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Un-stamped, tamper-resistant sealed meat shipments

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

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1. Introduction

Meat products which are labelled with all mandatory labelling requirements including the meat inspection legend stamped directly on the meat product or applied to a tag or label and tamper-resistant seal are considered to be fully marked meat products. Meat products which are not fully marked may be imported into Canada as un-stamped however, their use is restricted.

2. Un-stamped meat products

2.1 Definition

Un-stamped meat products mean that meat products do not bear the meat inspection legend directly (stamped or applied by means of a sealed bag or a breast tag) but are packaged in fully labelled shipping containers. This implies that the shipping containers are bearing all the mandatory information, including the meat inspection legend.

2.2 Examples of un-stamped meat products

  1. Bulk packed single ingredient meats (pork chops, boneless beef, chicken portions) for institutional use
  2. Prepared bulk packaged cooked diced meats for pizza toppings in a restaurant; and
  3. A 5 kg box of bulk seasoned frozen chicken wings sold at retail

Note: Products meeting the above definition, sealed in tamper-resistant containers, are considered fully marked products.

2.3 Labelling requirements for un-stamped meat products

The shipping container of un-stamped meat products must be labelled with all mandatory labelling information.

Generally, un-stamped meat products are bulk packed in containers weighing 5 kg or more and are not for direct retail sale. Containers less than 5 kg are usually sold at the retail level.

2.4 Restrictions of un-stamped meat products

Un-stamped meat products are permitted to be imported into Canada from all countries provided:

  1. The product is shipped in a transport container sealed with:
    • for all countries other than the United States, an official foreign meat inspection seal
    • for the United States, an official seal or a numbered company seal

    The seal number must be recorded on the Official Meat Inspection Certificate (OMIC).

  2. The product description on the OMIC is preceded by the word "Unstamped," for example: "Unstamped chicken wings"
  3. The shipping container labelling meets Canadian requirements and the container is identified with the export stamp or shipping marks
  4. Unstamped meat products must be maintained under seal, identified on the OMIC, when shipped to an establishment. In the case of a broken seal, a missing seal or a seal is not identified on the OMIC, the shipment will not be allowed entry to an establishment

3. Tamper-resistant sealed meat products

Containers labelled with all mandatory information which are tamper-resistant sealed by means of tape, a strap, or sticker (bearing evidence of inspection such as the meat inspection legend or company name on the tamper-resistant seal), are considered fully marked meat products. The means of tamper-resistant sealing must be such that a container cannot be opened without breaking the seal or destroying the tape or sticker.

3.1 Importing fully marked meat products

Fully marked meat products from the United States can be imported without a seal on the truck or transport container unless required by the conditions of an Animal Health import permit. Fully marked meat products from all foreign countries other than the United States shall be imported with the official country seal on the truck or transport container.

4. Bio-security

To increase security, many food processors tamper-resistant seal their products. To prevent tampering of meat products any shipping containers opened for inspection should be resealed using CFIA labelled tape.

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