Fundamentals of the Post-mortem Defect Management Program

Although the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into force on January 15, 2019, other requirements will be introduced in 2020 and 2021 based on food commodity, type of activity and business size. For more information, refer to the SFCR timelines.

1. Application

The Fundamentals of the Post-mortem Defect Management Program apply to a licence holder who is authorized to conduct a post-mortem defect management program concerning a food animal, other than a game animal, that is a porcine.

2. Interpretation

The following definitions apply in this document:
"defect" means a condition of the carcass or its parts that is caused by a deviation from the normal physiology of the animal or that is caused by processing operations and that may affect the edibility of the meat product derived from the carcass of the food animal and includes a generalized and systemic defect. (défaut)

"generalized defect" means a defect that presents in the form of lesions, infestations or deviations in a carcass and its parts that are easily observable, because of their numbers and/or lesions that are extensive and/or widely distributed, and where their complete removal is likely impractical. (défaut généralisé)

"monitor" means a person who performs monitoring, ensures that corrective actions are taken and preventive measures are implemented, and performs verification procedures as set out in the licence holder's preventive control plan. (surveillant)

"rejected" in respect of a carcass or its parts, means that the carcass or its part(s) has been determined to be inedible by the rejector. (rejeté)

"rejector" means a person who identifies the carcass, its parts and blood as accepted or rejected in accordance with the licence holder's preventive control plan. (rejeteur)

"screener" means a person who detects defects of the carcass and its parts, marks defects of the carcass, its parts and any blood and follows the screening procedures set out in the licence holder's preventive control plan. (trieur)

"systemic defect" means a defect that presents in the form of lesions in, or conditions of, the carcass that indicate that the general health status of the food animal from which the carcass is derived was significantly affected, due to the size, generalization or extensive nature of the lesions in or conditions of the carcass. (E.G. emaciation, septicemia/ toxemia or embolic spread of the disease via either the lymphatic or the blood stream. (défaut systémique)

3. Screening of the carcass and its parts

The preventive control plan of the licence holder must include the following procedures for the screening of the carcass and its parts before the post-mortem inspection begins:

  • (a) procedures for the presentation of the carcass and its parts, including the head and viscera, to the screener for the purpose of detecting defects;
  • (b) procedures for the examination by the screener of the carcass and its parts, including the head and viscera, for the purpose of detecting defects;
  • (c) procedures for the marking by the screener of defects that are detected, other than fecal and ingesta and generalized or systemic defects, for the purpose of their removal by a trimmer after the post-mortem inspection begins;
  • (d) procedures for the marking and removal of fecal and ingesta;
  • (e) procedures for the marking by the screener of defects that are detected, other than generalized or systemic defects, for the purpose of referral of the carcass and its parts, including the head and viscera, to the rejector for evaluation due to the nature of the defect; and
  • (f) procedures for the marking by the screener of systemic and generalized defects that are detected, for the purpose of the referral of the carcass and its parts, including the head and viscera, to the veterinary inspector for determination.

4. Post-screening defect management measures

The preventive control plan of the licence holder must include the following procedures relating to the defect management measures that must be taken before the post-mortem inspection of the carcass is completed:

  • (a) procedures for the removal by the trimmer of defects that have been marked by the screener in accordance with paragraph 3(c);
  • (b) procedures for the removal of fecal and ingesta; and
  • (c) procedures for the taking of measures by the rejector in relation to defects that have been marked by the screener in accordance with paragraph 3(e) including:
    • (i) the identification by the rejector, of the carcass and its parts, including the head and viscera, as accepted or rejected, along with any blood that has been correlated with the carcass and its parts; and
    • (ii) the referral by the rejector to a veterinary inspector of a carcass and its parts, including the head and viscera, with defects that require determination.

5. Monitoring, corrective actions, preventive measures and verification

5.1 The preventive control plan of the licence holder must include the following procedures for monitoring, taking corrective actions, implementing preventive measures and verification:

  • a) procedures to be implemented on every evisceration line and during each work shift, for the monitoring of the effectiveness of the procedures set out under sections 3 and 4;
  • b) procedures for the monitoring of the overall effectiveness of the post-mortem defect management program and for the verification that its implementation results in compliant meat products;
  • c) procedures for the taking of corrective actions and the implementation of preventive measures in respect of deviations from the procedures set out under sections 3 and 4; and
  • d) procedures for the verification of the effectiveness of the corrective actions and preventive measures taken according to the procedures under 5.1(c).

5.2 The licence holder must prepare and keep documents relating to the monitoring, the taking of corrective actions, the implementation of preventive measures and the verifications that are conducted in accordance with this section and must immediately notify the inspector of any unsatisfactory monitoring or verification results.

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