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Trichinella carcass testing methodology

The following guidance is intended to provide a licensed operator with procedures to be utilized to meet SFCR section 157 (b) and 158. This procedure may be adopted or alternatively the licensed operator may develop equivalent procedures.


Each carcass must yield negative results for Trichinella before the resultant meat products are considered compliant to Trichinella testing requirements laid out in Sections 157 (b) or 158. Operators testing carcasses to meet the applicable section 157 (b) or 158 should re-evaluate their Preventive Control Plan to incorporate carcass testing control procedures, as appropriate.

Testing procedures required to meet sections 157 (b) or 158 are specific to the tissue tested and the volume of tissue required from the carcass in each test because each carcass must yield a negative test before consumption. These specifications will ensure test validity to the individual carcass level based on current scientific knowledge. Testing methods using different tissues and tissue volumes are designed to meet alternate objectives such as testing procedures applicable to European Union export certification of pork which is designed to obtain negative status of a group of carcasses vs meeting the Canadian domestic standard where individual carcasses must have a negative status to meet Sections 157 (b) and 158 of the SFCR.

As a reminder Trichinella is not the only organism to be considered before marketing meat products. Sections 157 and 158 do not exempt section 125 which, in part, requires meat products not to be contaminated with any micro-organism, chemical substance, extraneous material or other substance or thing that may render the food injurious to human health or unsuitable for human consumption. These methods do not guarantee the safety of product in terms of other food safety hazards and pathogens such as Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., Toxoplasma gondii, E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus suis, and L. monocytogenes, etc.

Laboratory procedure

The following laboratory procedure, when followed by an in-house or laboratory contracted by a licensed operator, would be considered to be sufficient to meet Trichinella testing requirements as laid out in sections 157 (b) and 158 of the SFCR, when these procedures are certified at least once per year by a credible independent third party or the CFIA.

The Double Separatory Funnel Procedure for the Detection of Trichinella Larvae (also referred to as The Magnetic Stirrer Artificial Digestion Assay) in Pork as well as Horse Meat is an acceptable method. Details about this method can be obtained from the Centre for Food-Borne and Animal Parasitology in Saskatoon.


Each carcass sampled for testing is individually identified and this identification information is transferred to the sample container and if applicable, lab submission form.

If the sample is transported to an off-site laboratory, precautions are taken to ensure timely shipment under conditions to prevent deterioration and temperature abuse of the sample.


The CFIA is immediately notified of positive findings. Final Trichinella testing results including individual carcass identification and corresponding test result are given to the submitting licensed operator and the CFIA.

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