Application of the inspection legend on food animal carcasses before refrigeration
Requirements for the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations
Although the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into force on January 15, 2019, certain requirements may apply in 2020 and 2021 based on food commodity, type of activity and business size. For more information, refer to the SFCR timelines.
Meat products must meet many criteria before they can be identified as edible. Amongst these criteria is the key component of passing a post-mortem inspection or examination. Marking carcasses, other than poultry and rabbits, with the inspection legend when this step has been completed is an important way to validate that only approved carcasses are used in edible meat products and to demonstrate the edibility of the final product.
An operator that is a licence holder to conduct not only the activity of slaughter of food animals but also the activity to further process the edible meat products may consider applying for an exemption to applying the legend before refrigeration.
What this means to your food business
To help you understand these requirements, specific criteria and examples are outlined below. The examples are not exhaustive but help illustrate the intent of the requirement and offer ideas on what you could do to comply. Key terms throughout the text have been hyperlinked to the SFCR glossary.
Application of inspection legend before refrigeration: 151
- You mark each carcass, or carcass side if the carcass is split, that, subsequent to its post mortem inspection or examination, has been approved and you do this before refrigeration by either:
- Applying in a conspicuous manner ,with edible ink or hot stamp, the inspection legend that measures no less than 25 mm in diameter, directly to the carcass or carcass side,
- Applying in a conspicuous manner on the carcass or side carcass a label that bears the legend, the date of slaughter as well as a code that uniquely and unmistakeably identifies the carcass or carcass side with the food animal that is slaughtered.
Note: the application of the legend before refrigeration is not required for rabbits and poultry.
Application of inspection legend before refrigeration Exception - dressed beef carcass side: 180 (4)
- You may mark a dressed beef carcass side containing dorsal root ganglia with inspection legend after the post-mortem inspection or examination and before refrigeration by either edible ink or hot stamp or a label as described above provided:
- the carcass side has been clearly marked to identify it as containing dorsal root ganglia and
- the dorsal root ganglia is removed prior to identifying any derived meat product as edible
Application for the exemption of applying inspection legend before refrigeration: 175
- To be authorized for such an exemption, you must process the edible meat product from the unmarked carcasses or carcass sides within the same establishment where you slaughter the food animal
- You must apply for this exemption in written format and include procedures that effectively demonstrate:
- that meat products you process under your licence come only from carcasses or side carcasses that have been approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency,
- that no unmarked edible meat product produced under your licence leaves the establishment, and
- that your records will substantiate your procedures.
Resources to help meet these requirements:
- You consider the reference document Exemption to the application of the inspection legend before refrigeration when preparing your submission for this exemption
- Your exemption, if granted, may immediately be cancelled if you fail to comply with your procedures or should a foreign authority question the validity of non-application of the inspection legend.
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