7.13 Ham nomenclature
The following nomenclature has been adopted for the description of ham:
- Whole boneless ham
Shall contain all the muscles or pieces of muscles in the same proportion as would be derived from a whole ham.
The proportion of shank meat shall not exceed that normally present in a whole ham. Shank meat may be ground.
The product may contain up to 20% of the weight of the boneless skinless ham (including shank meat) in pieces weighing less than 25 g (based on the weight of the non-cured product).
- Boneless ham
As in (a) above, except that all the muscles or pieces of muscles derived from a whole ham need not be present.
- Chopped ham or minced ham
May contain more than 20% of the weight of boneless, skinless ham in pieces weighing less than 25 g.
Note: The manufacturing process used in the production of either "Whole boneless ham" or "Boneless ham" must be such that the resulting final product contains a minimum of 80% meat in pieces of muscle weighing 25 g or more on a raw meat ingredient basis.
If the final product does not respect this proportion and size of pieces of meat as a result of a comminuting effect by the tumbling process or other on the meat, the product shall be identified as "Chopped ham" or "Minced ham".
7.14 Labelling requirements for non-meat food products
All non-meat food products which are received at a registered establishment for use in meat products shall be marked as required under the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and the Food and Drugs Act and shall bear a label containing the following information:
- the name and address of the manufacturer of the food or food additive;
- the descriptive name of the food or food additive, immediately adjacent to its brand name and, where the food or food additive has been imported into Canada, the name of the country of origin in close proximity to the descriptive name;
- the net quantity;
- a list of the ingredients in a manner sufficient to indicate their nature;
- directions for use, including a warning clause, where applicable; and
- any other information necessary to ensure that the food or food additive is used in a safe manner.
Such products would include fillers, curing agents, anti-oxydants, bases and mixes, batter, breading seasonings, etc.
7.15 Requirements for labels not requiring registration from the Packaging, Labelling and Evaluation Unit
The following are the mandatory requirements for such shipping containers:
- the identity of the meat product;
- the net quantity;
- the identity and principal place of business of the firm by or for whom the meat product was manufactured;
- the storage instructions if applicable ("keep refrigerated" or "keep frozen"); and
- in the case of dressed poultry carcasses, all markings as required by Section 17 to 20 of the Livestock and Poultry Carcass Grading Regulations.
- in the case of beef, the grade designation is optional (see 7.12 (3)).
It should be noted that the Meat Inspection Legend on such containers is not required. Sufficient space must be provided at the upper left corner of the principal display panel for an export sticker or stamp. In the case of containers for dressed poultry carcasses sufficient space must also be provided at the upper right-hand corner of the principal display panel for the poultry inspection stamp.
Labels of containers, in this category, for imported meat products shall contain the following information:
- the product description, which shall be identical to that on the inner containers;
- the "product of (country of origin)" to appear in close proximity to the product description; it shall be at least half the height of the largest word on the main panel;
- the net quantity;
- the name and address of the foreign establishment or the name and address of the person for whom the meat product was produced preceded by the words "Prepared for";
- the inspection stamp or statement of inspection of country of origin; and, if applicable:
- the storage instructions ("keep refrigerated" or "keep frozen").
- in the case of beef, the grade designation (see 7.12 (3)).
(2) Labels for inedible meat products from registered establishments or imported
Shipping containers shall be labelled with the following information:
- the identity of the meat product in term that are descriptive of the product;
- the words "Product of" and "Produit de", followed by the name of the country of origin, shall be marked in a conspicuous manner in close proximity to the identity of the meat product if imported product;
- in the case of meat product identified for use as animal food, the words "Animal food" or "Aliments pour animaux", or the words naming the animal species for which the meat product is intended, followed by the word "Food" or preceded by the words "Aliments pour";
- in the case of a meat product identified for medicinal purposes, the words "For medicinal purposes" or "À des fins médicinales", or the words "For pharmaceutical purposes" or "À des fins pharmaceutiques", as the case may be;
- the net quantity of the meat product;
- the name and address of the establishment where the meat product was produced or labelled, or the person for whom the meat product was produced or labelled, preceded by the words "Prepared for" or "Préparé pour";
- storage instructions ("keep refrigerated" or "keep frozen"); and
- in lieu of the meat inspection legend, the words "Plant Number" or "Numéro d'usine" followed by the number of the establishment in which the meat product was prepared.
(3) Labels for prepared pet foods
Labelling of such products is the concern of the Competition Bureau. For more information, please see the Guide for the Labelling and Advertising of Pet Foods at http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/01229.html
7.16 Labelling requirements for non-food products
7.17 Custody of labels
The operator is responsible for all labels bearing the Meat Inspection Legend in the registered establishment. The Inspector in Charge shall monitor the controls exercised by the operator.
