what is outlined below, additional requirements exist for beef carcasses.

A grade name that is applied to a beef carcass, bison carcass, ovine carcass or veal carcass must be shown as illustrated in the Beef, Bison and Veal Carcass Grade Requirements (PDF - 259 kb) or Volume 1 of the Compendium within the applicable grade stamp (definition) reproduced below [313, SFCR].  

Beef grade stamp
Description follows
Description for beef grade stamp

The beef grade stamp has the outline of a Canadian maple leaf. Centered towards the top of the emblem is the word "Canada". Centered in the middle of the emblem is the letter grade assigned to the carcass, "AAA". The grade name, "Canada AAA", is in blocked capital letters. Centered inside the bottom of the leaf outline, just above the leaf stem, is the grade stamp code. Despite being illustrated in black, the beef grade stamp must appear in red ink on the graded beef carcass.

Veal grade stamp
Description follows
Description for veal grade stamp

The veal grade stamp has the outline of a triangle with all sides 5 cm, pointing downwards. The grade name, for example, "Canada A2", would be situated in blocked capital letters centered at the top of the triangle. The grade stamp code would be centered inside near the tip of the triangle. Despite being shown in black, the veal grade stamp must appear in red ink when marked on a graded veal carcass.

Bison grade stamp
Description follows
Description for bison grade stamp

The bison grade stamp is a 2.5 cm square outline with double borders. The grade name appears in the top left corner of the square in blocked capital letters. The number for the grade stamp code is to appear in the bottom right corner of the outline. Despite being shown in black, the bison grade stamp must appear in purple ink when marked on a graded bison carcass.

Ovine grade stamp
Description follows
Description for ovine grade stamp

The ovine grade stamp has the outline of a Canadian maple leaf. Centered towards the top of the emblem is the word "Canada". Centered in the middle of the emblem is the letter grade assigned to the carcass, "AAA". The grade name, "Canada AAA", is in blocked capital letters. Centered inside the bottom of the leaf outline, just above the stem, is the grade stamp code. Despite being shown in black, the ovine grade stamp must appear in red ink when marked on a graded ovine carcass.

A grade stamp must appear in red ink when marked on graded beef, veal and ovine carcasses, and in purple ink on a graded bison carcass [2.1(1), 2.2, 2.3, Grades Document; 4(1), Compendium, Volume 1 – Ovine Carcasses and Poultry Carcasses].

A grade stamp, roller brand (definition) (in the case of beef) or yield stamp (definition) (in the case of beef and lamb) must not be removed from a livestock carcass or primal cut unless the removal is at the direction of and under the supervision of a grader, or when these are being trimmed for further processing [328(1), SFCR].

If fat that is marked with a grade stamp, roller brand or yield stamp is removed from a livestock carcass or primal cut, the fat must be disposed of under a grader's supervision, unless the fat is reapplied to the same livestock carcass or primal cut from which it was removed. Applying the fat to another livestock carcass or primal cut bearing the same grade stamp, roller brand or yield stamp is also acceptable provided this is done under the supervision of a grader. If applied to another beef carcass graded Canada A, Canada AA, Canada AAA or Canada Prime, the fat must be applied to the rib of the carcass [328, SFCR].

An additional mark may be shown on a livestock carcass or primal cut that bears a grade stamp, roller brand or yield stamp provided:

  • the additional mark does not appear more than once on the carcass or on each primal cut
  • the additional mark is shown alone or in combination with a date
  • the additional mark, or the additional mark and date in combination, does not exceed 76 mm in height and in width
  • the additional mark, along with any accompanying date, does not touch the grade stamp, roller brand or yield stamp [329, SFCR]

Beef carcasses

There are 13 grade names established for beef carcasses: Canada A, Canada AA, Canada AAA, Canada Prime, Canada B1, Canada B2, Canada B3, Canada B4, Canada D1, Canada D2, Canada D3, Canada D4, Canada E [3.0(1), Beef, Bison and Veal Carcass Grade Requirements (PDF - 259 kb)].

Please note that a cut from a Canada AAA beef carcass that is exported in a container (i.e., prepackaged) may alternatively be labelled with the expression "Canada Choice" or "Choix Canada" [327, SFCR].

Despite the mandatory grading requirement for beef carcasses, a prepackaged beef carcass, or a complete side, hind quarter, front quarter, primal cut (definition) or sub-primal cut (definition) of a beef carcass may be ungraded provided its container is labelled with the words "Ungraded Beef" / "boeuf non classifié" or "boeuf non classé". If it is not prepackaged, appropriate documentation showing that it was not graded must accompany the shipment for presentation to an inspector or a grader [204, 306(2)(e) and (f), SFCR].

When interprovincially traded, a graded beef carcass or a complete side, hind quarter, front quarter, primal cut or sub-primal cut that is not prepackaged is not required to bear a grade name if accompanied by documentation for presentation to an inspector or grader that shows its grade name. In the case of imports, the documentation must show the foreign grade designation and the beef carcass must be labelled in accordance with the requirements of the country of origin with respect to grades [306(4)(d) and (e), SFCR].

The grade name that is applied to a prepackaged primal cut or sub-primal cut of a beef carcass must correspond to the grade of the beef carcass from which it is cut [326, SFCR].

Containers of mixed grades of beef cuts

The mixing of beef cuts of different grades within a container is permitted as follows:

  • Canadian beef graded Canada A, Canada AA and Canada AAA may be mixed provided the container is marked with a single grade name corresponding to the lowest grade quality followed by the expression "or higher" / "ou plus" to imply that there may be some cuts derived from higher grades of beef in a container so marked. Example: "Canada A or higher"
  • Canadian beef graded any of the Canada B or Canada D grades or the Canada E grade may be mixed provided the specific grade names of the product are marked on the container. Example: "Canada B2 / Canada B3 / Canada D3/ Canada E"
  • Canadian beef graded in the A grades shall not be mixed with non A grade product or ungraded product and be identified by grade name. For example, the marking of a container "Canada A / Canada AA / Canada B2" is not permitted
  • containers of ungraded product must be marked with the words "Ungraded Beef" / "boeuf non classifié" or "boeuf non classé". Should anyone wish to mix graded and ungraded product, the containers must be marked as ungraded
  • imported beef may also be mixed for different grades provided the specific grade names for the product are marked on the container

Note: The licence holder of an establishment is responsible for the accuracy of grade labelling. When repackaging cuts that originate from a mixed-grade container, these cuts may be marked with a specific grade only if each original cut was individually marked with a grade and the grade can be verified. Example: A mixed-grade container marked "Canada B2 / Canada D3" contains mixed cuts on which the grade "Canada B2" or "Canada D3" has been directly stamped to a carcass. In this case, the grade of a cut is easily identifiable and verifiable. Therefore, the derived cuts can be marked accordingly with the grade "Canada B2" or "Canada D3".

Retail beef cuts

Since beef grades do not apply to individual beef cuts prepackaged by the retailer for retail sale, labels or advertisements for retail cuts may only include an indication of the grade of the carcass (or complete side, hind quarter, front quarter, primal cut or sub-primal cut) from which the retail cut was derived (e.g., the label or advertisement should include words such as "Cut from" or other appropriate words that do not give the impression that the retail cut was graded when indicating the carcass grade). Additionally, grade names must be reproduced in full. An appropriate reference would be "Cut from Canada AA Beef".

When retail beef cuts are derived from carcasses of:

  • one specific grade only, the label or advertisement declaration must make reference to that specific grade only (e.g., "Cut from Canada AA" or "Cut from USDA Choice")
  • more than one grade, the label or advertisement declaration must make reference to the lowest grade involved plus the words "or higher" (e.g., "Cut from Canada A or higher", or "Cut from USDA Select or higher")

Former grade information declarations on retail packages or in advertising such as "Cut from Canada A/AA", "Cut from Canada A/AA/AAA" and "Cut from Canada A Grades" are no longer acceptable.

