Language selection


Archived - Chapter 4 - Inspection Criteria for a Sugar Bush Establishment
4.11 Closure of containers

This page has been archived

This page was archived due to the coming into force of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations. Archived information is provided for reference, research or record-keeping purposes only. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. For current information visit Food.

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.

Assessment Criteria


  • 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)
Date modified: