Memorandum (Clarification) - Approval of alternative procedures for processing of meat and poultry products

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January 23, 2012

1400 Merivale Rd
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0Y9

To: Area Meat Program Managers, Area Program Specialists, Supervisors, Inspectors-in-Charge (IIC) and Veterinarians-in-Charge (VIC) of federally registered meat and poultry processing establishments.

The Meat Programs Division (MPD) received many proposals from industry wherein operators proposed alternative procedures for processing of meat and poultry products e.g., alternative methods for Trichinella control in pork, cooling of heat processed meat products etc. The purpose of this memo is to clarify that the MPD, in consultation with the Food Safety Division (FSD), will review all alternative procedures submitted by operators for approval. In order to facilitate and expedite the assessment process, operators must provide the following information in a fully completed package.

  1. Purpose of using an alternative method.
  2. Rationale or justification:
    1. Why is the current procedure(s) listed in the Manual of Operating Procedures – Meat Hygiene (MOP) not applicable?
    2. Why is the alternative procedure preferred?
  3. Description of the alternative procedure:
    1. Step-by-step description of the whole process, including critical parameters for product characteristics and process control such as Percent Hydrogen (pH), Water Activity (aw), time, temperature, salt concentration etc., where applicable.
    2. Justification if there is any change from the existing parameters for the product characteristics and process control.
    3. Identification of control points and validation of critical limits or process control.
    4. Re-assessment of appropriate section(s) of the HACCP system, analysis of all hazards associated with alternative procedure, and process flow diagrams (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) form # 3) for the specific product/process.
  4. Proof of validation e.g. a copy of the method(s) approved by other regulatory authority/agency; conclusions drawn from challenge studies, research data, published literature etc.

It is operator's responsibility to ensure that the package is complete, before contacting local Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) staff. The CFIA inspector and supervisor will verify that the documents contain the required information, as described above, and then submit the proposal along with their comments to the Area Program Specialist for review and further necessary action.

Thank you in advance for your co-operations.

Original signed by:

Martin Appelt
National Veterinary Program Manager Meat
Programs Division

Note: IIC and VIC to share this information with operators.

Date modified: