Chapter 4 - Inspection Criteria for a Sugar Bush Establishment

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Table of Contents

4.1 Building Exterior

4.1.1 Outside Property and Building

Principal

The outside areas and building exteriors are designed built and maintained in such a way as to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Building location

  • located away from environmental contaminants

Roads and surrounding areas

  • free from debris, garbage and pest harborage areas
  • in good condition and accessible to vehicles
  • well drained
  • maintained so as to minimize environmental risks

Design, construction and maintenance of the building

  • all openings protected
  • roof, walls and foundations prevent leaks

Collection system for sap

  • pumping station and tubing that allow for good drainage, such as with an adequate slope
  • ability to withstand repeated cleanings and sanitations
  • covered or adequately protected sap collection reservoirs (collection tank)
  • buckets with covers

Notes

  • For cleaning and sanitation of the sap collection system, refer to tasks 4.7.4 Other Areas - Equipment and Utensils Cleanliness and 4.7.5 Sanitation Program.
  • For sap collection buckets and sap collection reservoirs (collection tank) that contain lead, refer to task 4.5.1 Design, Construction and Installation.

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A = Not Applicable

Rating II - Examples

  • Exterior roofs and walls with openings that allow access to contaminants and pest.
  • Debris, garbage, waste and large quantities of stagnant water on the surrounding grounds can house pest and risk that they contaminate the food.

Rating III - Examples

  • Exterior roofs and walls in poor condition, but without openings that allow access to contaminants and pest.
  • Small accumulation of debris, garbage, waste and stagnant water on the grounds surrounding the establishment.
  • Maple sap pumping stations and tubing that do not provide good drainage, particularly due to an inadequate slope.

References

4.2 Building Interior

4.2.1 Design, Construction and Maintenance

Principal

The building structures and interiors are designed, built and maintained in such a way as to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Floors, walls, ceilings and structures

  • built with durable materials
  • in good condition
  • easy to clean
  • without stagnant water accumulating
  • meets production conditions for this area
  • do not lead to contamination of the interior of the establishment or the food

Evaporator openings providing natural ventilation (ex. chimneys)

  • kept closed or protected by a mosquito screen, when the evaporator is not in use

Windows and doors

  • well-fitting
  • exempt from openings
  • built with a material other than glass, or adequately protected, for areas where a break could cause food contamination
  • kept closed to prevent pests and domestic animals
  • fitted with perfectly-fitted mosquito screen when kept open

Sequence and separation of the steps in the process

  • buildings and installations designed to:
    • promote hygienic conditions for operations
    • ensure the ordered progression of the steps in the process from the arrival of the raw materials at the establishment through to the finished products
  • sequence and adequate separation of the incompatible steps in the process (ex. by physical means) preventing any risk of cross-contamination, including allergenic ingredients (when used in the establishment)

Rating I - Examples

  • Shards of glass contaminating the final product due to a poorly-protected window being broken.

Rating II - Examples

  • Doors and windows kept open, allowing access to contaminants and pests.
  • Peeling paint rust that detaches from tall structures or walls, causing the risk of product contamination.
  • Accumulation of stagnant water and unpleasant odors near the food.
  • Close proximity of operations involving allergens to non-allergenic products, which are carried out simultaneously.

Rating III - Examples

  • Water accumulation without an unpleasant odor.
  • Poorly-fitted windows and doors, making it possible for pests to enter.
  • Poorly-designed buildings and installations and/or buildings and installations in poor condition that could lead to food contamination.
  • Dirt or gravel floors that make cleaning impossible.

References

  • MPR, subsection 3.2 (1)

4.2.2 Lighting

Principal

The type and intensity of lighting is suitable for the activity in progress to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Lighting

  • type and intensity suitable for the production activity or planned inspection

Light bulbs and lighting fixtures

  • that are safe (i.e. unbreakable) OR
  • adequately protected against glass breakage

Rating I - Examples

  • Shards of glass from damaged light bulbs or lighting fixtures, found in foods or on surfaces used for food.

Rating II - Examples

  • Non-protected lighting above food exposed during the process.

Rating III - Examples

  • Lighting intensity insufficient to carry out the production and inspection activities, including grading.

References

  • MPR, subsection 3.2 (1)

4.2.3 Ventilation and Air Intakes

Principal

Ventilation enables an exchange of air that is sufficient to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

When an air injector is used, air intake comes from an appropriate source that is suitably filtered to reduce any source of contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Ventilation

  • enables sufficient air exchange
  • prevents the accumulation of heat, humidity, vapor, condensation, dust and other contaminants
  • ensures adequate removal of stale air

Air intakes

  • carefully located
  • equipped with well-fitting screens, to avoid entry of and contamination by pests

Air injector (when present at the establishment) - Air intake

  • installed to reduce product contamination

Air injector (when present at the establishment) - Air filter

  • changed according to manufacturer recommendations or with an adequate/equivalent frequency
  • properly installed

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • Inadequate ventilation, signs of condensation or mold, and risk of contamination of the finished product.
  • Exhaust pipe for stale air near the air intake for an air injector.

Rating III - Examples

  • Inadequate ventilation, signs of condensation or mold, but contamination of the finished product is unlikely.
  • Condensation dripping into a food product that will undergo another process for the destruction of microorganisms.
  • Screens or air intake filter are poorly adjusted.

References

  • MPR, subsection 3.2 (1)

4.2.4 Waste Disposal, Drainage and Sewage

Principal

The drainage system, sewer and waste disposal system is designed, built and maintained to ensure a quality product that is hygienic, to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Waste disposal (equipment and containers)

  • clearly identified
  • well designed and well maintained
  • waterproof and equipped with covers, if necessary
  • emptied at adequate intervals
  • cleaned and decontaminated often enough to minimize contamination risks
  • does not smell

Drainage and sewer systems, including drains (when present in the establishment)

  • exterior drain outlets have adequate screens or are protected to prevent pest from entering
  • provided with siphons and appropriate vents (air intakes), including drains in restroom floors, in the cafeteria and in the sinks
  • drains designed to facilitate cleaning
  • sewers for toilets and waste water that do not cross, unless equipped with devices for preventing odors, vapors and backflow
  • no crossing connections between the pipes for potable water and wastewater
  • all pipes, faucets or other similar elements that could cause contamination are installed so as to avoid any backflow or back siphoning
  • pipes for sewage or wastewater do not run directly above or through a processing area, or are at least protected adequately to avoid any contamination
  • sinks in processing areas are connected to the wastewater system
  • sinks in restrooms are connected to the wastewater or sewage system
  • do not pass directly above or through a processing area, or are adequately protected to avoid all contamination

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • Leaks or discharge from wastewater or sewage pipes in processing areas.
  • Accumulation of waste with unpleasant odors and/or the risk of cross-contamination.

Rating III - Examples

  • Accumulation of raw materials/waste without unpleasant odors or risk of cross-contamination.
  • Poorly-identified waste containers.
  • Inadequate cleaning of waste containers.
  • Drains difficult to clean.

References

  • MPR, subsection 3.2 (1)

4.2.5 Employee Facilities

Principal

Employee facilities are designed, built and maintained to promote employee hygiene and ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Items necessary for hand washing

  • sufficient quantity of water
  • soap dispenser with soap
  • towel or sanitary hand dryer
  • clean waste container
  • handwashing notices posted in clearly visible locations in the establishment
  • adequate removal of wastewater (ex. in a hygienic container)

Restrooms (when present in the establishment)

  • designed, built and maintained
    • separate from food processing areas
    • to facilitate cleanliness
    • to prevent any contamination
    • adequately ventilated: to be rated in task 4.2.3 Ventilation and Air Intakes
    • adequately drained: to be rated in task 4.2.4 Waste Disposal, Drainage and Sewage

Dry toilets (when present in the establishment)

  • located outside the establishment

Meal areas and areas for storage of personal effects

  • designed, built and maintained to:
    • facilitate cleanliness
    • prevent any contamination

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • Lack of water and soap for handwashing.
  • Dry toilet located inside the establishment.

Rating III - Examples

  • No handwashing notices posted.
  • Coats and boots located in the packaging area, due to the absence of a designated area for storing personal effects.

References

  • MPR, subsection 3.2 (1)

4.2.6 Water and Steam

Principal

Water and steam suitable for all operation and cleaning requirements to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Note: For the written program, refer to task 4.2.7 Water and Steam Program.

Specifics and uses of different water sources
Water sources Specifics Other Uses: Added directly to maple products (dilution or dissolution, cooling of the taffy, syrup recovery by flushing the inside of the barrels). Other Uses: Cooling the containers. Cleaning and Sanitation: Surfaces for food, handwashing. Cleaning and Sanitation: Surfaces NOT in contact with food.
Municipal water Running at the establishment OR transported and stored properly Yes Yes Yes Yes
Well water Running at the establishment OR transported and stored properly Yes Yes Yes Yes
Filtrate water The condition of the membrane can affect its quality (refer to the manufacturer's recommendations). Yes Yes Yes Yes
Commercially bottled water   Yes Yes Yes Yes
Re-circulated water See the criteria in task 4.12.1 Cooling No Yes No Yes

Water storage equipment

  • that has been adequately designed, built and maintained to prevent any contamination (ex. covered equipment)

Boiler vapor (when present in the establishment)

  • equipped with siphons to ensure adequate elimination of condensates and foreign substances
  • chemically-treated water supplying the boilers, where the treatment is controlled to avoid any contamination

Water collected from the evaporator and reverse osmosis (filtrate) (when present in the establishment)

  • adequately stored
  • clearly identified

Rating I - Examples

Water contaminated with a toxic chemical material in direct contact with the maple sap and/or the finished products .

Rating II - Examples

  • Uncovered water storage equipment, causing a risk of contamination.
  • Cleaning and sanitation of a food surface with filtrate water that appears cloudy.
  • Water vapor in contact with chemical product residue on the hood.

Rating III - Examples

  • Uncovered water storage equipment, without risk of contamination.
  • Water collected from the evaporator that is not identified during storage.
  • No siphons on the boilers to eliminate condensates.

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 6 (2)

4.2.7 Water and Steam Program

Principal

Up-to-date documentation demonstrates effective monitoring measures for the quality of water and steam to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Written program and records

Municipal water, well water and filtrate water

  • compliance with microbiological standards defined by Health Canada in their brochure entitled Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines
  • rotation of sampling points
  • analysis results kept, made available, and including:
    • water source
    • sampling date and sampling points

Action plans in case of a boil water advisory or water contamination alert (municipal or well water)

  • Examples of measures to be taken, specific to the establishment:
    • directives for the product manufactured before the release of the advisory or the alert
    • recommendations concerning operations at the establishment
    • disinfection of the well
    • treatment of the establishment water
    • backup water source
Minimum analysis frequencies
At the time of registration Thereafter During modifications to the water supply installations In case of unfavorable or suspect conditions
Municipality Well
Microbiological Yes Once a year 2 times
per year
Yes Yes
Physical-chemical Yes No No Yes Yes

Note: When available, the results of the analyses carried out by the municipality can exempt the establishment from carrying out its own physical-chemical analyses.

Commercially bottled water

  • N/A

Recirculated water (when present in the establishment)

  • meets the criteria of task 4.12.1 – Cooling
  • if applicable, analysis results kept, made available, and including:
    • date
    • controls
    • residual chlorine

Boiler vapor (when present in the establishment)

  • meets the criteria of task 4.2.6 - Water and Steam
  • analysis results kept, made available, and including:
    • date
    • controls

Corrective measures (in case of a deviation in the quality of the water or steam)

  • date and time of the deviation
  • description of the deviation
  • corrective measures
  • operator's initials

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • No corrective measures taken, though the results demonstrate that the water is not potable.

Rating III - Examples

  • Written program not available.
  • Frequency of the microbiological analysis inadequate.
  • Verifications not according to supplier specifications.

References

  • MPR, subsections 2 (definition of maple syrup), 3.2 (1), 6 (2)
  • Other references: Standards defined by Health Canada in their brochure entitled Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines
  • Template for the documentation required by the Maple Products Establishment Inspection Manual (MPEIM )

4.3 Transportation

4.3.1 Trucks, Bulk Tanks and Trailers

Principal

The trucks, bulk tanks and trailers are designed, built, maintained, cleaned and used so as to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Design, construction and preventive maintenance

  • suitable for transporting food and packaging materials
  • accessible for cleaning, sanitation, maintenance and inspection tasks
  • make it possible to avoid contamination of the product during transport

Use

  • loading, organizing, and unloading while avoiding contamination or damage to foods and packaging materials

Cleanliness of the interiors of the trucks and trailers

  • inspection upon receipt and before loading
  • if necessary, cleaning and sanitation

Bulk tanks (when present at the establishment)

  • used only to transport food products
  • allow complete drainage to avoid food contamination
  • receipt of a cleaning certificate (or any other equivalent document), OR
  • when performed by the operator, inclusion of a written procedure for cleaning and sanitation in the sanitation program (evaluated in task 4.7.5 – Sanitation Program)

Note: Pay particular attention to the cleanness, cleaning and sanitation of the trucks, trailers and bulk tanks that are used for transporting both allergenic and non-allergenic food products.

Rating I - Examples

  • Transporting of maple syrup products in bulk tanks that were used for transporting hazardous materials or food product containing allergens without having been cleaned or having a cleaning certificate.

Rating II - Examples

  • Cleaning product residue inside a poorly-rinsed or poorly-drained tank, causing contamination.

Rating III - Examples

  • Uncleaned truck, with dirt and dust on the walls and the floor where finished packaged products are loaded.
  • Damaged trailers, poorly designed and difficult to clean, risk damaging the finished products.

References

4.4 Receiving and Storage

4.4.1 Maple Sap

Principal

The maple sap is inspected, handled and stored to avoid it becoming contaminated or deteriorated and to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Inspection (including sap from another establishment)

  • exclusively from Acer trees
  • if defective, suspect or rejected
    • clear identification (ex. with a fault identification label, remaining in place on the container)
    • storage in a designated area
    • disposal in an appropriate manner

Handling and storage (including sap from another establishment)

  • to limit the spread of microbes (ex. Aerobacter aerogenes causing ropy syrup) and deterioration
    • fast packaging
    • ideally at a low temperature
    • in a hygienic manner
    • being rotated
  • while stored outdoors: with a cover (or other means of protection)
  • while stored indoors: with protection according to the risks of exposure to contaminants (ex. an uncovered reservoir in a room with a low ceiling may be acceptable, depending on the situation)

Rating I - Examples

  • Maple sap stored in a used diesel tank.

Rating II - Examples

  • Maple syrup stored in an uncovered tank, exposed to contamination by foreign substances (ex. bird droppings, insulation fibers).

Rating III - Examples

  • Deteriorated maple syrup, caused by inadequate rotation during storage.

References

  • MPR, subsections 2 (definitions: contaminated, maple sap, maple syrup, maple products), 3.2 (1), 5. (1)
  • FDR, Division 23, Food Packaging Materials

4.4.2 Ingredients and Processing Aids

Principal

The ingredients and processing aids are inspected, handled and stored upon their receipt to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Inspection upon receipt

General

  • adequate identification
  • clean and in good condition:
  • respecting the purchase specifications (if applicable)
  • if defective, suspect or rejected
    • clear identification (ex. with a fault identification label, remaining in place on the container)
    • storage in a designated area
    • disposal in an appropriate manner (ex. return, destruction)

Handling and storage

  • in a hygienic manner
  • conditions suitable for the product (ex. temperature, humidity)
  • avoiding physical damage (ex. controlling stacking height and damage caused by fork lifts)
  • by avoiding cross-contamination by an allergenic ingredient, if present in the establishment
  • on pallets or raised off the ground
  • inside only and with protection against contaminants
  • by being rotated to prevent deterioration

Processing aids (ex. diatomaceous earth and defoamer)

  • use limited to intended purposes
  • for food use
  • non-allergenic

Note: Inappropriate use of the defoamer is covered in task 4.9.1 Concentration, Evaporation and Preparation.

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • Ingredient not identified as rejected, while being contaminated by a toxic chemical product.
  • Defoamer not identified as rejected, while an inadequate handling during storage has caused a cross-contamination with an allergen.

Rating III - Examples

  • Ingredient contaminated by a foreign substance (ex. insects) and not identified as rejected.
  • Risk of deterioration of the diatomaceous earth due to inadequate rotation during storage.
  • Ingredient in a dirty or damaged package/container and not identified as rejected.
  • Defoamer unlabeled upon receipt and not identified.

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 3.2 (2), 5. (1), 6 (2)
  • FDR, Division 16, Food Additives and Division 23, Food Packaging Material

4.4.3 Packaging and Empty Containers, Excluding Drums

Principal

the packaging and empty containers, excluding drums are inspected, handled and stored upon their receipt to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Inspection upon receipt

General

  • for food use
  • suitable for the intended use
  • adequately protected
  • in good condition
  • new OR reusable, if they meet the following criteria:
    • capacity greater than 5L or 5 kg
    • in good condition
    • have previously been used only for non-allergenic food products

Criteria determining rejection

  • rust
  • peeling paint or varnish
  • very dented
  • defective
  • suspect
  • contaminated

Disposal of rejected packaging and containers

  • clear identification (ex. with a fault identification label, remaining in place on the container)
  • storage in a designated area
  • disposal in an appropriate manner (ex. cleaning, destruction, return)

Handling and storage

  • in a hygienic manner
  • avoiding physical damage (ex. controlling stacking height and damage caused by fork lifts)
  • inside only and with protection against contaminants
  • on pallets or raised off the ground
  • be rotated to prevent deterioration

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • Unprotected packaging and evidence of contamination by hazardous foreign material.

Rating III - Examples

  • Risks of deterioration of packaging materials due to inadequate rotation, for example dry seals on the ends of metal cans that are too old, or the development of rust or corrosion that can cause a leak.
  • No inspection of empty packaging or containers upon receipt.
  • Empty containers not protected from contaminants.
  • Rough handling that damages the metal containers.
  • Containers used for purposes other than intended (ex. hardware, pencils, tools).
  • Broken glass jars where the fault is not clearly identified with a label and that were not stored as rejects in a designated area.

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 5. (1), 6 (2), 10 (1), 10 (2)
  • FDR, Division 23, Food Packaging Material

4.4.4 Empty Drums

Principal

The empty drums are inspected, drained, handled and stored upon their receipt to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Inspection upon receipt

General

  • for food use
  • suitable for the intended use
  • clean, being cleaned if needed
  • well drained
  • in good condition

Single-use drums

  • used once to package maple syrup

Reusable drums

  • have been previously used only for packaging non-allergenic food products

Criteria determining rejection

  • rust
  • peeling paint or varnish
  • very dented
  • defective
  • suspect
  • contaminated

Disposal of rejected empty drums

  • clear identification (ex. with a fault identification label, remaining in place on the container)
  • storage in a designated area
  • disposal in an appropriate manner (ex. cleaning, destruction, return)

Handling and storage

  • in a hygienic manner
  • avoiding physical damage (ex. controlling stacking height and damage caused by fork lifts)
  • closed

Note: storage of empty drums outdoors is acceptable if the above criteria are met. Also the drums must be raised off the ground.

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • Stored empty drum where the inside is contaminated by rodent droppings or shards of metal and has not been identified as rejected.
  • Stored empty drum that has contained an allergen or toxic chemical product and has not been identified as rejected.

Rating III - Examples

  • Empty drums not inspected or checked upon receipt.
  • Stored empty drums that have not been drained.
  • Drum being stored either indoors or outdoors that was left open.
  • Rough handling damaging the drums.
  • Drum and cover that are rusted, peeling or very dented that were not stored as rejected in a designated area.

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 5. (1), 6 (2), 7 (5), 10 (1)
  • FDR, Division 23, Food Packaging Material

4.4.5 Chemical Products

Principal

The chemical products are inspected, handled and stored upon their receipt to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Inspection upon receipt

  • adequate labeling

Criteria determining rejection

  • defective
  • runny
  • suspect
  • contaminated

Disposal of rejected chemical products

  • clear identification (ex. with a fault identification label, remaining in place on the container)
  • storage in a designated area
  • disposal in an appropriate manner (ex. destruction, return)

Handling and storage

  • avoiding physical damage (ex. controlling stacking height and damage caused by fork lifts)
  • designated, well ventilated area
  • mixed in containers that have been correctly and clearly identified
  • in closed containers
  • avoiding contamination from food, surfaces for food or packaging materials
  • on pallets or raised off the ground
  • be rotated to prevent deterioration

Rating I - Examples

  • Toxic chemical product stored inadequately and running onto the maple product.

Rating II - Examples

  • Toxic chemical product poured into an unlabeled container used to package a maple product, stored in the packaging area.

Rating III - Examples

  • Chemical product stored in a corroded container.
  • Missing label on a chemical product.
  • Chemical product stored on the floor.

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 7 (5)

4.4.6 Finished Products

Principal

The finished products are inspected, handled and stored to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Inspection

  • periodic monitoring to verify the condition and potential deterioration of the quality of the maple products

Criteria determining rejection

  • suspect, defective
  • rust
  • contaminated

Disposal of rejected finished products

  • clear identification (ex. with a fault identification label, remaining in place on the container)
  • storage in a designated area
  • disposal in an appropriate manner (ex. cleaning, reworking, destruction)

Handling and storage

  • protected from contaminants
  • avoiding physical damage (ex. controlling stacking height and damage caused by fork lifts)
  • stored on pallets or raised off the ground (except for drums stored indoors)
  • ideally at a low temperature, with a minimum of variations, to minimize condensation, and thereby avoid the development of rust or corrosion
  • be rotated to prevent deterioration
  • fast packaging in the case of:
    • vulnerable maple syrup containers, for example due to poor packaging practices by the producer [see task 4.10.3 Container Filling (Including Drums)]
    • containers showing signs of deterioration or fermentation during storage

Note: storage of drums filled with maple syrup outdoors is acceptable if the above criteria are met. Also the drums must be raised off the ground.

Note: Unlike a packaging establishment, a maple-producing establishment may not receive maple products from another establishment.

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • Swollen or fermented drums that have not been identified as rejected or disposed of adequately.

Rating III - Examples

  • Damaged containers due to excessive stacking.
  • Defective products that are unidentified and not located in a designated area.
  • Drums of maple syrup stored outdoors without protection.

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 7 (5)

4.5 Equipment and Utensils

4.5.1 Design, Construction and Installation

Principal

The equipment and utensils are designed, built, installed and handled so as to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Design, construction and installation

  • meets the process requirements
  • accessible for cleaning, sanitation, maintenance and inspection tasks
  • prevents product contamination during operations
  • adequate drainage when necessary, directly connected to drains
  • ability to withstand repeated cleanings and sanitations
  • effective elimination of foreign materials where there are automatic cleaning systems for containers (when used)
  • clear identification to avoid cross-contamination when they are used for handling contaminated materials, including allergenic ingredients (when used in the establishment)

Surfaces, seams and joints in contact with food

  • smooth, free of holes, cracks, crevices and peeling paint
  • non-absorbent, non-corrosive and non-toxic
  • free of lead

Note: the equipment that is most likely to cause lead contamination are those:

  • built before 1994 with galvanized steel
  • welded before 1995
  • where the connections were made of bronze or brass
  • built with "terne plate", a tin/lead alloy
  • that are homemade

Note: where there is equipment containing lead that comes into contact with food, the inspector should ensure that there is a follow-up sampling and that a suitable action plan is in place according to the directives in force. If needed, specific situations should be evaluated in consultation with the supervisor and the program specialist.

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • The following equipment or any unit thereof built and/or welded with a material containing lead where the surface is in contact with the food:
    • boilers for sap collection
    • tanks for storing the sap and maple syrup
    • evaporator and syrup filter tank
  • Poorly installed equipment, constantly contaminating the product, for example difficult disassembly with the accumulation of putrid, dirty, moldy or filthy residues.
  • Equipment poorly installed, causing a risk of chemical contamination of the product, for example, drops of lubricant escape from the bearings, gears, motors and equipment high up; a propane hoist in a production area.
  • Equipment built using a material that is not suitable for food use.
  • Catwalk installed above a food tank.

Rating III - Examples

  • Equipment other than those in the first example in Rating II, built and/or welded with a material containing lead, where the surface is in contact with food.
  • Equipment installed too close to a wall or ceiling that does not allow adequate cleaning.
  • Uneven, discontinuous and rough welded joints in contact with food.
  • Porous surface or surface with holes or fissures, in contact with food.
  • Inadequately identified utensil used for handling contaminated materials.
  • Rusted utensil holder
  • Cracked, split or dented wooden utensil used in processing areas.

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 7 (5), 10 (7)

4.5.2 Preventive Maintenance and Calibration

Principal

The equipment is maintained and calibrated to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Preventive maintenance and equipment calibration

  • by personnel trained for this purpose
  • regular inspection to check its condition, according to:
    • the usage conditions
    • the recommendations of the manufacturer or an equivalent manual
  • parts adjusted and replaced
  • calibration according to manufacturer directives

Note: for the maintenance and adjustment of equipment to close containers, refer to task 4.11.1 Closer of Containers (Including the Drums).

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • Inadequately-maintained equipment causing a risk of contamination by dangerous foreign materials, for example, sharp metal fragments, shards of glass, etc.

Rating III - Examples

  • Poorly-calibrated refractometer resulting in incorrect grading
  • Inadequately-maintained equipment with the risk of contamination by rust, excess grease or peeling paint.

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 6.1 (1) a) and b), 7 (5)

4.6 Personnel

4.6.1 Hygiene and Behavior

Principal

Any person, including visitors, that enters food handling areas maintains appropriate personal hygiene and behavior, ensuring a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Note: For the written program, refer to task 4.6.2 Hygiene and Behavior Training Program.

Hygiene and behavior

  • Handwashing is performed adequately:
    • on entry into the establishment
    • after having handled contaminated substances
    • after breaks
    • after having used the restroom
    • after blowing their nose
    • when necessary
  • Any person, including visitors, entering food handling areas must:
    • is informed of personal hygiene and behavior good practices listed in the current task
    • wear suitable clothes and a head covering (covering all the hair), properly maintained and in good condition
    • soiled clothes kept out of the food handling area to avoid contamination
    • remove jewelry (including piercings), watches and any other object that may fall into the food or contaminate it in another way
    • cover jewelry that cannot be removed, for example wedding bands or Medic Alert bracelets
    • behave in a hygienic manner, for example no smoking, no eating, no gum-chewing and no spitting
    • sneeze and cough into the crook of the arm
    • handle foods to avoid them coming into contact with non-food surfaces (ex. the floor)
    • avoid recovering food that has come in contact with non-food surfaces

Injuries

  • Employees with open wounds or cuts should not touch food or surfaces that come into contact with food, if the wound is not entirely protected by a waterproof article, for example, rubber gloves.

Transmissible diseases

  • Employees inform the operator and do not work in food handling areas when they are suffering from or are carrying a disease that could be transmitted through food, such as:
    • jaundice
    • diarrhea
    • vomiting
    • fever
    • pharyngitis accompanied by fever
    • runny ears, eyes or nose

Allergen control (when present in the establishment)

  • All employees know the measures for controlling allergens that are specific to the establishment.

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • Employee recovering a maple product for human consumption that has been in contact with non-food surfaces (ex. floor).
  • Employees inadequately handling allergenic and non-allergenic ingredients without knowing the establishment's measures for controlling allergens.
  • Employee with open wounds or unprotected cuts handling food.

Rating III - Examples

  • Presence of personal effects at the workstation
  • Personnel wearing jewelry, for example earrings
  • Uncontrolled visitor access
  • Employee leaving a mercury thermometer in the sirotier during the whole process
  • Dirty and/or inappropriate clothes in the production area
  • Items in breast pockets
  • Employee that eats, smokes or chews gum
  • Head covering poorly worn or missing
  • Seasonal employee handling foods without knowing the establishment's policy regarding injuries or contagious diseases.

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 6 (2), 7 (3.1), 7 (4)

4.6.2 Hygiene and Behavior Training Program

Principal

Up-to-date documentation demonstrates employee training on general guidelines for personal hygiene and behavior ensuring a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Written program

  • general training in personal hygiene and behavior, including at least the items in task 4.6.1 Hygiene and Behavior

Records

  • trainer name
  • list of employees handling food
  • signature of trained employees
  • corresponding training dates:
    • at the beginning of their employment
    • once a year thereafter
    • if necessary, when the employee takes on new functions

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • No general training in food hygiene.

Rating III - Examples

  • No written documentation.

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 6 (2)
  • Template for the documentation required by the MPEIM

4.7 Cleaning and Sanitation

4.7.1 Filling, Closure of Containers and Grading Areas - Cleanliness of Premises

Principal

The premises in the areas for filling, closure of containers and for grading are kept clean and hygienic according to the sanitation program to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Note: This task does not include the cleanliness of containers, which is covered in the following tasks

  • 4.10.1 Inspection, Inversion and Cleaning of Containers excluding drums before filling
  • 4.10.2 Inspection and Cleaning of the drums before filling

Note: For the written program, refer to task 4.7.5 Sanitation Program.

Filling, closure of containers and grading areas

Maintaining the cleanliness of the premises

  • by personnel trained for this purpose
  • areas free from debris and waste
  • floors, walls, ceilings, structures and food surfaces in hygienic condition, free from food particles, dust, grease, accumulated deposits, etc.
  • cleaning and sanitation without contaminating food, containers (including caps and lids) or packaging materials, for example, by removing, covering or protecting them
  • a sufficient quantity of water to perform the cleaning and sanitation is available

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • Inadequate cleaning and sanitation of premises, causing splashing from chemical products and cleaning water onto production lines or packaging materials.
  • Premises not cleaned as frequently as planned, with the accumulation of large amounts of food particles and/or foul odor.
  • Accumulation of dust on suspended beams that may contaminate the product.

Rating III - Examples

  • Personnel responsible for cleaning and sanitizing premises that have not received appropriate training.
  • Premises not cleaned as frequently as planned, with the accumulation of small amounts of food particles but without foul odor.
  • Accumulation of old food particles on windows, doors, walls, ceilings, etc.

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 6 (2), 7 (5)

4.7.2 Filling, Closure of Containers and Grading Areas - Cleanliness of Equipment and Utensils

Principal

The equipment and utensils in the areas for filling, closure of containers and for grading are kept clean and hygienic according to the sanitation program to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Note: This task does not include the cleanliness of containers, which is covered in the following tasks:

  • 4.10.1 Inspection, Inversion and Cleaning of Containers excluding drums before filling
  • 4.10.2 Inspection and Cleaning of the drums before filling

Note: For the written program, refer to task 4.7.5 Sanitation Program.

Filling, closure of containers and grading areas

Maintaining the cleanliness of equipment and utensils

  • by personnel trained for this purpose
  • food surfaces in hygienic condition, free from food particles, dust, grease, accumulated deposits
  • respect for frequencies, disassembly of the equipment when necessary, chemical products and their concentrations, etc.
  • cleaning and sanitation without contaminating food, containers (including caps and lids) or packaging materials, for example, by removing, covering or protecting them
  • storing utensils and tools on rust-resistant holders fitted in convenient locations
  • a sufficient quantity of water to perform the cleaning and sanitation is available

Equipment and utensils used for allergens

  • according to the establishment's sanitation program, particular attention paid to items such as:
    • complete disassembly, cleaning and sanitation of equipment before use for a non-allergenic product
    • when possible, exclusive use of certain equipment and utensils reserved for allergens

Rating I - Examples

  • Incomplete rinsing of the syrup filter tank after cleaning, leading to the maple syrup being contaminated with a toxic chemical product.

Rating II - Examples

  • Inadequate cleaning and sanitation of equipment and utensils, causing splashing from chemical products and cleaning water onto production lines or packaging materials.
  • Equipment and utensils not cleaned according to the planned schedule, with the accumulation of large amounts of food particles and/or foul odor.
  • Poorly-cleaned and poorly decontaminated equipment whose use alternates between allergenic and non-allergenic foods.

Rating III - Examples

  • Personnel responsible for cleaning and sanitizing equipment and utensils that have not received appropriate training.
  • Equipment and utensils not cleaned according to the planned schedule, with the accumulation of small amounts of food particles, but without any foul odor.
  • Automated cleaning system for containers that were not adequately cleaned (ex. accumulated debris, clogged nozzles).
  • Accumulation of old food particles on a unit of equipment.
  • Utensils left on the floor or not put away in the holders that protect them from contamination.

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 6 (2), 7 (5)

4.7.3 Other Areas - Cleanliness of Premises

Principal

The premises in the other areas are kept clean and hygienic in accordance with the sanitation program, to avoid food contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Note: For the written program, refer to task 4.7.5 Sanitation Program.

Other areas

Maintaining the cleanliness of the premises

  • by personnel trained for this purpose
  • areas free from debris and waste
  • floors, walls, ceilings, structures and food surfaces in hygienic condition, free from food particles, dust, grease, accumulated deposits, etc.
  • cleaning and sanitation without contaminating food, the containers (including caps and lids) or packaging materials, for example, by removing, covering or protecting them
  • sufficient quantity of water to perform the cleaning and sanitation is available

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • Inadequate cleaning and sanitation of premises, causing splashing of chemical products and cleaning water onto surfaces for food.
  • Premises not cleaned according to the planned schedule, with the accumulation of large amounts of food particles and/or foul odor.

Rating III - Examples

  • Personnel responsible for cleaning and sanitizing premises that have not received appropriate training.
  • Premises not cleaned according to the planned schedule, with the accumulation of small amounts of food particles but without foul odor.
  • Accumulation of old food particles on windows, doors, walls, ceilings, structures, etc.
  • Accumulation of dust on suspended beams.

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 6 (2), 7 (5)

4.7.4 Other Areas - Cleanliness of Equipment and Utensils

Principal

The equipment and utensils in the other areas are kept clean and hygienic in accordance with the sanitation program, to avoid food contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Note: This task does not include the cleanness of items covered in the following tasks

  • 4.3.1 Trucks, Bulk Tanks and Trailers
  • 4.10.1 Inspection, Inversion and Cleaning of Containers excluding drums before filling
  • 4.10.2 Inspection and Cleaning of the drums before filling

Note: For the written program, refer to task 4.7.5 Sanitation Program.

Other areas

Maintaining the cleanliness of equipment and utensils

  • by personnel trained for this purpose
  • food surfaces in hygienic condition, free from food particles, dust, grease, accumulated deposits, etc.
  • respect for frequencies, disassembly of the equipment when necessary, chemical products and their concentrations, etc.
  • cleaning and sanitation without contaminating food, the containers (including caps and lids) or packaging materials, for example, by removing, covering or protecting them
  • storing utensils and tools on rust-resistant holders fitted in convenient locations
  • a sufficient quantity of water to perform the cleaning and sanitation is available

Equipment and utensils used for allergens

  • according to the establishment's sanitation program, particular attention paid to items such as:
    • complete disassembly, cleaning and sanitation of the equipment before use for a non-allergenic product
    • when possible, exclusive use of certain equipment reserved for allergens

Rating I - Examples

  • Incomplete rinsing after cleaning the evaporator, leading to contamination of the sap with a toxic chemical product.

Rating II - Examples

  • Inadequate cleaning and sanitation of equipment and utensils, causing splashing of chemical products and cleaning water onto surfaces for food.
  • Equipment and utensils not cleaned according to the planned schedule, with the accumulation of large amounts of food particles and/or foul odor.
  • Poorly-cleaned and poorly decontaminated equipment whose use alternates between allergenic and non-allergenic foods.

Rating III - Examples

  • Personnel responsible for cleaning and sanitizing equipment and utensils that have not received appropriate training.
  • Equipment and utensils not cleaned according to the planned schedule, with the accumulation of small amounts of food particles, but without any foul odor.
  • Accumulation of old food particles on a unit of equipment.
  • Utensils left on the floor or not put away in the holders that protect them from contamination.

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 6 (2), 7 (5)

4.7.5 Sanitation Program

Principal

The up-to-date documentation describes the cleaning and sanitation of premises, equipment, utensils and bulk tanks (when used) to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Written program

  • identification of each item (location, area covered, equipment, utensil, bulk tanks Footnote 1)
  • name or job title of the person responsible
  • frequency with which the activity is performed
  • chemical products used and their concentration
  • dilutions of chemical products with water
  • procedures for cleaning and sanitation, including:
    • directives, if necessary, for disassembly and reassembly of the equipment for cleaning and inspection
    • identification of equipment units requiring particular attention
    • methods and temperatures for cleaning, sanitation and rinsing in accordance with the conditions of use, the manufacturer specifications, or according to an equivalent manual
  • dated and kept up to date

Records

  • identification of each item (location, area covered, equipment, utensil, bulk tankFootnote 1)
  • date of the cleaning and sanitation task
  • initials of the person responsible for cleaning and sanitation
  • documentation including:
    • certificates for cleaning or any other equivalent document (evaluated in task 4.3.1 - Trucks, Bulk Tanks and Trailers) OR
    • when performed by the operator, a written program and a cleaning and sanitation records for the bulk tanks, meeting the above criteria and including, if necessary, pipes, pumps, seals, inlets and outlets

Note: Pay particular attention to the sanitation program for surfaces that have been in contact with allergenic food products

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • Incomplete program of cleaning and sanitation resulting in surfaces for food being poorly rinsed, causing a potential contamination of the product by a concentrated cleaning product.
  • Sanitation program that does not include controlling allergens.

Rating III - Examples

  • Incomplete, outdated or missing cleaning and sanitation program.
  • Missing records for the cleaning and sanitation of bulk tanks.

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 6 (2)
  • Template for the documentation required by the MPEIM

4.8 Pest control

4.8.1 Pest Control

Principal

The establishment is free from pest or any signs of pest presence. The baited traps are working and are located in the designated areas.

Assessment Criteria

Note: For the written program, refer to task 4.8.2 Pest Control Program.

  • no pest or evidence of pest presence
  • baited traps are working
  • baited traps are located in the areas designated in the plan
  • domestic animals are not permitted access, to avoid any contamination
  • pallets, equipment and other objects stored a sufficient distance from the walls to avoid them serving as a shelter for pest
  • pesticides approved by PMRA under the Pest Control Products Act and Regulations and used according to the manufacturer's instructions

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • Significant infestation with high risk of contamination.
  • Inappropriate use of pesticides with high risk of contamination, for example spraying insecticide during operations.

Rating III - Examples

  • Use of an unapproved pesticide
  • Low-level infestation
  • Baited trap not found in the area indicated on the plan
  • Baited trap not functioning
  • Domestic animal present in the establishment

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 6 (2)

4.8.2 Pest Control Program

Principal

The up-to-date documentation describes the measures for pest control to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Written program

  • name or job title of the person responsible
  • frequency with which the activity is performed (at least once per season)
  • plan indicating the locations where the baited traps were placed
  • list of pesticides to be used, which are:
  • dated and kept up to date

Records

  • date the baited traps were checked and of the activities for pest control
  • initials of the person responsible
  • results of the inspection
  • corrective measures, if any

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • N/A

Rating III - Examples

  • Plan indicating the locations of the baited traps is missing
  • Missing records on pest control

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 6 (2)
  • Template for the documentation required by the MPEIM

4.9 Preparation and blending

4.9.1 Concentration, Evaporation and Preparation

Principal

The concentration, evaporation of the sap and the preparation of products assures compliance with specifications for safety, quality and applicable regulations (ex. composition, grades, product standards).

Assessment Criteria

Note: For the records refer to task 4.9.3 Logbook.

Maple products - Sap concentration and evaporation activities

  • Testing the following applicable items:
    • obtained exclusively by concentration of maple sap OR by dilution or solution in water of a maple product other than maple sap
    • when using the syrup collected by rinsing the inside of barrels, this collection is done in a hygienically manner, use of authentic products only, without dilution or blending with other sugars, an adulterated or contaminated product (false or misleading marketing)
    • minimal use of non-allergenic defoamer and diatomaceous earth according to manufacturer instructions and good manufacturing practices
    • maple syrup with a minimum soluble solids content of 66 degrees Brix
    • grading by grades and colour, according to MPR requirements
      • the operator has the knowledge needed to perform colour classification and grading in accordance with the requirements of the Maple Products Regulations and supervises the classification and grading done by the establishment's employees

Products not subject to the MPR - Preparation activities

  • Control of the following applicable items:
    • formulation
    • clear identification of ingredients
    • precision of measurements
    • adequate blending to ensure homogeneity
    • specifying the routing details for the ingredients (such as the allergens), to avoid misdirection
    • substitution of an ingredient that was not specified in the initial recipe
    • reworking the product
    • introduction of undeclared ingredients (including allergens)
    • introduction of allergens from previous batches (ex. product change)

Note: For the written program, refer to task 4.9.2 Formulation and recipe (products not subject to the MPR)

Rating I - Examples

  • Use of an allergenic defoamer.
  • Substitution of a non-allergenic ingredient with an allergenic ingredient not identified on the label.

Rating II - Examples

  • No control of the production sequence considering the possible cross contamination of allergens.
  • Pure maple product manufactured with other sugars (serious issue requiring immediate action).
  • Use of the syrup collected by rinsing the inside of barrels containing rust or paint.

Rating III - Examples

  • Product manufactured without following the quality specifications.
  • Soluble solids inadequately controlled, that could lead to the spread of yeasts and mold.
  • Defoamer or diatomaceous earth used without considering the manufacturer instructions or manufacturing best practices, without compromising the safety of the product.
  • Substitution of an ingredient not identified on the label without affecting safety.

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 3.2 (2), 5 (1)a), 5 (2), 5.1, 6.1 (1) a), Appendices I, II, III
  • Canada Agriculture Product (CAP) Act, subsections 15 and 16
  • FDR, subsections B.01.046, B.01.047, Division 15, Part B, Adulteration of Food

4.9.2 Formulation and Recipes (Products Not Subject to the Maple Products Regulations)

Principal

The formulation and the recipe ensure the conformity of products that are not subject to the MPR to specifications for safety, quality and applicable regulations.

Assessment Criteria

Formulation and recipe

  • Written, complete and up to date for each product manufactured, including, if necessary:
    • ingredients (ex. brand or supplier, concentration, type, usual name, specific name for food colorants, allergens, additives, nutrients)
    • components (ingredients in the ingredients)
    • processing aid
      • equipment to be used (ex. shared or separate, for allergens)
    • compliance with food standards and regulationsFootnote 2
    • compliance with nutritional declarations
    • revision each time there is a change in or substitution of ingredients or the recipe

Note: For the records refer to task 4.9.3 Logbook

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • Formulation not specifying an allergenic ingredient and the equipment to be used.
  • Formulation including an additive that is not allowed that may compromise the safety of the product.

Rating III - Examples

  • Formulation missing, incomplete or out of date, compromising the quality of the product.

References

  • FDR, applicable subsections

4.9.3 Logbook

Principal

The logbook demonstrates the compliance of the products with the quality specifications and applicable regulations (ex. grades, colors, product standards). Additionally, the logbook facilitates the monitoring of complaints and recalls, if any.

Assessment Criteria

Logbook

  • product name
  • date of production/packaging
  • production code
  • filling temperature
  • density/soluble solids content (oBrix) Footnote 3
  • light transmission Footnote 3
  • grade Footnote 3
  • colour classification Footnote 3
  • size
  • type of container
  • quantity produced
  • flavour Footnote 3
  • defects, deviations and corrective measures
  • operator's initials

Note: In the case of a blend made up of drums of maple syrup, the specifications reflect the traceability of each drum.

Distribution records

  • client list Footnote 4, either by invoices, computer software, logbook or any other medium making it possible to trace the products sold

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • N/A

Rating III - Examples

  • Incomplete or missing information in the records (ex. code, quantity produced)
  • Missing logbook or distribution records

References

  • Template for the documentation required by the MPEIM

4.10 Filling

4.10.1 Inspection, Inversion and Cleaning of Containers excluding drums before filling

Principal

Containers excluding drums are inspected and, if necessary, inverted and cleaned before filling to ensure a quality product that are hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Inspection and inversion

  • before filling

Criteria determining rejection

  • rust
  • cracks (glass/earthenware)
  • peeling paint or varnish
  • very dented
  • defective, damaged
  • suspect
  • contaminated

Disposal of rejected containers

  • clear identification
  • storage in a designated area
  • disposal in an appropriate manner (ex. cleaning, destruction, return)

Cleaning before filling, if necessary

  • with either
    • water
    • air
    • pressurized steam
    • OR
    • a combination of these methods
  • protection of the containers is ensured during
    • cleaning
    • extended stoppage times

Automated cleaning system (when used)

  • functioning when the production line is active

Rating I - Examples

  • Shards of metal 2 mm or larger in containers that are not disposed of appropriately and intended for filling.

Rating II - Examples

  • Lack of inspection, inversion and cleaning of containers
  • Containers intended for filling that are left unprotected on the production line during cleaning or extended stoppage times
  • Damaged glass jars intended for filling

Rating III - Examples

  • Occasional lack of inversion, without signs of contamination

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 7 (5), 10 (1), 10 (2)

4.10.2 Inspection and Cleaning of the drums before filling

Principal

The empty drums are inspected and cleaned before filling, to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Inspection before filling

General

  • clean or cleaned (see below)
  • well drained
  • in good condition
  • for food use and used only for the purposes intended

Criteria determining rejection

  • rust
  • peeling paint or varnish
  • very dented
  • defective, damaged
  • suspect
  • contaminated

Disposal of rejected drums

  • clear identification (ex. with a fault identification label, remaining in place on the container)
  • storage in a designated area
  • disposal in an appropriate manner (ex. cleaning, destruction, return)

Cleaning before filling

  • with either
    • water
    • pressurized steam
      or
    • a combination of these methods
  • protection of the drums is ensured during
    • cleaning
    • extended stoppage times

Single-use drums

  • used once to package maple syrup

Reusable drums

  • have previously been used only for packaging non-allergenic food products

Rating I - Examples

  • Shards of metal 2 mm or larger in drums that are not disposed of appropriately and intended for filling.
  • Drums that have contained toxic chemical products or allergens, that have not been disposed of adequately and are destined for filling.

Rating II - Examples

  • Drums not inspected and cleaned, causing significant contamination (ex. dirt, insects, food residue).
  • Use of covers/drums where the inside is rusted or has peeling paint or varnish.

Rating III - Examples

  • Single-use drum reused to package maple syrup.
  • Use of covers/drums where the outside is rusted.

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 7 (5), 10 (1), 10 (7)

4.10.3 Containers Filling (Including Drums)

Principal

Filling the containers (including drums) and the glass and earthenware breakage is checked to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Ongoing inspection

  • during filling

Criteria determining the rejection of containers during filling

  • broken glass/earthenware
  • containers or covers that are defective or suspect
  • contamination
  • any element that interferes with sealing containers
  • containers smaller than 5L or 5 kg and used

Disposal of rejected containers

  • clear identification (ex. with a fault identification label, remaining in place on the container)
  • storage in a designated area
  • disposal in an appropriate manner (ex. cleaning, reworking, destruction)

Filling factors

  • type of container appropriate to the food (ex. internal lining, material)
  • net quantity (by weight or volume) matches the quantity declared
  • filling the container to a minimum of 90 percent of its capacity, making it possible to reduce headspace as much as possible
    • note that the filling must be planned sufficient to make up for the contraction of the product when cooled so that it still meets the net quantity declared
  • throughout filling, keep the minimum filling temperature at 82°C/180°F
    • note that it may be necessary to perform filling at a higher temperature, such as for example 85°C-87°C or 185°F-190°F, to make it possible to maintain this temperature until closure

Handling and protection of unclosed containers from the filling area to the closure area (seaming/capping/sealing)

  • maintaining a minimum distance between the cleaning area and the filling area
  • transport avoiding breakage, damage and contamination by foreign substances or residue from the equipment

Flexible pouches (such as "maple syrup in carton with spout"), single-serving packs and tetrapacks

  • sealing area kept free from contamination
    • no droplets escaping from filling equipment
    • filling is adequate but not excessive, which could lead to product residue or liquid in the sealing area
  • type of film (internal lining of the package) suitable for the food

Control of glass and earthenware breakage

  • evaluation of areas where the product is likely to be contaminated by glass or earthenware
  • verification of the setting and the speed
  • regular inspection of the filling area to locate broken glass or earthenware
  • removal of shards of glass or earthenware
  • disassembly of the equipment if necessary to remove any risk of contamination by glass or earthenware

Rating I - Examples

  • Shards of metal, glass or earthenware that are 2 mm or larger on surfaces for food or in containers.
  • Filling a drum that previously contained a toxic chemical product.

Rating II - Examples

  • Shards of metal, glass or earthenware near surfaces for food.
  • Contamination of food by hydrogen peroxide during filling of pouches, single serving packs or tetrapacks.
  • Containers intended for filling that are left unprotected on the production line during cleaning or an extended stoppage time.

Rating III - Examples

  • Filling line without control of settings or speed
  • Product temperature not maintained at 82-85°C/180-185°F during filling
  • Filling not controlled or controlled inadequately
  • Type of internal lining in metal containers not suitable for food use
  • Type of internal film in flexible pouches, single-serving packs and tetrapacks not suitable for food use
  • Reuse of containers smaller than 5L or 5kg.

References

  • MPR, 3.2 (1), 7 (5), 10 (1), 10 (6) a)

4.10.4 Glass and Earthenware Breakage Program

Principal

Up to date documentation describes the procedure in case of glass or earthenware breakage to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

General

  • written program accessible to employees
  • applies to any type of glass (ex. light bulbs, thermometers) and earthenware breakage

Written program

  • name or job title of the person responsible
  • production line or area addressed
  • measures to be taken immediately in case of glass or earthenware breakage (ex. stopping the packaging line, identification of affected products)
  • number of jars (or an indication in terms of line length) to be removed from the line (empty jars, filled jars, closed jars) according to the location where the breakage happened
  • method for cleaning the equipment or the conveyor and the area adjacent to where the breakage happened (ex. tool and/or cleaning product to be used)
  • removal of the glass, the earthenware, the jars and the products affected, as necessary
  • evaluation of what caused the breakage
  • dated and kept up to date

Recycled product

  • effective elimination of any particle of glass or earthenware if the product is recycled

Records

  • date and time of the breakage
  • location and description of the breakage
  • corrective measures, such as effective disposal of broken jars and the products affected
  • operator's initials

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

RatingII - Examples

  • Lack of procedure in case of glass or earthenware breakage.
  • Procedure in case of glass or earthenware breakage not followed.

