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Labelling requirements for meat and poultry products
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.
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