Chapter 4 - Inspection Criteria for a Sugar Bush Establishment
4.11 Closure of containers
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4.11.1 Closure of Containers (Including Drums)
The hermetic closure of containers is controlled during seaming/capping/sealing to ensure a quality product that is hygienically prepared to avoid contamination.
- 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.
- MPR, subsections 3.2 (1), 7 (5), 10 (7)
- Flexible Retort Pouch Defects - Identification and Classification Manual (May 31, 2002)
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