Prepackaged Meat, Poultry and Marine Products Net Quantity Declaration

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Food retailers are responsible for ensuring that, within prescribed tolerances, prepackaged food products which they offer for sale contain the net quantity declared on the label. This is a requirement of Section 7 of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act.

Prepackaged meat, poultry and marine products are subject to this Act. This being the case, when determining the net quantity for such products, it is important to remember that the declared net quantity includes only the weight of the product exclusive of the tare.

For fresh or frozen poultry and red meats and for most processed meats, this net quantity declaration is determined by using a "dry tare" method. In other words, the declared net quantity equals (=) the gross weight of the product less (-) the dry tare weight. For your information, dry tare includes such items as:

  1. packaging material (e.g. foam tray, wrapping film, carton, etc.)
  2. dry soaker pads
  3. labels
  4. string, netting, wax, plastic wrap, etc.

For fresh or frozen poultry that has been water chilled, food retailers may display one of the following signs, as appropriate, in close proximity to such product when offered for sale in retail food stores:

  • "All water-chilled poultry and poultry pieces contain water absorbed during processing. The price of the product reflects the water content, and government regulations set limits for the amount of water absorbed."
  • "Toute volaille et morceaux de volaille refroidis à l'eau contiennent de l'eau absorbée durant la transformation. Le prix du produit en tient compte, et les règlements gouvernementaux établissent les limites d'absorption d'eau permises."

When poultry has been chilled by a combination of water and air, which results in considerably less water pick up, permitted wording would be:

  • "All water chilled poultry contains water absorbed during processing. Government regulations set limits for the amount of water absorbed."
  • "Toute volaille refroidie à l'eau en absorbe durant la transformation. Les règlements gouvernementaux établissent les limites d'absorption permises."

The net quantity of frozen marine products is also determined by using a dry tare method except that any ice or ice glaze on frozen fish or marine products is also considered to be part of the tare.

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