Rating III - Examples

  • Procedure in case of glass or earthenware breakage not available to employees.
  • Procedure in case of glass or earthenware breakage incomplete.
  • Mechanical packaging line for glass and earthenware - data missing from records, making it impossible to confirm the effectiveness of the cleanup of the glass or earthenware breakage.

References

  • MPR, subsection 3.2 (1), 7 (5)
  • Template for the documentation required by the MPEIM

4.11 Closure of containers

4.11.1 Closure of Containers (Including Drums)

Principal

The hermetic closure of containers is controlled during seaming/capping/sealing to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.

Assessment Criteria

General

  • inspection and protection of covers against any damage or contamination
  • protection of filled containers against any damage or contamination
  • inversion of containers of maple syrup after hot filling to sterilize the head space and the covers (except drums)
  • closure of containers within an appropriate time period to maintain the temperature of the product
  • visual examination of the containers after closure by personnel trained for this purpose

Equipment for seaming/sealing/capping containers

  • maintenance and setting according to manufacturer instructions to hermetically seal the containers

Sealing of flexible pouches (such as "maple syrup in carton with spout"), single-serving packs and tetrapacks

  • use of correctly molded, undamaged containers
  • compatible sealing materials
  • flat, smooth, parallel sealing surfaces that are in good condition
  • adequate pressure for the sealing tool to keep the pieces together
  • pieces held together by the sealing tool for an adequate length of time
  • adequate fusion temperature

Control of glass and earthenware breakage

  • protection of the hopper for caps or covers
  • maintenance and setting of the capping equipment preventing wear to the ring or the rim of the glass or earthenware to ensure a hermetic closure
  • making sure no debris from glass or earthenware gets inside or around the capping equipment
  • regular adjustment of the capping heads based on the results of the visual examination

Protection during analysis and grading

  • covers and containers
    • protected from any damage or contamination
    • adequately reclosed

Rating I - Examples

  • Shards of metal, glass or earthenware greater than 2 mm in the food compartment or in the capping equipment.

Rating II - Examples

  • Area around the sealing equipment not inspected regularly to ensure that there are no shards of glass or earthenware.

Rating III - Examples

  • Area around the sealing equipment not inspected regularly to ensure that there are no contaminants.
  • Equipment for seaming/capping/sealing containers not maintained according to manufacturer instructions and not hermetically sealing the containers.
  • Inadequate protection of covers and containers against damages or contamination (ex. inadequate repair or setting, peeling paint, rust or excessive lubrication).
  • Packaging and containers that are poorly closed during seaming/capping/sealing or after sampling.
  • Capping heads that are not adjusted to ensure a hermetic closure.
  • No inversion after hot filling and closure to sterilize the headspace and the covers.
  • Sealing defects due to defective pouches or those placed incorrectly on the sealing machine sleeve.

References

  • MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 7 (5), 10 (7)
  • Flexible Retort Pouch Defects - Identification and Classification Manual (May 31, 2002)

4.12. Cooling

4.12.1 Cooling

Principal

Cooling minimizes the risks of deterioration of the color of the maple syrup, corrosion of the metallic containers and microbiological contamination.

Assessment Criteria

Note: For the written program concerning the quality of the cooling water, refer to task 4.2.7 Water and Steam Program.

General

  • fast cooling of containers to reduce the risk of the maple syrup browning, which can affect its color classification
    • spacing between containers
    • good air circulation between the containers
    • use of cold water for cooling, while ensuring adequate drying to avoid corrosion of the metal containers
    • or by a combination of these techniques

Note: the medium and amber maple syrups are particularly sensitive to browning. the phenomenon is rarely observed in light or extra-light syrups.

Recirculation of cooling water (when used)

  • prevention of contamination by infiltration of yeasts/molds
    • sufficient replacement of the water, AND/OR;
    • treatment of the water with a bactericide
      • residual concentration maintained throughout the cooling system (ex. between 0.5 and 2.0 ppm of free chlorine available)
      • checks take place at an adequate frequency and in places where the concentrations are weakest
      • appropriate and effective reactives used for analysis
      • cleaning the cooling basin to prevent the accumulation of organic and inorganic materials that could reduce the effectiveness of the bactericide

Cooling the maple taffy

  • in the freezer/refrigerator
  • by partial or full immersion of the container in water, with or without a cover, which could involve possible contact of the taffy with the water
  • with a light spray of water to eliminate surface bubbles
  • or by a combination of these techniques

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • N/A

Rating III - Examples

  • Browning of the maple syrup due to excessive stacking of containers.
  • Poor dosage of the bactericide concentration.
  • Accumulated organic matter affecting the residual concentration of the bactericide.

References

  • MPR, Subsections 2, 3.2 (1), 5. (1) a), 7 (5)

4.13 Labeling and coding

4.13.1 Labels and labeling

Principal

A verification system makes it possible to ensure that the labeling is appropriate and corresponds to the product.

Assessment Criteria

Label verification system

  • labels arranged tidily in storage
  • disposal of outdated labels
  • before labeling, visual examination of the top and bottom of the pile of labels to avoid errors
  • labels affixed correspond to the correct product
  • good separation of the different labels at the labeling station
  • any ingredient substitution or change of formulation causes a change in the corresponding label (products not subject to the MPR)

Note: the verification of labels and the advertisements for compliance with Maple Products Regulations and other regulations is part of the product inspection tasks.

Rating I - Examples

  • Product containing undeclared allergens due to poor label management (products not subject to the MPR).

Rating II - Examples

  • Product containing undeclared ingredients likely to cause a reaction (ex. lactose, MSG) due to poor label management or the use of obsolete labels (products not subject to the MPR).

Rating III - Examples

  • Label displaying a grade that does not match the packaged product due to a label mix-up.

References

4.13.2 Production Code

Principal

  • Each maple product container is identified with a production code on the label or on the container.

Assessment Criteria

Production code

  • present on the label or on the container
  • legible
  • identifies the batch, according to the established meaning

Note: When a non-coded product is recalled, the entire production may be recalled.

Coding by embossing metal containers (when used)

  • does not compromise the integrity of the container
  • use of letters and coding blocks that are in good condition

Visual examination of the embossed coding

  • at regular intervals OR
  • after each setting OR
  • after modifications made to the coder, for detecting
    • damage to the enamel
    • cracks in the metal
    • perforations

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • N/A

Rating III - Examples

  • Missing or illegible codes
  • Coding by embossing: metal perforation detected

References

  • Food Recall/Emergency Response

4.14 Certificate of Registration

4.14.1 Certificate of Registration

Principal

the certificate of registration specific to the establishment is posted in a conspicuous place in the registered establishment for the period during which the certificate remains in force

Assessment Criteria

Certificate of registration

  • current
  • posted in a conspicuous place in the registered establishment for the period during which the certificate remains in force
  • not assignable (not transferrable)
  • returned to the CFIA upon expiration or cancellation

Rating I - Examples

  • N/A

Rating II - Examples

  • N/A

Rating III - Examples

  • Current certificate of registration not posted
  • Current certificate of registration being used by another establishment or by a new owner without a modification request having been communicated to the CFIA

References

  • MPR, subsection 6.2 (1)
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