Grade names that do not include the name of the country that established the grade must be accompanied by a declaration of the country of origin. For example, while "A" is an Australian grade, the appropriate retail declaration would be "Cut from Australian A Grade".

Poultry carcasses

There are 3 grade names for poultry carcasses set out in Part 3 of Volume 1 of the Compendium:  Canada A, Canada Utility, Canada C [10, Compendium, Volume 1 – Ovine Carcasses and Poultry Carcasses].

The labelling requirements associated with the grade name apply only to dressed or partially dressed poultry carcasses (i.e., wrapped, fresh or vacuum-packed frozen, whole poultry) and not to individual cuts.

When applied to a poultry carcass that is dressed or partially dressed, the grade name must be shown as illustrated in Schedule 5 of the Compendium within the poultry carcass grade stamp [313, SFCR]. As an example, the grade stamp for the Canada Utility grade is reproduced below:

Poultry grade stamp
Description follows
Description for poultry grade stamp

The poultry grade stamp has the outline of a Canadian maple leaf. Centered in the middle of the emblem, is the grade name, "Canada Utility", and the French equivalent, "Utilité". Each word is on a separate line in blocked capital letters.

The grade name of a dressed or partially dressed poultry carcass must be shown in white letters within the outline of a maple leaf. The colour of the maple leaf outline depends on the grade of the carcass [11(1), Compendium, Volume 1 – Ovine Carcasses and Poultry Carcasses]:

  • red, if the poultry is graded Canada A
  • blue, if the poultry is graded Canada Utility, and
  • brown, if the poultry is graded Canada C

When the poultry carcass is prepackaged other than consumer prepackaged [11(2), Compendium, Volume 1 – Ovine Carcasses and Poultry Carcasses],

  • the grade name may be shown in black letters instead of white
  • the grade name is not required to be shown within the outline of a maple leaf
  • the outline of the maple leaf may be the same colour as required above according to the grade or may be black 

In the case of a poultry carcass that is individually packaged, the grade name must appear on the part of the package that is on or over the anterior centre of the breast, whereas when not individually packaged, the grade name must be on the tag attached to the V of the wishbone [330(1), SFCR].

The minimum size of the characters in the grade name is dependent upon the grade, weight and packaging of the poultry carcass [330(2), SFCR]. Type size requirements for the grade name on consumer prepackaged poultry carcasses are summarized in the table below [330(2)(b) to (f), SFCR].

Minimum size of characters in grade name for consumer prepackaged poultry carcasses
  Minimum type size Minimum type size Minimum type size
Net weight of poultry carcass Canada A Canada C Canada Utility
≤ 1 kg 3 mm 3 mm 3 mm
> 1 kg to ≤ 5 kg 6 mm 6 mm 3 mm
> 5 kg 9 mm 9 mm 5 mm

For prepackaged other than consumer prepackaged poultry carcasses, the grade name must be in characters at least 6 mm in height [330(2)(g), SFCR]. In the case of a poultry carcass that is not individually packaged or is in a container labelled "not for further processing" or "aucune transformation ultérieure" and individually wrapped, the grade name must be in characters at least 1.5 mm in height [330(2)(a), SFCR].

Only graded poultry carcasses that are dressed or partially dressed and that have the same common name may be packaged together [331, SFCR]. For example, it would not be permitted to put a graded mature guinea carcass in the same container as a mature duck carcass, even if they share the same grade.

Advertising

Generally, anyone is authorized to use a grade name in the advertising or sale of graded livestock or poultry carcass provided it is labelled with the grade name in accordance with the SFCR [311, SFCR].

There are requirements surrounding the use of grades in advertising for some types of meat. Refer to Advertisements for bulk beef, veal, pork and lamb for more information.

Lot code

For information on the requirement for a lot code or other unique identifier for traceability purposes, consult Traceability-specific labelling requirements.

Please note that recommendations have been made regarding the use of potentially misleading lot codes. For additional information, please refer to the Lot Code section under Manner of declaring on the Date Markings and Storage Instructions page.

Other required markings

Ready-to-eat

If any prepackaged meat product (definition) that is interprovincially traded, imported or exported is not a ready-to-eat (definition) meat product but could be mistaken for one, the meat product must bear the following information on its label [291, SFCR]:

  • the expression "Must Be Cooked" / "doit être cuit", "Raw Product" / "produit cru", "Uncooked" / "non cuit" or any equivalent expression, on the principal display panel and in close proximity (definition) to the common name of the product to indicate that the product requires cooking before consumption, and
  • comprehensive cooking instructions, such as a combination of internal temperature and cooking time, that, if followed, will result in a ready-to-eat meat product

No meat product label can bear any expression that may suggest that the meat product is a ready-to-eat meat product unless the meat product is free of pathogens, toxins or any other biological, chemical or physical hazard that could render the meat product inedible [290, 47, SFCR].

Markings for poultry

When interprovincially traded, imported or exported, if giblets are packaged with a poultry carcass that is dressed or partially dressed and has been graded, the expressions "With Giblets" and "avec abat" or "avec abattis" must be shown in both official languages on the principal display panel of the poultry carcass. This applies to a prepackaged or a non-prepackaged poultry carcass [205(2), 283(1)(a), 286(c), SFCR].

As well, when interprovincially traded, imported or exported, if a prepackaged or a non-prepackaged dressed or partially dressed carcass of a chicken or young duck, or a portion thereof, may contain kidneys or has not had the kidneys removed, the expression "May contain kidneys" / "peut contenir les reins" must be shown on the principal display panel of the label. When this carcass has been graded and is not individually packaged, the expression must appear on a tag attached to the V of the wishbone of the carcass [283(1)(a), 286(d), 294(b), SFCR].

When interprovincially traded, imported or exported, the label of a consumer prepackaged (definition) poultry carcass that is dressed or partially dressed and has been graded may require additional mandatory markings set out in section 293 of the SFCR, where applicable:

  • "Basted" / "imprégné"
  • "Pre-basted" / "préimprégné"
  • "Deep Basted" / "imprégné en profondeur"
  • "Self-basting" / "auto-imprégné"
  • "Graded before Basting" / "classifié avant impregnation"
  • "May Have Parts Missing" / "des parties peuvent manquer"
  • "Breast Bone Removed" / "bréchet enlevé"
  • "Stuffed" / "farci"
  • "Graded before Stuffing" / "classifié avant d'être farci"
  • "Seasoned" / "assaisonné"
  • "Graded before Seasoning" / "classifié avant assaisonnement"

Note that the French words "classé" and "classifié" may be used interchangeably in the expressions above [204, SFCR].

Retail barbecued, roasted or broiled meat, meat by-products, poultry and poultry by-products

Meat and poultry products barbecued, roasted or broiled on the retail premises where sold must be labelled to inform the consumer about the safe storage requirements for cooked meats, poultry and their by-products [B.01.003(1)(b) to (c), FDR]. These labels must include, the common name of the product on the principal display panel, the name and principal place of business of the distributor, the packaging date and the net quantity (by weight) of the meat or poultry product being sold. Additional labelling requirements for these products are summarized in the section on Non-prepackaged foods that require a label.

Previously frozen meat and poultry products

Any meat, meat by-products, poultry meat and poultry by-products that have been frozen and thawed prior to sale must declare the words "previously frozen" / "produit décongelé" on their principal display panel or on a sign displayed close to the food in letters that are legible and discernible. This includes both prepackaged and non-prepackaged products. When declared on the principal display panel, these words must either be close to the common name of the food in letters that are the same size as those used for the common name, or anywhere on the principal display panel in letters that are at least 6.4 mm (1/4 inch) in height [B.01.080(2), FDR].

If part of one of these foods has been frozen and thawed prior to sale, the words "Made from fresh and frozen portions" / "Provenance : parties fraîches et congelées" or "Made from fresh and frozen (naming the food)" / "Provenance : parties de (d') (nom du produit) fraîches et congelées" must be declared [B.01.080(3), FDR].

As per the FDR, "frozen" means preserved by freezing temperatures and does not include any surface freezing that may occur during holding and transportation [B.01.080(1), FDR].

Packaging type

Edible meat products (definition) can be labelled in various ways. This includes labels applied or attached to prepackaged and non-prepackaged meat products, as well as tags that are attached to the V of the wishbone on poultry carcasses (i.e., breast tags). All of these labels are subject to the labelling requirements of the SFCR.

The table below explains the specific labelling requirements based on the type of packaging. Note that this table is not an exhaustive list of all of the labelling requirements that apply to meat products. For example, depending on the type of product, a Nutrition Facts table may also be required.

Labelling requirements for meat and poultry products based on packaging type
Requirement Consumer prepackaged meat products Prepackaged meat products and individually packaged prepackaged poultry products Non-prepackaged meat products Tag attached to the V of the wishbone of a graded, prepackaged dressed or partially dressed poultry carcass that is not individually packaged

Common name – Meat and poultry products

Check [218(1)(a), 292(a), SFCR]

Check [218(1)(a), 292(a), SFCR]

Check [283(1)(a), SFCR]

Check [292(b), SFCR]

Net quantity – Meat and poultry products

Check [221, 230, SFCR]

Except in the case of a catch-weight meat product sold to a retailer [300(b), SFCR].

Check For prepackaged other than consumer prepackaged [286(a), 243, SFCR].

Check [283(1)(a), SFCR]

 

Name and principal place of business of the licence holder's establishment where the meat product was produced or labelled, or the name and address of the person for whom the meat product was produced or labelled

Check [218(1)(b), SFCR]

Check [218(1)(b), SFCR]

Check [283(1)(a), SFCR]

Check [294(a), SFCR]

Country of origin

Check [297(1), SFCR]

Check [297(1), SFCR]

Check [297(1), SFCR]

 

Inspection legend or official inspection mark of the foreign state of origin

Check [287(1), SFCR]

Check [287(1), SFCR]

Check [282(1), SFCR]

Grade name

Check [306(1), 326, 312, 313, SFCR]

 

May be ungraded when marked as "Ungraded Beef" [306(2)(e)(i), 306(2)(f)(i), SFCR].

 

Grading is optional for bison, ovine or veal carcasses, as well as dressed or partially dressed poultry carcasses [307(c) and (d), 330(1)(a), SFCR].

Check [306(1), 313, 326, SFCR]

 

May be ungraded when marked as "Ungraded Beef" [306(2)(e)(i), 306(2)(f)(i), SFCR].

 

Grading is optional for bison, ovine or veal carcasses, as well as dressed or partially dressed poultry carcasses [307(c) and (d), 330(1)(a), SFCR].

Check [306(1), 313, SFCR]

 

May be ungraded when marked as "Ungraded Beef" [306(2)(e)(ii), 306(2)(f)(ii), SFCR].

 

Not required, if accompanied by documentation that shows grade name or foreign grade designation. [306(4)(d) and (e), SFCR]

 

Grading is optional for bison, ovine or veal carcasses, as well as dressed or partially dressed poultry carcasses [307(c) and (d), SFCR].

Check [313, 330(1)(b), SFCR]

Storage instructions

Check [286(b), SFCR]

Check [286(b), SFCR]

Check [283(1)(a), SFCR]

 

Date markings

Check [218(1)(c), SFCR; B.01.007(1.1)(b), FDR]

Check [218(1)(c), SFCR; B.01.007(1.1)(b), FDR]

 

 

In the case of a dressed carcass from a young chicken or young duck, or a portion thereof, that may contain kidneys, the words "May contain kidneys" / "peut contenir les reins"

Check [286(d), SFCR]

Check [286(d), SFCR]

Check [283(1)(a), SFCR]

Check [294(b), SFCR]

In the case of prepackaged, dressed or partially dressed poultry that is graded and packaged with giblets, the words "With Giblets" / "avec abats" / "avec abattis"

Check [item 15, Schedule 8; 288, SFCR]

Check [item 15, Schedule 8; 288, 286(c), SFCR]

Check [item 15, Schedule 8; 288, 283(1)(a), SFCR]

Check [item 15, Schedule 8; 288, SFCR]

An edible meat product may be sent or conveyed from an establishment identified in licence without meeting all the labelling requirements of the SFCR if [296, SFCR]:

  • it is a prepackaged, other than consumer prepackaged, meat product in a container or conveyance with a tamper-resistant seal
  • it is sent or conveyed to another establishment where meat products are manufactured, processed, treated, preserved, graded, packaged or labelled by a licence holder, and
  • the meat product is accompanied by an accurate list of ingredients and documentation stating that the meat product is edible as described in section 125 of the SFCR

The above exception to labelling requirements does not apply to the foods listed in section 25 of the SFCR as these are not considered to be "meat products". For more information, refer to "Section 25: Exception - meat products" under 6.0 Exceptions and non-applications  of the guidance on Regulatory requirements: Trade.

Phosphated meats and meat products

Sections B.01.090, B.01.091, B.14.021 and B.22.012 of the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) establish labelling requirements and minimum meat protein contents for solid cut meat, including poultry meat, to which phosphate salts and/or water have been added. These enable consumers to make price and quality comparisons based on percent (%) meat protein declarations. Compositional standards in both the FDR and the SFCR provide for the addition of phosphate salts and/or water to meats.

Products to which phosphate salts and/or water are incorporated

Products to which phosphate salts and/or water are incorporated can be grouped into three categories.

Type 1 – Solid cut meat (or poultry meat): A solid cut meat (or poultry meat) is a whole cut of meat or a product consisting of 80% of pieces of boneless, skinless meat weighing a minimum of 25 g each, as determined prior to the addition of any other ingredient and further processing activities. This category includes products such as chicken wings, poultry carcasses, steaks, pork tails, tongues, picnics, certain hams, etc. [B.14.020, B.22.011, FDR].

Type 2 – Chopped, chopped and formed meat products: This unstandardized category includes products, such as ground roast beef, ground ham and chicken breast (chopped and formed), that do not contain at least 80% of pieces of boneless, skinless meat weighing a minimum of 25 g each.

Type 3 – Prepared meat products for which a standard is prescribed, and meat products that contain a filler (definition): Specific minimum meat protein contents are prescribed in the Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products, incorporated by reference into the SFCR, or in Divisions 14 or 22 of the FDR and reproduced in the table Meat products for which a minimum meat protein content is prescribed.

Compositional requirements

Phosphate salts:

The maximum level of phosphate salts that can be added to meat products is 0.5% of total added phosphate, calculated as sodium phosphate, dibasic [List of permitted sequestering agents]. The addition of phosphate salts refers to the addition directly into the meat ingredient(s) by means of injection, pumping, massaging, tumbling, marinating or mixing.

Meat protein:

Solid cut meat product (Type 1): Where phosphate salts and/or water are incorporated into a solid cut meat product, the minimum meat protein content of the product must not, unless otherwise specified by regulations, be less than 12% when cookedFootnote 1, or less than 10% when uncooked [B.14.021, B.22.012, FDR].

Chopped and chopped and formed meat products (Type 2): These products must not, unless otherwise specified by regulations, contain less than 12% meat protein when cooked, or less than 10% when uncooked.

Prepared meat products for which a standard is prescribed, and meat products that contain a filler (Type 3): The minimum meat protein content for specific prepared meat products is specified in Table 2 of the Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products, or in Divisions 14 or 22 of the FDR.

For meat products that contain a filler, other than white pudding or haggis or any meat product set out in column 1 of Table 2 in the Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products, these must contain not less than:

  • 9.5% meat product protein and 11% total protein in the case of an uncooked product; or
  • 11.5% meat product protein and 13% total protein in the case of a cookedFootnote 1 product [3, Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7]

For more information, see the table Meat products for which a minimum meat protein content is prescribed.

Common name – Phosphated meats and meat products

The common name of solid cut meat products must reflect the fact that they contain phosphate salts and/or water, unless the product is cured or preserved or a standard is prescribed for it in the Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products, or in Divisions 14 or 22 of the FDR.

The use of the term "seasoned" in conjunction with the product's common name has been found to be acceptable when phosphate salts alone or with water are incorporated into a product. Similarly, the use of the term "seasoned" is also acceptable when spices are added with water. However, if water alone (i.e., water being the only non-meat ingredient) is added, then an expression such as "water added" must be part of the product's common name.

Declaration of the minimum meat protein content as part of the common name

The label of prepackaged Type 1 or 2 products must have a statement of the "% meat protein" as part of the common name of the product on the principal display panel of the package with no intervening material. The type must be at least as legible and conspicuous as any other type on that display panel, and in letters that are a minimum of half the size of the letters used in the rest of the common name of the product. The type height cannot be less than 1.6 mm in height [B.01.090(2), FDR]. Declarations such as "minimum meat protein xx%" / "au moins xx % de protéines de viande" or "meat protein xx%" / "xx % protéines de viande" are acceptable.

Examples:

  • "Chicken Breast with water added, minimum xx% meat protein": in the case of a chicken breast to which only water has been incorporated
  • "Seasoned Chicken Breast, xx% minimum meat protein": in the case of a chicken breast to which water and phosphate salts have been incorporated

The labelling requirement of the minimum meat protein content is not required where phosphate salts and/or water have not been incorporated into the meat ingredient(s) but are present in the food via the addition of a non-meat ingredient (e.g., a sauce, glaze, broth, marinade, etc.).

Note: While suppliers (meat packers or others) are not required to label prepackaged other than consumer prepackaged meat products that contain added phosphate salts and/or water with the percent (%) meat protein declaration, it is their responsibility to provide this information to retailers. Retailers should, therefore, make sure that they get this information so that they can properly label products which they package. A good way to ensure retailers get this information is for the suppliers to label it on the containers.

For information on compliance and tolerance of protein declaration, refer to the Compliance policy for protein standards of meat and poultry products containing phosphate salts and/or water.

Exemptions from phosphated meat and meat product requirements

Side bacon, Wiltshire bacon, pork jowls, salt pork and salt beef are exempted from the minimum meat protein standard and the percent (%) meat protein label declaration [B.01.092, B.14.021, FDR].

Water absorbed by poultry carcasses during the post-slaughter chilling process is not considered to be an ingredient provided the amount of moisture picked up does not exceed the prescribed tolerances. Refer to Retained water declaration for raw single-ingredient meat products for more information. However, when water is added as an ingredient to previously chilled poultry, the resulting product is subject to the minimum meat protein standard and the additional labelling requirements mentioned above.

List of ingredients – Phosphated meats and meat products

Meat products to which phosphate salts and/or water have been added are not single ingredient foods. Therefore, list of ingredients requirements apply [B.01.008(1)(b), FDR].

Type 1, 2, and 3 meat products that are packaged at the manufacturing level require an ingredient list on the label.

For products packaged at the retail level, an ingredient list is required when a Type 1 or Type 2 uncured meat product with added phosphates and/or water is packaged for retail sale by the retailer. The meat product may be cooked, sliced or cut up. Under the FDR, Type 1 and 2 meat products that are cured do not require an ingredient list when packaged at retail [B.01.091, FDR]. It is suggested that applicable provincial legislation also be consulted for any additional requirements.

Phosphated meat products as ingredients

When a meat product containing phosphate salts and/or water is used as an ingredient in the preparation of another food, the common name of this second generation meat product (the resulting product) does not have to reflect the fact that phosphate salts and/or water have been incorporated into the meat ingredient, nor does it require the percent (%) meat protein declaration in the common name. However, the list of ingredients must accurately describe the meat ingredient(s) by their common name (e.g., seasoned chicken breast) and list the components of the ingredients, where required by B.01.009 of the FDR.

The following table provides examples of common names and lists of ingredients for foods that have phosphated meats as ingredients.

Examples of products not requiring minimum percent (%) meat protein information
Product name Ingredient list

Pizza with Smoked Ham

Tomato sauce (tomato, water, ...), Ham (pork, water, salt, sodium phosphate, sodium nitrite, ...), …

Quiche Lorraine

Eggs, Ham (pork, water, salt, sodium phosphate, sodium nitrite), …

Chicken Salad

Lettuce, Seasoned chicken (chicken, water, salt, ...), ...

Chicken Sandwich

... Seasoned chicken (chicken, water, sodium phosphate), ...

Beef Fajita / Stir Fry Kit

... Seasoned beef (beef, water, sodium phosphate), ...

Glazed Chicken Wings

Chicken, Glaze (water, gelatin, sodium phosphate, ...), ...

Nutrition Facts table – Phosphated meats and meat products

A Nutrition Facts table (NFt) is required on meat and poultry with added phosphates and/or water whether packed at retail or packed at the manufacturer. The FDR exemption for raw single ingredient meats does not apply to meats with phosphates and/or water added. The percent (%) meat protein declaration triggers the NFt, even if other exemptions apply, such as the less than 200 cm2 available display surface or manufactured on premises. Refer to Other permitted references to protein and to Reasons for losing the exemption for more information.

Summary tables of labelling requirements for meats with added phosphate and/or water

The following table summarizes the labelling requirements for foods packaged for retail sale by manufacturers, importers, and by retailers.

Summary table of labelling requirements for meat products which contain phosphate salts and/or water
(prepackaged by the manufacturer, domestic and imported)
Category of meat product % Meat protein content with the name of the product Common name must include addition of phosphate and/or water List of ingredients
[B.01.008.2(1) to (7), B.01.091, FDR]
Nutrition Facts table
[B.01.401(3)(e)(i), FDR]

Type 1:
Solid cut meat products
(e.g., hams, roast)

Yes
[B.01.090(2), FDR]

Yes

Yes

Yes

Type 2:
Non-solid cut meat products
(i.e., ground, chopped and formed)
(e.g., roast beef, chopped and formed)

Yes
[B.01.090(2), FDR]

Yes

Yes

Yes

Type 3:
Meat products for which a minimum level of meat protein is prescribed in the Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 or Division 14 or 22 of the FDR

No

No

Yes

Yes

The following table summarizes the labelling requirements for foods packaged from bulk on retail premises, domestic & imported.

Summary table of labelling requirements for meat products which contain phosphate salts and/or water
(packed from bulk on retail premises, domestic and imported)
Category of meat product % Meat protein content with the name of the product Common name must include addition of phosphate and/or water List of ingredients Nutrition Facts table

Type 1 and 2:
Solid cut meat products which are also cured, and may be cooked, sliced, or cut up

Yes
[B.01.090(2), FDR]

No

No

Yes

Type 1 and 2:
Solid Cut Meat Products which are not cured and may be cooked, sliced, or cut up

Yes
[B.01.090(2), FDR]

Yes

Yes

Yes

Type 3:
Meat products for which a minimum level of meat protein is prescribed in the Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 or Division 14 or 22 of the FDR

No

No

No

Yes

Mechanically tenderized beef

Mechanically tenderized beef (MTB) refers to uncooked, solid cut beef that has been prepared by mechanical tenderization, i.e., a process where the integrity of the beef surface has been compromised by being pierced by blades, needles or other similar instruments, or the beef has been injected with a marinade or other tenderizing solution [B.01.001(1), FDR].

This includes all cuts of MTB regardless of thickness, which includes veal and cubed steaks (e.g., fast fry/minute steaks) in either fresh or frozen form.

This does not include:

  • other species of meat besides beef (i.e., pork and poultry)
  • ground beef or any uncooked beef that has been subject to a comminution process such as grinding, chopping, flaking, mincing, fine texturing and/or mechanical separation

Requirements

Prepackaged or non-prepackaged MTB that is offered or exposed for sale must be identified as mechanically tenderized. The label must include the following information (as shown exactly in quotations) in both English and French unless a bilingual labelling exemption applies to the product [B.14.022, FDR]:

  • identification of the food as "mechanically tenderized" / "attendri mécaniquement"
  • safe cooking instructions stating "Cook to a minimum internal temperature of 63°C (145°F)" / "Faire cuire jusqu'à ce que la température interne atteigne au moins 63 °C (145 °F)"
  • in the case of steak, an additional safe cooking instruction to help achieve a consistent temperature throughout stating "Turn steak over at least twice during cooking" / "Retourner le bifteck au moins deux fois durant la cuisson"

Note: The above requirements do not apply to advertisements, or to menu labelling in any food service establishment (e.g., restaurants, school and hospital cafeterias, catering operations, etc.).

Manner of declaring

Prepackaged products

The term "mechanically tenderized" must appear on the principal display panel (definition) in type that is as legible and prominent as the type used for the common name. "Mechanically tenderized" may be displayed as part of the common name itself.

All cooking instruction statement(s), including the additional cooking instruction specific to steak, if applicable, must be present on the principal display panel in type at least as legible and prominent as that of any other information other than the common name, such as mandatory information and claims.

The intent of this requirement is to ensure that the cooking instructions will be legible and noticed by the purchaser or consumer. If cooking instructions are clearly legible, discernible and unobstructed by other information, it is likely that the CFIA would consider this requirement to be met. For more information on legibility requirements, please refer to Legibility and location of labelling information.

Note: "Prominent" type refers to a combination of factors such as placement, contrast, colour, type size and type weight. The term "mechanically tenderized" does not necessarily have to be the same size as the common name for compliance with this statement if other factors compensate for legibility, e.g., bolding.

Non-prepackaged products

For MTB that is not prepackaged when offered or exposed for sale, "mechanically tenderized" must appear on a label associated with the product such as an in-store sign adjacent to the food; however, the statement must then appear on the principal display panel once the meat has been packaged to give to the consumer.

Cooking instructions are not required for MTB that is not prepackaged when offered or exposed for sale; however, safe cooking instructions are required on the principal display panel once the meat has been packaged to give to the consumer.

Note: It is acceptable for all three requirements to appear on one label, which can then be applied to all types of MTB products. Therefore, it would be considered acceptable for an MTB product that is not a steak to be labelled with the additional cooking instruction "turn steak over at least twice during cooking".

The use of a sticker on the principal display panel of a label is an acceptable way to present the MTB labelling requirements. If it is not possible to meet the requirements using a scale label or other printed label for a product (e.g., the text does not fit on the label, bolding is not an option, etc.), a sticker could be used.

Examples of acceptable MTB labels can be found in section 5.0 of Health Canada's Guidance on mandatory labelling for mechanically tenderized beef.

The figures below represent examples of unacceptable MTB labels. Please note that many additional variations of unacceptable labels are possible.

Figure 1 - this is an example of a non-compliant mechanically tenderized beef label. Description follows.
Figure 1 - Description for non-compliant mechanically tenderized beef label

The common name is clearly more prominent than the "mechanically tenderized' statement as it is a larger type size and in bold; therefore, the label is unacceptable.

The safe cooking instructions are acceptable as they are as legible and as prominent as other information on the label.

Figure 2 - this is an example of a non-compliant mechanically tenderized beef label. Description follows.
Figure 2 - Description for non-compliant mechanically tenderized beef label

The common name is more prominent than the "mechanically tenderized' statement as it is a larger type size; therefore, the label is unacceptable.

The safe cooking instructions are acceptable as they are as legible and as prominent as other information on the label.

Figure 3 - this is an example of a non-compliant mechanically tenderized beef label. Description follows.
Figure 3 - Description for non-compliant mechanically tenderized beef label

Although the common name and "mechanically tenderized" statement are the same type size, the bolding of the common name makes it more prominent on the label; therefore, the label is unacceptable. If the "mechanically tenderized" statement was also bolded, this label would be considered compliant with the type requirements for the "mechanically tenderized" statement.

The safe cooking instructions are acceptable as they are as legible and as prominent as other information on the label.

Additional guidance

For further information on MTB labelling, please refer to Health Canada's Guidance on Mandatory Labelling for Mechanically Tenderized Beef.

Meat and poultry extenders

Meat and poultry product extenders are subject to requirements under the FDR with respect to protein, vitamin and mineral nutrient content [B.14.073, B.22.027, FDR]. These products are used to extend various meat or poultry mixtures to make products such as fresh sausage, cooked sausage, meat loaves, luncheon meats, etc.

Extended meat and poultry products must have approximately the same nutrient content as the product being extended [B.14.074 – B.14.079, B.22.028, FDR; 4, Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products]. This is accomplished via the mandatory enrichment of the extender. For example, pork sausage extended with soy has, on a weight basis, approximately the same nutritive value as pork sausage that has not been extended.

Simulated meat and simulated poultry products

Simulated meat and simulated poultry products do not contain any meat or poultry, but are represented as having the physical and nutritive characteristics of meat or poultry.

Common name – Simulated meat and simulated poultry products

Consumers must not be misled as to the true nature of these products. Therefore, the complete common name "Simulated (Naming the meat or poultry)" must appear on labels and in advertisements for all simulated meat and poultry products [B.01.100(1), FDR].

Simulated versus flavoured bacon bits

The use of the common name "Simulated Bacon Bits" requires that the product be nutritionally equivalent to real bits of bacon. The product must meet the compositional requirements of section B.14.090 of the Food and Drug Regulations. The use of the common name "Bacon Flavoured Bits", however, does not imply that the product simulates bacon, only that it is bacon flavoured. In this case, the requirement for nutritional equivalence and the compositional requirements of B.14.090 of the Food and Drug Regulations do not apply.

Contains no meat/Contains no poultry declaration

When meat or poultry products are simulated, the applicable phrase "contains no meat" or "contains no poultry" is required on the principal display panel of the label, in close proximity (definition) to the common name and in letters of at least the same size and prominence as those shown in the product's common name [B.01.100(4), FDR].

When used as an ingredient

When simulated meat is used as an ingredient of another food, such as a soup, the declaration "contains no meat" is not required on the label. Additionally, any pictures or vignettes on the packaging of the final food must not suggest that meat is present.

Nutrition labelling – Simulated meat and simulated poultry products

The FDR specifies the amounts of vitamins and mineral nutrients that must be added to simulated meat and poultry products [B.14.085-B.14.090, B.22.029, FDR]. These added vitamins and minerals must then be declared in absolute amounts and as a percent daily value per serving of stated size in the Nutrition Facts table [B.01.402(6), table to B.01.401, items 13 & 15, table to B.01.402, items 19-24, 26, 30-31, 33, FDR]. Refer to the Information within the Nutrition Facts table for more information.

Protein content of simulated meat products

Sections B.14.085 to B.14.090 include minimum protein rating requirements for simulated meat products. For example, a simulated meat product that resembles ground beef must have a protein rating of not less than 40. If the prepackaged product as offered for sale is raw and frozen, but cooked before being consumed, the minimum protein rating requirement of 40 would apply to the product as sold (not after it is prepared by the consumer). In addition, these regulations must be respected after a product is rehydrated. This would apply to the food immediately following rehydration (i.e., prior to cooking or consumption).

Advertisements for bulk beef, veal, pork and lamb

Where a beef or veal carcass or a portion thereof weighing over 7 kg is advertised for sale, the advertisement must include an indication of the grade assigned to the carcass by a Canadian or foreign grading authority. If no grade has been assigned, the advertisement must indicate that the carcass has not been graded. In the case of a beef carcass, if a yield class has been assigned, the yield class must also appear in the advertisement [B.14.018, FDR].

When a meat advertisement for a beef, veal, pork or lamb carcass or a portion thereof weighing over 7 kg states a selling price, the advertisements must include the words "price per kilogram is based on carcass weight before cutting, boning and trimming" or the words "price per kilogram is based on the weight of the meat after cutting, boning and trimming", whichever words are applicable.

If, in addition to the selling price, a charge is payable for cutting, boning, trimming, wrapping or freezing the carcass or portion thereof, the advertisement must indicate the amount of the additional charge and, where the additional charge is payable on a price per unit weight basis, whether the additional charge is based on the weight of the carcass or portion thereof before or after the carcass has been cut, boned and trimmed.

The above information must be located immediately adjacent to the selling price without any intervening written, printed or graphic matter [B.14.019, FDR].

Voluntary claims and statements

Fat claims

All acceptable Nutrient Content Claims related to fat are listed in the Summary table of fat claims. Claims such as "Contains not more than X% fat" or "Contains less than X% fat" are not acceptable. However, claims such as "Contains less than (number) g of fat per serving" could be acceptable if the food and its label meet the requirements listed in Column # 2 and # 3 of the above mentioned table.

"Lean" and "Extra Lean"

The conditions and permitted foods for using the claims "lean" and "extra lean" can be found in items i) and j) of the Summary table of fat claims.

Prepared foods such as meat pie, lasagna, pizza, meat/poultry/fish sauces or pastes are not eligible to make these claims.

Note: It is not permitted to label the product "Lean (name of the meat cut or prepared meat product)" with the claim "92% fat free" (instead of "contains 8% fat"). Furthermore, labels with claims such as "ABC packer's lean or extra lean ham" are not considered acceptable.

The above definitions of "lean" and "extra lean" do not apply to ground meat or ground poultry which are subject to the standards for ground meats defined in items 1 to 4 in Part A of Table 2 in the Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products. For more information, refer to Ground meat in the common name section.

Protein claims: Percent (%) meat protein

Protein claims outlines the conditions for making a protein claim.

The percent (%) meat protein declaration is required as part of the common name for meat and poultry products with added phosphate salts and/or water. For more information, please refer to Phosphated meats and meat products.

Fresh

The term "fresh" gives the impression that the food has not been processed or preserved in any way. The claim "fresh (naming the food)" should therefore be used to describe a food that is not canned, cured, dehydrated, frozen or otherwise processed or preserved. The following types of ingredients are eligible to use fresh claims:

  • meats, including poultry products that have not been treated by any means, other than by refrigeration, vacuum packaging or modified atmosphere packaging to ensure their preservation, may be called "fresh"
  • "fresh sausage" made with frozen meat may be described as "fresh" [1, Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products]

Refer to Fresh claims for more information.

Method of production or animal production

For more information on natural, naturally raised, feed, antibiotic and hormone claims for meat and poultry products, refer to Method of production claims for meat, poultry and fish products.

Air-chilled poultry

The use of the term "air-chilled" is permitted for poultry products that are refrigerated in a way to show that there is no moisture gain as a result of post-evisceration washing, chilling and drainage. This method has to be implemented as a control program by the establishment using it.

Claims such as "no water added during the chilling process" are permitted if the poultry is air chilled and the licence holder of the establishment is able to demonstrate 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.

Meat cut and species-specific claims

Any claims about the percentage of a meat cut or specific species in a meat product must be based on the total product formulation. For example:

Meat cut claim

"Contains X% Sirloin" on the label of a "Beef Burger"

Species-specific claim

"Contains X% Angus" on the label of a "Beef Burger"

In addition, these claims must not contradict the meat cut, species or subspecies declarations included in the common name of the product. Refer to Common name – Meat and poultry products for more information.

"Pure", "100%" or "All" claims on sausages and meat patties

The terms "Pure", "100%" or "All" are permitted to be used as modifiers of the common names for the meat portion of sausages and meat patties. For example, claims that describe a sausage or pattie, such as "100% Pork Sausage" or "Pure Ground Beef Patties", are acceptable provided the meat product ingredients have been derived exclusively from the animal species indicated.

If seasoning is used as an ingredient in meat patties, using the representations "Pure", "100%" or "All" must be accompanied by the qualifying phrase "With Seasoning Added" in close proximity (definition) to the product's common name. For example, "Pure Beef Patties with Seasoning Added" would be considered acceptable.

Furthermore, special attention should be drawn towards the species of a natural casing when meat products like sausages bear the claims "Pure", "100%" or "All." For instance, a "100% Beef Sausage" is not permitted to be wrapped in a natural casing derived from any animal species other than beef. Please see Sausages wrapped in natural casings for more information on species declaration for casings and the enclosed meat product.

Refer to Compositional claims - Pure, 100% Pure, 100%, All for more information on the use of these terms.

Suggested serving

When prepackaged meats and poultry include vignettes illustrating foods other than those included in the content of the package, the expression "Suggested Serving" must be in proximity to the vignette in order to imply that the vignette is showing a serving suggestion, rather than the contents of the package. Any pictorial representations on containers of meat products are not allowed to be false or misleading. For more information, see the Accuracy in illustrations section of the Pictures, vignettes, logos and trade-marks page.

Additional terms

For meat products subject to the SFCR, the words or expressions set out in column I of the table below may be shown on the label of a meat product provided the product meets the requirements set out in column II. When these words or expressions appear on the label, they must be in close proximity (definition) to the common name [288, SFCR].

Select expressions are not optional for prepackaged poultry carcasses, as applicable, and must be shown on the label of these products when requirements in column II are met. Refer to Markings for poultry for a complete list of expressions that must be declared on poultry carcasses.

When additional terms appearing in quotation marks are featured on consumer prepackaged (definition) meat or poultry, they must be presented in both official languages. Meat products which are prepackaged, other than consumer prepackaged, only require this information to appear in one official language, unless otherwise indicated by regulation [205(1), 206(1), SFCR].

Processing and labelling requirements for meat products [Schedule 8, SFCR]
Item Column I
Word or expression
Column II
Requirements
1.
  • "Baked"/ "cuit au four"
  • "Oven Roasted"  / "rôti au four"

Subjected to dry heat without direct contact with a flame for a time sufficient to produce the characteristics of a baked or roasted meat product, such as a brown crust on the surface, rendering of surface fat or caramelization of sugar. The meat product must be ready-to-eat (definition).

2. "Barbecued" / "rôti B.B.Q."

Cooked with seasoning. The meat product must be ready-to-eat (definition).

3.
  • "Basted" /  "arrosé" or "imprégné"
  • "Deep Basted" /  "arrosé en profondeur" or "imprégné en profondeur"
  • "Pre-basted" /  "préarrosé" or "préimprégné"
  • "Self-basting" /  "auto-arrosé" or "auto-imprégné"

Injected with meat broth containing at least 15% solid matter, of which no more than 3% is composed of butter, edible fats or oils of vegetable origin, or any combination of these.

4. "Breaded" / "pané" Coated with a combination of batter and bread or cracker crumbs.
5.
  • "Cooked" / "cuit"
  • "Fully Cooked" / "cuit à fond"

Subjected to heat for a time sufficient to produce the characteristics of a cooked meat product in respect of friability, colour, texture and flavour. The meat product must be ready-to-eat (definition).

6. "Corned" / "traité"

Cured by adding salt, together with at least 100 ppm of sodium nitrite, potassium nitrite, sodium nitrate or potassium nitrate, or any combination of them.

7.
  • "Dried" / "séché"
  • "Dry" / "sec"
  • "Semi-dry" / "semi-sec"

Dehydrated. The meat product must be ready-to-eat (definition).

