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Labelling requirements for meat and poultry products
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.

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