Chapter 4 - Inspection Criteria for a Sugar Bush Establishment
4.10 Filling

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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
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