8. "Freeze-dried" / "séché à froid"

Dehydrated by a process of freeze-drying.

9. "Jellied" / "en gelée" Gelling agent added at more than 0.25% of the meat product.
10. "Rolled" / "roulé" Boned, rolled and tied.
11. "Semi-boneless" / "semi-désossé" At least 45% deboned.
12. "Shankless" / "sans jarret"

In the case of a foreleg, has the forelimb removed at the elbow joint.

In the case of a hind leg, has the hind limb removed at the knee joint.

13. "Smoked" / "fumé" Smoked in accordance with the Food and Drug Regulations.
14.
  • "Stuffed" / "farci"
  • "Stuffed with" / "farci de"

Stuffed with:

  • a cooked or dehydrated meat product, or
  • a meat product with any added substance other than a meat product, or
  • one or more of the following ingredients; bread, grains, fruits, nuts, vegetables or similar ingredients

May include seasoning, animal or vegetable fat.

15. "With Giblets" / "avec abats" or "avec abattis"

Contains a liver, a heart or a gizzard or any combination of them from a food animal of the same species.

16. "With Natural Juices" / "avec jus de cuisson" Packaged with the juices that result from cooking the meat product.

Reference information

Meat products for which a minimum meat protein content is prescribed

[Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products, Table 2, Parts A and B; FDR, Divisions 14 and 22]

The following table provides the minimum meat product protein level for specific products.

 
Column 1
Meat product
Column 2
Minimum meat product protein Table Note 2
Meat Pattie Table Note 3 15% (uncooked)
Uncooked:
Meat Balls Table Note 3
Meat Burger Table Note 3
Meat Chopette Table Note 3
Meat Croquette Table Note 3
Meat Cutlette Table Note 3
Meat Steakette Table Note 3
11.5% (uncooked)
Cooked:
Meat Balls Table Note 3
Meat Burger Table Note 3
Meat Chopette Table Note 3
Meat Croquette Table Note 3
Meat Cutlette Table Note 3
Meat Steakette Table Note 3
13.5%
Flakes of Meat Table Note 3 15%
Sausage (ready to eat)
Salami
Wiener
Frankfurter
Bologna
Pepperoni
Liver Sausage
Liverwurst
Mortadella
Salametti
Cervelat
9.5%
Blood Sausage 9.5%
Corned Beef 21% when enclosed in a hermetically sealed container
Meat Roll Table Note 3 10% (uncooked)
12% (cooked)
Tourtière 11.5%
Blood and Tongue Sausage 9.5%
Sausage
Breakfast Sausage
Dinner Sausage
Sausage Meat
7.5% (uncooked)
Preserved Sausage (if sodium or potassium nitrite or both, or sodium erythorbate or erythorbic acid are added)
Cured Sausage
7.5% (uncooked)
Potted Meat Table Note 3
Meat Paste Table Note 3
Meat Spread Table Note 3
Meat Paté Table Note 3
7.5%
Liver Paste
Liver Spread
Paté de Foie
7.5%
Meat Loaf Table Note 3
Meat Lunch Table Note 3
Luncheon Meat Table Note 3
9.5%
Chopped Ham 12%
Creton 11.5%
Country-Style Creton 12%
Black Pudding
Blood Pudding
9.5%

Table Notes

Table note 2

Unless otherwise specified, the % meat protein is for products in the cooked state.

Return to table note 2  referrer

Table note 3

The word meat may be replaced by the name of the animal species or the cut of meat of the animal species.

Return to table note 3  referrer

Compliance policy for protein standards of meat and poultry products containing phosphate salts and/or water

Tolerances for declarations of energy and nutrients in the Nutrition Facts table are described in the Compliance test.

The following compliance policy applies to:

  • the minimum meat protein standards for meat and poultry products [Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products]
  • meat and poultry products to which phosphate salts or water have been added [B.14.021, B.22.012, FDR], and
  • the labelling requirements for meat and poultry products to which phosphate salts and/or water have been added [B.01.090, B.01.091, FDR]

See Declaration of the minimum meat protein content as part of the common name for more details on labelling requirements and minimum protein levels.

The purpose of the policy is to provide information on sampling plans and tolerances to help in the accurate labelling of meat products with added phosphate salts and/or water.

Principles:

  1. It is the responsibility of industry to ensure that the food meets the protein composition requirements of the applicable regulations and that labelling information accurately reflects the nutrient content of the product.
  2. Manufacturers should have good quality control of the formulation of the product to minimize variability.
  3. Results obtained by following a sampling plan will help with verification of labelling information and formula control.

Sampling plan

For the purpose of this section, "lot" and "sample" have been defined as follows:

A lot is a collection of primary containers or units of the same size, type and style produced under conditions as uniform as possible, with a common container code, marking or, if both a code and marking are absent, were part of a same day's production. In no case would more than a day's production be considered a lot.

A sample is the unit of analysis. It shall consist of five units selected randomly from a lot; the units may be composited and analyzed as a single sample, or may be analyzed individually and the results averaged.

Note: Bones, covering pork rind or a visible fat layer (i.e., subcutaneous fat or fat between the muscles) shall not be included in a sample used to determine meat protein content for the purpose of the minimum meat protein content [B.14.021, B.22.012, FDR]. It is also not included in the main panel declaration of protein content [B.01.090, FDR].

A sample size of five consumer units is used in all cases. The sampling plan provides the option of either a composite sample or the average of individual samples. Either method will give values which are representative of the lot. Analysis of individual samples, however, will permit calculation of the nutrient variability from container to container.

The production lot should be properly sampled and analyzed by trained staff using recognized methods of measurement such as Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) methodsFootnote 4. The analyst may determine how best to collect and analyze products in order to ensure accuracy of the declared values.

Tolerances

Tolerances for protein/nutrient content are set at these levels:

  • minimum meat protein content – equal to requirement
  • main panel per cent meat protein – 10% from label value

For the front panel statement of the percent (%) meat protein content as part of the common name, a 10% tolerance from label value is applied where the declaration is above the minimum level. This level balances the need for reliable values to allow consumers to make informed choices with the need for a technically achievable range. There may be significant variability in the protein content of meat and poultry products containing added phosphate or water as a result of variabilities in food manufacturing and processing systems and the inherent variability of protein in the food.

Minimum meat protein standard [B.14.021, B.22.012, FDR; Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products, Table 2]

The lot is deemed to be out of compliance when the protein content of the sample (composite or mean) is less than the minimum meat protein requirement, or when a single unit is less than 90% of the minimum.

Percent (%) meat protein declaration (main panel as part of common name [B.01.090, FDR])

  1. Where the percent (%) meat protein declaration is equal to the minimum required protein level,
    a lot would be considered as non-compliant if the meat protein content of the sample (composite or mean) is less than the minimum, or if a single unit is less than 90% of the minimum.
  2. Where the declared percent (%) meat protein is greater than the minimum required protein level,
    a lot is considered as non-compliant when the meat protein content of the sample (composite or mean) is less than 90% of the declared value.

Meat protein content levels that are greater than the amount declared are acceptable, provided they are within good manufacturing practices.

Additional information

Meat cut information

Information letters/Policy updates

Definitions

Catch-weight food

Means a food that because of its nature cannot normally be portioned to a predetermined fixed quantity and is, as a result, usually sold in containers of varying quantities [1, SFCR].

Close proximity

In respect of an item of information that is shown on a label, means immediately adjacent to the item of information and without any intervening printed, written or graphic material [1, SFCR].

Consumer prepackaged

In respect of a food, means packaged in a container in the manner in which the food is ordinarily sold to or used or purchased by an individual – or in which the food may reasonably be expected to be obtained by an individual – without being repackaged to be used for non-commercial purposes [1, SFCR].

Extended meat product

Means a meat product to which a meat product extender has been added [B.01.001(1), FDR].

Extended poultry product

Means a poultry product to which a poultry product extender has been added [B.01.001(1), FDR].

Filler

Means milk, egg, yeast or any vegetable material or any derivative or combination thereof that is edible and that is not visibly distinguishable after addition to the meat product. This includes the addition of seasoning to meat if the seasoning contributes more than 1% of the protein content in the finished meat product but does not include beetroot, tomato or a food additive with the exception of modified starches [1, 23(c), Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products; B.14.001, FDR].

Foreign state

Includes a WTO Member as defined in subsection 2(1) of the World Trade Organization Agreement Implementation Act [1, SFCR].

Gelling agent

Means gelatin, agar and carrageenan [1, Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products; B.01.001(1), FDR].

Grader

Means a person designated as a grader under subsection 13(3) of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act for the purposes of the Act [304, SFCR].

Grade name

Under the SFCA, grade name means a prescribed name, mark or designation of a food commodity [2, SFCA].

The SFCR further specify that, for the purposes of this definition, the grade names that are set out in the Compendium and in the Grades Document are prescribed in respect of foods [305, SFCR].

Grade stamp

Means a mark that is applied to a livestock carcass and that shows the grade name and the grader's code [304, SFCR].

Hermetically sealed package

Means a package that, due to its design, is secure against the entry of micro-organisms, including spores [1, SFCR].

Insignificant quantity

The term "insignificant quantity" is not specifically defined in the Safe Food for Canadians Act or in the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations. The term is used in the definition of meat product. In that context, the following foods are not considered a meat product as they include an insignificant quantity of meat:

  • pork and beans
  • traditional bakery products including plum pudding (Note: does not include bakery products with a meat topping or filling)
  • salad dressings
  • dairy-based dip
  • cheese containing 3% or less of added meat product provided:
    • the meat utilized in the cheese originates from a licence holder or its foreign equivalent
    • a statement on the label of the cheese reflects the origin of the meat product, and
    • the cheese containing the meat product was prepared by a licence holder or its foreign equivalent
  • foods, other than meat products, fried in animal fat
  • potato-based foods such as perogies containing not more than 3% meat products
  • flavouring and seasoning preparations
  • fish products in which the only meat product is rendered animal fat
  • capsules, tablets and retail size containers of liquid and powder-concentrates, containing meat or meat by-products, that are intended and labelled for sale as pharmaceuticals or pseudopharmaceuticals rather than as food products
  • foods containing 2% meat product or less other than potato-based foods mentioned above, calculated on the basis of the cooked weight of the meat product

Livestock carcass

Means a beef carcass, bison carcass, ovine carcass or veal carcass [1, SFCR].

Meat

Means the edible part of a carcass that is the muscle associated with the skeleton, tongue, diaphragm, heart, gizzard or mammalian oesophagus, with or without accompanying and overlying fat, together with those parts of the bones, skin, sinews, nerves, blood vessels and other tissues that normally accompany the muscle and are not ordinarily removed in dressing a carcass, but does not include the muscle associated with the lips, snout, scalp or ears, mechanically separated meat or meat to which an ingredient other than meat has been added [1, Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products].

Meat by-product

Means the edible blood of a food animal or an edible organ or tissue that is derived from the carcass of a food animal. It does not include meat, finely textured meat or mechanically separated meat [1, Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products].

Meat product

Under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations, means the carcass of a food animal, the blood of a food animal, or a product or by-product of its carcass or any food that contains the blood of a food animal or a product or by-product of its carcass. It does not include:

  • gelatin, bone meal, collagen casing, hydrolyzed animal protein, monoglycerides, diglycerides or fatty acids, or
  • any food that contains a meat product in an insignificant quantity (definition), having regard to the nature of the food and of the meat product [1, SFCR]

Under the Food and Drug Regulations, means meat, meat by-product, prepared meat or prepared meat by-product [B.01.001(1), FDR].

Meat product extender

Means a food that is a source of protein and that is represented as being for the purpose of extending meat products [1, Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products; B.01.001(1), FDR].

Ovine carcass

Means the carcass of a slaughtered ovine animal that has a carcass weight of 13.5 kg or more and that has had the following removed, namely,

  • (a) the pelt
  • (b) that portion of the head and neck forward of the first cervical vertebra
  • (c) that portion of the hind leg below the metatarso-phalangeal (ankle) joint
  • (d) the respiratory, digestive, reproductive and urinary systems and the thoracic and abdominal organs
  • (e) the membranous portion of the diaphragm
  • (f) the heart fat and scrotal or udder fat
  • (g) the tail posterior to the third coccygeal vertebra, and
  • (h) any portion of the carcass the removal of which is required for pathological reasons [304, SFCR; 1, Compendium, Volume 1 – Ovine Carcasses and Poultry Carcasses]

Person

Person means an individual or an organization as defined in section 2 of the Criminal Code [2, FDA; 2, SFCA].

A person may therefore be an individual or an organization, and may include a consumer, a manufacturer, a retailer, an importer, a restaurant, any other commercial or industrial enterprise, an institution such as a school or hospital, and anyone else who sells, uses, or buys a food.

Poultry carcass

Means the carcass of a turkey, duck, goose, guinea fowl or bird of the species Gallus domesticus [1, SFCR].

Poultry product

Under the Food and Drug Regulations, means poultry meat, prepared poultry meat, poultry meat by-product or prepared poultry meat by-product [B.01.001(1), FDR].

Under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations, poultry product is included in the term meat product (definition).

Poultry product extender

Means a food that is a source of protein and that is represented as being for the purpose of extending poultry products [1, Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 7 – Meat Products; B.01.001(1), FDR].

Prepackaged

In respect of a food, means packaged in a container in the manner in which the food is ordinarily sold to or used or purchased by a person (definition), and includes consumer prepackaged (definition) [1, SFCR].

Primal cut

Primal cut means,

  • (a) in the case of a beef carcass or bison carcass, means the round, sirloin, short loin, rib or chuck of the carcass side; and
  • (b) in the case of an ovine carcass or veal carcass, means the leg, loin or foresaddle of the carcass side [304, SFCR]

Ready-to-eat

In respect of an edible meat product, means that it has been subjected to a treatment or process that is sufficient to inactivate vegetative pathogenic micro-organisms or their toxins and control spores of food-borne pathogenic bacteria so that the meat product does not require further preparing before consumption except washing or thawing or exposing it to sufficient heat to warm it without cooking it [1, SFCR].

Roller brand

Means the mark applied to a beef carcass that shows the grade name and the number that is assigned to the establishment where the livestock carcass is graded [304, SFCR].

Simulated meat product

Any food that does not contain any meat product, poultry product or fish product but that has the appearance of a meat product [B.01.001(1), FDR].

Simulated poultry product

Any food that does not contain any poultry product, meat product or fish product but that has the appearance of a poultry product [B.01.001(1), FDR].

Solid cut meat

An edible meat product consisting of either a solid piece of meat or containing at least 80% of boneless skinless meat in pieces weighing 25 g or more [B.14.020, FDR].

Sub-primal cut

Means a cut of meat that is greater than 125 cm3 and that is derived from a beef carcass or a primal cut of a beef carcass [304, SFCR].

Yield stamp

Means the mark that is made on a beef carcass by a grade stamp applicator that shows the yield class of the carcass and the grade stamp code, and is in the outline of a triangle as set out in Schedule V of the Grades Document [304, SFCR; 1.0, Beef, Bison and Veal Carcass Grade Requirements (PDF - 259 kb)].

Means, in respect of a lamb carcass, the mark that is made on the lamb carcass by a grade stamp applicator that shows the yield class of the carcass and the grader's code and is in the outline of a triangle, as set out in Schedule 4 – Lamb Carcass Yield Stamp of the Canadian Grade Compendium, Volume 1 [304, SFCR; Compendium, Volume 1 – Ovine Carcasses and Poultry Carcasses].

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