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Standards for Post-mortem Evaluation of Food Animal Carcasses

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.

Rationale

Disease in a food animal can show itself more or less when the food animal is alive, and it can manifest itself very locally or in multiple locations at various degrees. To evaluate whether a condition affects the safety of the final derived meat products, it is crucial to have all the information to inform the disposition. It is also crucial that condemned or rejected meat products are treated as inedible. Identification of the food animal carcass and its parts and correlation are therefore essential in accomplishing complete Post-mortem inspection, or Post-mortem examination, as the case may be, and ensuring that only parts from approved carcasses are identified as edible.

Each and every carcass must receive a complete Post-mortem inspection or Post-mortem examination, as the case may be. To be complete, specific parts must be evaluated. To ensure accurate and swift evaluation to align with line speeds, consistency in the way they are displayed to the inspector, for Post-mortem inspection, are key.

When an authorisation to conduct a Post-Mortem Examination Program has been granted to you, you take on the responsibility that all carcasses and parts of food animals get examined with equal confidence as those receiving Post-mortem inspection to ensure that all defects that pose a risk to food safety and suitability are removed.

When an authorisation to conduct a Post-mortem Defect Management Program has been granted to you, you take on the responsibility that all carcasses and parts of food animals get screened prior to the beginning of the Post-mortem inspection and that the defects that you detect are managed before the Post-mortem inspection is completed.

What this means for 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.

Identification and Correlation: 148

You have developed and implement a control program to identify a carcass and maintain the identity until completion of the Post-mortem inspection or examination

Examples:

  • You place the CCIA/ATQ ear tag of the food animal, if applicable, in a clean plastic bag and attach it to the fore shank of the carcass following hide removal
  • You identify with an appropriate tag (e.g. CFIA/ACIA 1464) the carcasses, blood collected for edible, viscera, head, feet and other parts of those animals determined as suspect on ante-mortem inspection
  • You identify with a held tag those carcasses and parts that require detailed veterinary inspection

Examples:

  • You identify the head with the same identifier as the carcass
  • You have viscera retention equipment (e.g. trays, hooks) that can be correlated to the carcass
  • You tag the container of harvested blood to identify from which carcass(es) it was derived

Presentation: 149

Resources to help meet these requirements:

Note: You do not need to present a carcass and its parts for inspection when you conduct a Post-mortem examination program.

Post-mortem-examination, screening: 150

Resources to help meet these requirements:

  • You consider the documents Post-mortem evaluation procedures and Disposition manual (under development) in the development of your control program
  • You conduct your program according to the guidance document Post-mortem Examination Program (under development)
  • Your control program has been reviewed and accepted by CFIA and is only conducted when CFIA officials are present on-site

Resources to help meet these requirements:

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