Fundamentals of the Post-mortem Examination 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 Examination Program apply to a licence holder who is authorized to conduct a post-mortem examination program concerning a food animal, other than a game animal, that is a bird, other than ostrich, rhea or emu.

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 does not include an "other defect". (défaut)

"detector" means a person who detects defects and other defects of the carcass and its parts and takes the measures set out in the licence holder's preventive control plan. (détecteur)

"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)

"other defect" means any condition of the carcass or its parts that is not identifiable, has an abnormal level of incidence or may be associated with an emerging or unknown condition. (autre défaut)

"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)

"rejection correlation test" means a test performed by the veterinary inspector on a sample of a shipment to determine if any carcasses rejected by the rejector should have been accepted, as well as to determine if any carcasses accepted by the rejector should have been rejected. (test de corrélation relatif au rejet)

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

3. Detection of defects and other defects of the carcass and its parts

The preventive control plan of licence holder must include the following procedures for the detection of defects and other defects of the carcass and its parts, and for the taking of appropriate measures in respect of those defects:

  • (a) procedures for the presentation of the carcass and viscera to the detector for the purpose of detecting defects and other defects
  • (b) procedures for the examination by the detector of the carcass and its viscera for the purpose of detecting defects and other defects
  • (c) procedures for the examination by the detector of the cavity of the carcass for the purpose of detecting defects and other defects
  • (d) paragraph (c) does not apply if the licence holder has a validated procedure that results in an equivalent outcome
  • (e) procedures for the taking of appropriate measures with respect to any defects detected; and
  • (f) procedures for the referral to the veterinary inspector of the carcass and its viscera in which other defects were detected for determination

4. Identification of the carcass and its parts as accepted or rejected

The preventive control plan of the licence holder must include the following procedures relating to the identification of the carcass and its parts as accepted or rejected:

  • (a) procedures for the identification by the rejector of the carcass and its parts as accepted or rejected
  • (b) procedures for the categorization by the rejector of defects that are detected by type of condition
  • (c) procedures for the presentation to an inspector of every carcass identified as accepted by the rejector before it is returned to the evisceration line
  • (d) procedures for the presentation of every carcass, and its parts, that is part of a sample identified for a rejection correlation test, to the veterinary inspector; and
  • (e) procedures for the referral to the veterinary inspector of the carcass and its parts with other defects for 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 for monitoring and verification as set out in this section which must be performed through sampling without bias and in a manner that allows for their correlation by an inspector
  • (b) procedures to be implemented on every evisceration line, for each species and during each work shift for the monitoring of the effectiveness of the procedures set out under sections 3 and 4
  • (c) procedures for the monitoring of the overall effectiveness of the post-mortem examination program and for the verification that its implementation results in compliant meat products
  • (d) procedures for the taking of corrective actions and the implementation of preventive measures in respect of deviations from the procedures set out under section 3 and 4; and
  • (e) procedures for the verification of the effectiveness of the corrective actions and preventive measures taken in 5.1(d)

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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