7.18 Transfer of labels, bearing the Meat Inspection Legend, from one registered establishment to another
Operators of establishments wishing to transfer such labels shall make an application in writing to the Inspector in Charge, stating the quantities of labels involved and the reasons necessitating such transfer. The shipment of labels shall be addressed in care of the Inspector in Charge of the receiving establishment.
The Inspector in Charge of the sending establishment shall advise the Inspector in Charge of the receiving establishment of the number and kind of labels forwarded, the method of transportation and the approximate time of arrival.
The Inspector in Charge of the receiving establishment shall check the labels on arrival and supervise the required amendment. Such transfers shall only be authorized in emergency situations. In the case of breast tags, it is impractical to amend the legend. Preferably, graded poultry carcasses bearing breast tags with an alternate establishment number, should be bagged and closed with a clip engraved with the correct number as per section 7.6.4. Otherwise, the company shall send a written proposal to the Regional Program Manager, Meat Programs, indicating how the graded and tagged carcasses will be labelled and handled such that they can be traced back to the plant of origin. The request must explain how affected product may be identified in the event of a recall. The Inspector in Charge of the establishment receiving the transferred breast tags must verify that conditions described in the proposal and the letter of approval are in fact implemented. Breast tags may only be transferred between establishments owned by the same company (same name and address). Graded poultry carcasses must bear a breast tag and may only be applied to carcasses meeting the standards for the indicated grade. The grade on the breast tag may not be amended. Ungraded poultry carcasses may be shipped without breast tags as Unmarked or Unstamped meat products.
Inspectors in Charge of registered establishments receiving unusual and unwarranted supplies of such labels or not receiving expected shipments or amounts shall advise their Regional Director.
7.19 Disposal of obsolete labels bearing the Meat Inspection Legend
The operator is responsible for the destruction of such labels.
7.20 Authority to reproduce the Meat Inspection Legend
The Meat Inspection Legend is an official registered trade mark of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Only operators and firms appearing in the list of manufacturers and printers of packaging material, authorized to reproduce the Meat Inspection Legend, may reproduce the Meat Inspection Legend. A list of manufacturers and printers of packaging materials authorized is made available in Part B of the Meat Hygiene Manual. Pertinent information will be found in Annex G and H.
7.21 Labelling of imported meat products
7.21.1 Mandatory requirements
The guidelines for labelling imported meat products are essentially the same as those for the labels of Canadian meat products and reference should be made to section 7.6, however there are two important differences:
- "product of (country of origin)" is to appear in close proximity to the product description; it shall be at least half the height of the largest letter on the main panel; and
- the inspection stamp or the statement of inspection of the exporting country replaces the Meat Inspection Legend.
7.21.2 List of registered foreign labels
Annually, a computer printout of all foreign labels, registered by the Standards and Labels Unit is issued. The list is updated on a bi-weekly basis through the issuance of supplements.
7.22 Meat Standards as prescribed in the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990
The following guidelines concerning the application of the minimum meat product protein requirements as prescribed in Schedule I of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990.
7.22.1 Protein requirements
Any meat product, other than white pudding and haggis, containing a filler, shall, in the absence of a specific standard for that meat product, contain not less than:
- in the case of an uncooked product, 9½% meat product protein and 11% total protein; or
- in the case of a cooked product, 11½% meat product protein and 13% total protein."
When labels are reviewed for meat products falling in the above category, the following points should be noted:
- When a portion of a food product is distinguishable as a meat product, only that portion need meet the above mentioned protein requirements.
- When a meat product is blended with a non-meat product and has the appearance of a meat product, then that entire preparation must meet the above mentioned protein requirement.
- When a meat product is used for flavouring a food and is not perceived or generally recognized by consumers to have the nutritional qualities normally associated with a meat product, then the above percentages do not apply.
7.22.2 Ingredients derived from milk
When certain milk-derived products are used in meat products, they are declared in the list of ingredients, as "milk ingredients" or "modified milk ingredients".
- Milk Ingredients
Any combination of the following in liquid, concentrated, dry, frozen or reconstituted form: butter, buttermilk, butter oil (milk fat), cream, milk, partly skimmed milk, skim milk, and any other component of milk the chemical composition of which has not been altered and that exists in the food in the same chemical state in which it is normally found in milk.
- Modified Milk Ingredients
Any combination of the following in liquid, concentrated, dry, frozen or reconstituted form: calcium-reduced skim milk (obtained by the ion exchange process), casein, caseinates, cultured milk products, milk serum proteins, ultrafiltered milk, whey, whey butter, whey cream and any other component of milk the chemical state of which has been altered from that in which it is normally found in milk.
Note: any one or more ingredients or components mentioned in (a) combined with any one or more ingredients or components mentioned in (b) are considered to be a modified milk ingredient.
7.22.3 Gums and gelling agents
Gums, gelling agents, or any other food additives are not permitted to be used as fillers. Where a standard provides for the use of a gelling agent, agar, carrageenan and gelatine may be used up to 0.25% in the finished product without reflection of such use in the product name. In such instances, the gelling agent would only be listed as an ingredient. If any of the gelling agents are used in greater quantities than 0.25%, their use must be reflected in the product name. It must be noted that such gelling agents may be mixed manually with the meat or by means of a mixing device (e.g. mixer, tumbler) and shall not be added to injection or pumping solutions.
7.22.4 Use of pork or poultry skin
The use of pork or poultry skin without the normally underlying tissues is permitted in prepared comminuted meat products, provided it is added to skinless meat from the same species and the level of addition does not exceed 8%. The percentage is to be calculated by weight relative to the boneless pork or poultry meat content (including the skin) as applicable. Therefore, if the total weight of boneless product is 100 kg, it may contain up to 8 kg of skin (92 kg of boneless skinless meat +8 kg of skin). (If skin-on cuts are used, no further addition of skin is permitted.) No label declaration is required as detached skin, added back in natural proportions, is considered to be meat.
7.22.5 Use of mechanically separated meat (MSM)
Mechanically separated meat may now be used in the following meat products:
- standardized comminuted cooked meat products as prescribed in Schedule I of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990;
- non-standardized comminuted cooked meat products;
- fresh sausages, preserved sausages, uncooked burger products; and
- raw mechanically separated meat.
Note: Products in (iii) shall only be sold in the frozen state. The use of MSM in comminuted meat (e.g. ground beef, ground pork, etc.) or in meat patties is prohibited.
7.22.6 Wiltshire bacon
The following standards apply for that product:
- meat product ingredient:
boneless pork loin with portion of the belly attached *
- other ingredients and food additives:
- salt *
- preservatives *
- water +
- seasoning +
- phosphates +
- mandatory treatments and processes:
7.22.7 Use and labelling of partially defatted chopped beef and pork
This product is to be distinguished from partially defatted beef and pork fatty tissue. Partially defatted chopped beef or pork is derived from trimmings that have at least 12% visible lean meat, are desinewed and defatted and generally have a protein content between 17% and 20%. The product, when shipped from or to a registered establishment, must be identified as partially defatted chopped beef or partially defatted chopped pork as the case may be. The product may be used in the preparation of comminuted cooked meat products such as cooked sausages, loaves, pizza toppings, chili con carne, cooked burgers, potted meat, etc. Partially defatted chopped beef and pork may not be used for the production of ground meat, patties or raw sausages because the product has been subjected to a low heating process of up to 59°C during its preparation.
When partially defatted chopped beef or pork is used in cooked comminuted meat products, the declaration in the ingredient listing shall read beef or pork as the case may be. On the other hand, partially defatted beef or pork fatty tissue must be declared as such in the ingredient listing and shall only be used in cooked sausages and loaves as prescribed in Schedule I of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990.
7.22.8 Use and labelling of partially defatted chopped beef and pork obtained from a low temperature heating process
Partially defatted chopped beef and pork obtained from a low heating process in which the product is not subject to a temperature above 43.3°C during its preparation can be used in the preparation of fresh (i.e. uncooked) meat products including ground meat, patties or raw sausages. Naturally the product may be used in the preparation of cooked meat and other prepared meat products.
Low temperature partially defatted chopped beef or pork is derived from trimmings that have at least 12% visible lean meat, are desinewed and defatted. The product has a protein content above 14%.
The product is considered to be meat and as such the declaration in the ingredient listing shall read "beef" or "pork" as the case may be. Furthermore, no specific name is required to identify the product on shipping containers. However, as for any other meat products, the common name used has to be descriptive of the product and not misleading. The product can be identified as ground meat provided it meets the standard in Schedule I of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990.
Specifically, in the labelling of ground meat, only the following four designations are permitted, depending on the fat content: regular ground "meat" (max. 30% fat), medium ground "meat" (max. 23% fat), lean ground "meat" (max. 17% fat) and extra-lean ground "meat" (max. 10% fat), the term "meat" being replaced by the name of the animal species (e.g., regular ground beef).
7.22.9 Use of phosphate salts or water in the preparation of meat products
Sections B.01.090 - B.01.090 and B.14.005. - B.14.021 of the Food and Drug Regulations permits the use of phosphate salts and/or water in solid cut meat products and in other prepared meat products for which a minimum meat protein standard has been set.
For more details on this policy, please consult Chapter 14 of the Guide to
Food Labelling and Advertising at:
- Date modified: