Standards and Methods Manual
Chapter 2 - Canned Products

This page is part of the Guidance Document Repository (GDR).

Looking for related documents?
Search for related documents in the Guidance Document Repository

Standard 1 - Canned Tuna

PDF (39 kb)

1. Introduction

This standard for canned tuna derives its authority from the Fish Inspection Regulations. It defines minimum acceptability of canned tuna for taint, decomposition, unwholesomeness and other requirements other than weight, as defined in the Fish Inspection Regulations, and describes methods for determining that acceptability.

2. Scope

This standard applies to canned and/or heat processed tuna in hermetically sealed containers, prepared from sound, wholesome fish flesh of a quality fit for human consumption, using current good manufacturing practices and prepared from any of the following species:

  1. Euthynnus alletteratus (little tunny)
  2. Euthynnus lineatus (little tunny or black skipjack)
  3. Euthynnus affinis (kawakawa or little tuna)
  4. Katsuwonus pelamis (skipjack)
  5. Thunnus albacares (yellow-fin tuna)
  6. Thunnus tonggol or Neothunnus rarus (longtailed tuna or northern bluefin tuna)
  7. Thunnus obesus (big-eyed tuna)
  8. Thunnus atlanticus (black-fin tuna)
  9. Thunnus alalunga (albacore)
  10. Thunnus maccoyii (southern bluefin tuna)
  11. Thunnus orientalis (oriental tuna)
  12. Thunnus thynnus (bluefin tuna)

The species of fish Sarda chiliensis, Sarda lineolata or Sarda sarda after it has been canned, shall be designated as "Bonito" or "Bonito Tuna".

The following documents are to be used in conjunction with the standard to determine good manufacturing practices:

  1. the Recommended International Code of Hygienic Practice for Low Acid and Acidified Low Acid Canned Food, CAC/RCP 23-1993.
  2. Metal Can Defects Identification and Classification Manual, Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
  3. Recommended International Code of Practice for Canned Fish, CAC/RCP 119-1995.

3. Forms of Product Presentation

3.1 Styles of Pack

a) Solid

Fish cut into transverse segments to which no free fragments are added. In containers of 450 g (one pound) or less of net contents, such segments are cut into lengths suitable for packing into one layer. In containers of more than 450 g net contents, such segments may be cut into lengths suitable for packing in one or more layers of equal thickness and no layer shall have a thickness less than 2.5 cm. Segments are placed in the can with the planes of their transverse cut ends parallel to the ends of the can. A piece of segment may be added if necessary to fill a container.

b) Chunk or chunks

A mixture of pieces of fish most of which have dimensions of not less than 1.2 cm in each direction and in which the original muscle structure is retained.

c) Flake, flaked or flakes

A mixture of particles of fish in which the muscle structure of the flesh is retained.

d) Grated or shredded

A mixture of particles of fish that have been reduced to a uniform size, and in which particles are discrete and do not comprise a paste.

3.2 Fish Flesh Colour

The labels on all cans of tuna shall indicate the colour of the fish flesh in accordance with the following colour classifications:

a) "White Meat Tuna" or "White Tuna"

Canned tuna of the species Thunnus alalunga or Thunnus germo (albacore) that has a diffuse luminous reflectance of not less than 33.7% of that of magnesium oxide when that reflectance is measured by a prescribed method. This is approximately equivalent to 6.3 Munsell units.

b) "Light Meat Tuna" or "Light Tuna"

Canned tuna that has a diffuse luminous reflectance of not less than 22.6% of that of magnesium oxide when that reflectance is measured by a prescribed method. This is approximately equivalent to 5.3 Munsell units.

c) "Dark Meat Tuna" or "Dark Tuna"

Canned tuna that does not meet the colour requirements of "Light Meat Tuna".

3.3 Packing Media

a) Olive oils

In conformity with the Recommended International Standard for Olive Oil, and Olive Pomace Oil (Reference CAC/RS 33-2003).

b) Other vegetable oils

Clear, refined, deodorized, edible vegetable oil in conformity with the relevant recommended international standards adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

c) Potable water

In conformity with the latest WHO International Standards for Drinking Water.

d) Spring water or mineral water

Potable water from an underground source but not obtained from a public community water supply and which meets the requirements of Section B12.001 of the Food and Drug Regulations.

e) Vegetable broth

The liquid arising from the cooking of vegetables in water and which may be prepared from one or more types of vegetables.

f) Vegetable broth / Vegetable oil

Any combination of vegetable broth and vegetable oil meeting the above specifications.

3.4 Other Presentations

Any other presentation may be permitted provided that it:

  1. is sufficiently distinctive from the forms of presentations set out in 3.1 and 3.3; and
  2. meets all other requirements of the Fish Inspection Regulations; and
  3. is adequately described on the label.

4. Sampling

The sampling and tolerance plans at the front of this manual shall be used to determine the acceptability of the lot. The sampling plans dictate the minimum sample size to be taken. If necessary, in the opinion of the inspector, more than the minimum sample size specified may be taken.

4.1 Sampling of lots for examination of the product shall be in accordance with the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Sampling Plans for Prepackaged Foods(AQL 6.5) (CAC/RM 42-1969) except that acceptance numbers for decomposition shall be reduced in accordance with the sampling plans.

4.2 Size of Sample Unit

The sample unit shall consist of a can or pouch of tuna and the contents thereof.

5. Description of Defects

5.1 Taint

A unit will be considered tainted when any of the following conditions exist:

a) Rancid

Odour characterized by the distinct or readily detectable persistent odour of oxidized oil, (this may be characterized by a pungent sensation in the nasal passage); or

Flavour characterized by distinct flavours present individually or in combination as follows:

  • bitter, sour, metallic flavours detected at the sides and back of the tongue leaving a lingering aftertaste.

b) Abnormal

Distinct and persistent odours and/or flavours that are burnt or acrid, (e.g. as associated with excess scorch).

c) Contaminated

Odours and/or flavours resulting from contamination by solvents, soaps, fuel, oil, grease, etc. that are organoleptically detectable.

5.2 Decomposition

A unit will be considered decomposed when any of the following conditions exist:

a) Persistent, distinct and uncharacteristic odour characterized by:

  1. fruity (aldehyde odours similar to pineapple or other fruits);
  2. vegetable odours - (e.g. turnip and cabbage-like but not associated with packing medium);
  3. sour, yeasty fermented odours;
  4. ammonia odours, hydrogen sulphide odours; or
  5. other pungent odours such as putrid or faecal.

b) Persistent distinct and uncharacteristic flavours characterized by:

  1. sweet fruity flavours (e.g., pineapple-like); or
  2. vegetable flavours (e.g., turnip and cabbage-like but not associated with packing medium); or
  3. putrid or sour or faecal flavours.

c) Texture

Breakdown of muscle structure characterized by muscle fibers no longer being detectable resulting in the presence of small particles and/or granular, gritty or pasty texture exceeding 20% of the drained content.

d) Appearance

  1. Discoloration characterized by persistent flushed pink, orange or green colours in the flesh exceeding 5% of drained contents.
  2. True Honeycombing exceeding 5% of drained contents.

5.3 Unwholesome

a) Critical Foreign Material

A lot will be considered defective when any of the following conditions exist:

  • the presence of any material which has not been derived from tuna (and packing media) and which poses a threat to human health (such as glass, etc.); or
  • distinct and persistent odour or flavour of any material which has not been derived from tuna (and packing media) and which poses a threat to human health (such as solvents, fuel oil, etc.)

b) Foreign Material

A unit will be considered defective when any of the following conditions exist:

  • the presence of any material which has not been derived from tuna (and packing media) but does not pose a threat to human health (such as insect pieces, sand, etc.)

c) Other Defects

A unit will be considered defective when any of the following conditions exist:

  1. Struvite Crystals (magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals)
    Any struvite crystal greater than 5 mm in length.
  2. Sulphide Blackening
    Staining of the meat exceeding 5% of the drained contents.

5.4 Labelling

A unit will be considered defective when any of the following conditions exist:

a) Style of Pack

  1. Solid - Greater than 18% chunk and/or flaked.
    Chunk - Greater than 50% flaked.
    Flaked - Greater than 20% grated or shredded.
  2. Shredded, grated or paste in solid or chunk pack.

b) Fish Flesh Colour

  1. White Meat Tuna or White Tuna of the species Thunnus alalunga of Thunnus germo (albacore) that has a diffuse luminous reflectance less than 33.7% of that of magnesium oxide. This is approximately equivalent to 6.3 Munsell units.
  2. Light Meat Tuna or Light Tuna that has a diffuse luminous reflectance less than 22.6% of that of magnesium oxide. This is approximately equivalent to 5.3 Munsell units.

Note: Dark Meat Tuna or Dark Tuna is canned tuna that does not meet the colour requirements of Light Meat Tuna.

6. Examination Methods

6.1 Procedure for Determining Compliance for Style of Pack Declaration

6.1.1 Scope and Application

This procedure is applicable to the determination of the percentage of different styles of pack in canned tuna.

6.1.2 Apparatus

  • Can opener
  • One half-inch (1.2 cm) mesh screen equipped with a collecting pan
  • Suitable balance for weighing the samples to the nearest 0.1 g
  • Spatula

6.1.3 Procedure

  1. Open the can, drain the contents, weigh the tuna and record the weight.
  2. Pour the drained can contents onto a tared 1.2 cm mesh screen equipped with a collecting pan.
  3. Separate the tuna with a spatula being careful not to break the configuration of the pieces. Ensure that the smaller pieces of tuna are moved to the top of a mesh opening to allow them to fall through or be retained on the screen.
  4. Segregate the material on the pan according to flaked, grated (shredded) and paste and weigh individually in order to establish the weight of each component.
  5. Weigh the screen with the fish retained and record the weight. This weight will be used, by difference, to establish the weight of solid plus chunk tuna.
  6. In the case of a "solid" declaration, remove any small pieces (chunks) from the screen and reweigh. This weight can be used to establish the weight of solid tuna by difference.

6.1.4 Calculations

  1. Express the weight of flaked, grated (shredded) and paste as a percentage of the total drained weight of tuna.
    % Flakes = (Weight of Flakes÷Total Weight of Drained Tuna) × 100
  2. Calculate the weight of solid and chunk tuna retained on the screen by difference and express as a % of the total drained weight of tuna.
    % Solid and Chunk Tuna = (Weight of Solid and Chunk Tuna/Total Weight of Drained Tuna) × 100
  3. Calculate the weight of solid tuna retained on the screen by difference and express as a % of the total drained weight of tuna.
    % Solid Tuna = (Weight of Solid Tuna÷Total Weight of Drained Tuna) × 100

6.1.5 Determination of Compliance

Refer to section 5.4 to determine the defect classification of the sample unit.

6.2 Procedure for Determining Percentage of Honeycombing in Canned Tuna

6.2.1 Scope

This method shall be used to assess the extent of honeycombing in canned tuna.

The canned tuna standard stipulates that a sample unit shall be considered defective because of decomposition if the weight of honeycombed flesh exceeds 5% of the drained weight of the contents of the can.

6.2.2 Laboratory Apparatus

  • Can opener
  • Electronic Scale
  • Beakers or Draining Trays
  • Vacuum Gauge
  • Clock or other suitable timing device
  • Warming Cabinet
  • Tared Collecting Dishes
  • Tweezers or Forceps
  • Spatula
  • Appropriate forms

6.2.3 Procedure

  1. Determine the drained weight of each sample unit, using the approved method.
  2. After draining, transfer the contents of the can to an inspection tray or, if style of pack is to be determined, a 1.2 cm mesh screen equipped with a collecting pan.
  3. Separate the tuna with a spatula being careful not to break the configuration of the pieces. If the contents are to be evaluated for style of pack, that procedure must be performed first, using the method outlined in section 6.1 of this standard.
  4. Using tweezers or forceps remove all pieces of honeycombed fish flesh and place these in a tared collecting dish.
    "Any piece of tuna flesh showing evidence of pitting, whether on the surface of the cut or between the layers of fish flesh, shall be considered to be affected by honeycombing."
  5. Weigh the collecting dish with the honeycombed flesh and record the total weight. Subtract the weight of the collecting dish from the total weight of the dish and honeycombed flesh to obtain the weight of honeycombed flesh.

6.2.4 Calculations

Express the weight of the honeycombed flesh as a percentage of the drained weight of the can contents.

% of True Honeycombing = (Weight of the Honeycombed Fish Flesh/Drained Weight) x 100

6.2.5 Determination of Compliance

  1. If the result exceeds 5% of the drained weight of the can contents, the sample unit is considered defective.
  2. Repeat the above procedure and determine the status of the remaining sample units in the sample. A sample shall consist of at least the minimum number of sample units outlined in the sampling plans.
  3. Determine the status of the lot by comparing the total number of defective sample units with the acceptance number for decomposition.

7. Classification of "Defective"

A sample unit which contains defects as described in section 5 is classified as a "defective".

8. Lot Acceptance

A lot will be considered unacceptable if it fails to meet the following final product requirements:

  1. any single instance of critical foreign matter occurs; or
  2. the total number of sample units found defective for taint, decomposition or unwholesomeness, individually or in combination, exceeds the acceptance number for the sample size designated in the sampling plans; or
  3. the total number of sample units found defective for decomposition exceeds the acceptance number shown in parentheses for the sample size designated in the sampling plans; or
  4. the total number of sample units found defective for standards of identity (colour, style of presentation) exceeds the acceptance number for the sample size designated in the sampling plans.

Standard 2 - Canned Sardine

PDF (57 kb)

1. Introduction

This standard for canned sardines derives its authority from the Fish Inspection Regulations. It defines minimum acceptability of canned sardines for taint, decomposition, unwholesomeness and other requirements, other than weight, as defined in the Fish Inspection Act and Regulations and describes methods for determining that acceptability.

2. Scope

This standard applies to canned sardines in hermetically sealed containers that are prepared from any of the following species:

  • Sardina pilchardus (Walbaum)
  • Sardinops melanosticta, neopilchardus, ocellatus, sagax
  • Sardinella aurita, janeiro, or maderensis
  • Clupea harengus
  • Sprattus antipodum, novaehollandiae, or fuegensis
  • Sprattus sprattus (Clupea sprattus)
  • Hyperlophus vittatus
  • Nematolosa vlaminghi
  • Etrumeus micropus
  • Ethmidium maculatum
  • Engraulis anchoita
  • Engraulis ringens

Canned sardines shall be prepared from sound, wholesome raw material processed using good manufacturing practices.

Documents used to determine good manufacturing practice and compliance include:

  1. International Code of Practice for Low Acid Canned Food CAC/RCP 23-1979.
  2. Metal Can Defects Identification and Classification Manual, Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
  3. Codex Alimentarius Sampling Plans for Prepackaged Foods (AQL 6.5) (CAC/RM 42-1969).

3. Nomenclature

The name of the product shall be:

  • "Sardines"; or
  • "X sardines" where the "X" is the name of a country, a geographic area, the species, or the common name of the species in accordance with the applicable sections of the Recommended International Standard for Canned Sardines (CAC/RS 94-1978) and the Fish Inspection Regulations.

4. Forms of Product Presentation

Canned sardines shall be prepared from fresh, frozen, cooked or smoked sardines and neatly arranged with at least 3 fish per can.

4.1 Packing Media

The product shall be presented in one of the following packing media with or without permitted optional ingredients:

a) Own juice

Fish packaged without added liquid.

b) Potable water

In conformity with the requirements of the Fish Inspection Regulations for water used in registered establishments.

c) Spring water or mineral water

Potable water from an underground source but not obtained from a public community water supply and which meets the requirements of Section B12.001 of the Food and Drug Regulations.

d) Vegetable broth

The liquid arising from the cooking of sound wholesome vegetables in water and which may be prepared from one or more types of vegetables. Vegetable broth may also be prepared from hydrolysed vegetable protein, but a broth so prepared requires that it's components be declared in a list of ingredients.

e) Olive oils

In conformity with:

  • the relevant sections of Division 9 of the Canadian Food and Drug Regulations; or
  • the Recommended International Standard for Olive Oil, Virgin and Refined, and for Refined Olive-Residue Oil (Reference CAC/RS 33-1970).

f) Other vegetable oils

Clear, refined, deodorized, edible vegetable oil in conformity with:

  • the relevant sections of Division 9 of the Canadian Food and Drug Regulations; or
  • the relevant recommended International standards adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

g) Sauces

A thickened liquid made from acceptable food ingredients giving a characterizing flavour and odour to the product.

h) Marinades

A thin liquid made from acceptable food ingredients, usually containing a sweetener, an acid solution or an alcoholic solution, with or without spices, herbs, seasonings, vegetables and other condiments.

4.2 Optional Ingredients

  1. Salt.
  2. Natural starches.
  3. Other optional ingredients provided that all ingredients are suitable for human consumption, are free from abnormal taste, flavour or odour and are permitted in Division 21 of the Food and Drug Regulations. Examples of such ingredients are spices, herbs, vegetable seasonings, vinegar and wine and vegetables and fruits for decorative and flavouring purposes only.

4.3 Other Presentations

Any other presentation of the product may be permitted provided that it:

  1. is sufficiently distinctive from the forms of presentation set out above; and
  2. meets all other Canadian Regulatory requirements; and
  3. is adequately described on the label in accordance with all regulatory labelling requirements.

5. Sampling

The sampling and tolerance plans at the front of this manual shall be used to determine the acceptability of the lot. The sampling plans dictate the minimum sample size to be taken. If necessary, in the opinion of the inspector, more than the minimum sample size specified may be taken.

5.1 Sampling of lots for the sensory examination of the product shall be in accordance with the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Sampling Plan for Prepackaged Foods (AQL 6.5) (CAC/RM 42-1969) except that a lower acceptance number for decomposition shall be used as indicated in the sampling tables.

The tables specify the minimum number of sample units to be used for the following types of inspections:

  1. Level I - Sensory examinations of all products subject to inspection other than lots which are subject to reinspection.
  2. Level II - Sensory examinations of all products which are under reinspection.

5.2 Size of Sample Unit

The sample unit shall consist of a can of sardines and the entire contents thereof.

6. Description of Defects

6.1 Taint

A unit will be considered tainted when any of the following conditions are found:

a) Rancid

The contents in the container show the following defects:

  1. Odour characterized by the distinct or persistent odour of oxidized oil; or
  2. Flavour characterized by that of oxidized oil which leaves a distinct bitter aftertaste.

b) Abnormal

Distinct and persistent uncharacteristic odours or flavours such as burnt or acrid, metallic, or associated with feed, and not defined as rancid or decomposed; or

Flavour or odour resulting from the improper addition or mixing of ingredients.

6.2 Decomposition

A unit will be considered decomposed when any of the following conditions are found:

a) Odour or flavour

Persistent, distinct and uncharacteristic odour or flavour including but not limited to the following:

  • fruity, vegetable, musty, yeasty, sour, faecal, ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, bilge-like, putrid.

b) Discolouration

Discolouration uncharacteristic of the species and type of pack, such as flushed pink (with a somewhat raw appearance), dark brown, yellowish to orange colours or definite red along the backbone.

c) Texture

Breakdown of muscle structure characterized by:

  1. muscle structure which is very tough, dry, mealy or chalky; or
  2. muscle structure which is very soft, mushy or pasty.

6.3 Unwholesome

a) Critical Foreign Material

A lot will be considered defective when any of the following conditions are found:

  • the presence of any material which has not been derived from fish (and packing media) and which poses a threat to human health (such as glass, etc.); or
  • distinct and persistent odour or flavour of any material which has not been derived from fish (and packing media) and which poses a threat to human health (such as solvents, fuel oil, etc.).

b) Foreign Material

A unit will be considered defective when the following condition is found:

  • the presence of any material which has not been derived from fish (and packing media) but does not pose a threat to human health (such as insect pieces, sand, etc.).

c) Other Defects

A unit will be considered defective when any of the following conditions are found:

  1. Struvite Crystals (magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals)
    Any struvite crystal greater than 5 mm in length.
  2. Sulphide Blackening (smut)
    Staining affecting greater than 5% of the fish in the sample unit.
  3. Undesirable Parts
    Any combination of sardines from which the heads and gills have not been removed which exceeds 5% of the number of fish in the sample unit.

7. Examination Methods

7.1 Complete external can examination. Open can and complete net weight determination according to the defined procedures.

7.2 Remove fish from can to examination tray, if this has not already been done. Examine can interior for presence of foreign material, smut, struvite, and corrosion or other can interior defects.

7.3 Examine liquid and surface of fish for presence of struvite crystals, smut, foreign material.

7.4 Gently split fish along backbone. Examine backbone for hardness - it should be easily crushed between thumb and forefinger. Observe colour of flesh, especially the presence or absence of "definite" red along the backbone. Examine texture. Examine fish for the presence of large amounts of feed.

7.5 Assess odour. Assess flavour, and texture upon chewing, as required.

7.6 Record any defect for that unit on the appropriate worksheet.

8. Classification of "Defectives"

A sample unit which contains defects as described in section 6 is classified as "defective".

9. Lot Acceptance

A lot will be considered unacceptable when:

  1. any single instance of critical foreign matter occurs; or
  2. the total number of sample units found defective for taint, decomposition or unwholesomeness, individually or in combination, exceeds the acceptance number for the sample size designated in the sampling plans; or
  3. the total number of sample units found defective for decomposition exceeds the acceptance number shown in parentheses for the sample size designated in the sampling plans.

Standard 3 - Canned Shrimp or Prawn

PDF (35 kb)

1. Introduction

This standard for canned shrimpFootnote 8 derives its authority from the Fish Inspection Regulations. It defines minimum acceptability of canned shrimp for taint, decomposition, unwholesomeness and other requirements, other than weight, as defined in the Fish Inspection Act and Regulations and describes methods for determining that acceptability.

2. Scope

This standard applies to canned shrimp in hermetically sealed containers and prepared from species of any of the following families:

  • Penaeidae, Pandalidae, Crangonidae, Palaemonidae.

Canned shrimp shall be prepared from sound, wholesome raw material, processed using good manufacturing practices.

Documents used to determine good manufacturing practice and compliance include:

  1. International Code of Practice for Low Acid Canned Food CAC/RCP 23-1979.
  2. Metal Can Defects Identification and Classification Manual, Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
  3. Codex Alimentarius Sampling Plans for Prepackaged Foods (AQL 6.5) (CAC/RM 42-1969).
  4. Code of Practice - General Principles of Food Hygiene for Use by the Food Industry in Canada, Health Canada.
  5. Recommended International Code of Practice for Shrimps or Prawns, CAC/RCP 17-1978.

3. Nomenclature

  1. The name of the product shall be "Shrimp", "Shrimps" or "Prawns".
  2. If desired, "X Shrimp", "X Shrimps" or "X Prawns" may be used where the "X" is the name of a country or a geographic area from which the shrimps originate.
  3. Size designations are not required on the label, but if used, must be in accordance with the table in section 4.2. A count range may be specified on the label; no tolerances are applicable to count ranges when these are used in the place of size designations.
  4. Any descriptive terms used, including those denoting style of presentation, must accurately reflect the contents of the can.

4. Forms of Product Presentation

Canned shrimp shall be prepared from fresh, frozen or cooked whole and/or broken shrimp, and are usually packed in water. Salt, lemon juice, citric acid, seasonings, sugars and other ingredients, such as permitted additives, may be present.

4.1 Style of Presentation

Canned shrimp may be presented in the following ways:

a) Peeled (Conventional)

Shrimp which have been peeled and subsequently canned without the intentional removal of the dorsal tract.

b) Peeled and Deveined (Cleaned)

Shrimp which have been peeled and in addition have had the back cut open and the dorsal tract removed at least up to the last segment of the tail.

c) Cocktail (Picnic)

Any mixture of shrimp sizes which does not contain more than 15% of the drained weight of the contents (m/m) broken shrimp.

d) Salad

Any size or mixture of sizes, which does not contain more than 50% m/m broken shrimp in a can.

e) Broken

Pieces of shrimp consisting of less than four segments. Also, this may denote product containing more than the permitted percentage of broken shrimp.

4.2 Size Designation

Canned shrimp may be presented in the following size designations:

Shrimp sizes and permitted numbers for declared weight
Size Designations Maximum Count per 100 g Declared Weight
Extra large or jumbo 16.6
Large 24.9
Medium 45.7
Small 74.8
Tiny or Minuscule no limit

4.3 Other Presentation

Any other presentation of the product may be permitted provided that it:

  1. is sufficiently distinctive from the forms of presentation set out above; and
  2. meets all other Canadian regulatory requirements; and
  3. is adequately described on the label in accordance with all regulatory labelling requirements.

5. Sampling

The sampling and tolerance plans at the front of this manual shall be used to determine the acceptability of the lot. The sampling plans dictate the minimum sample size to be taken. If necessary, in the opinion of the inspector, more than the minimum sample size specified may be taken.

5.1 Sampling of lots for the sensory examination of the product shall be in accordance with the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Sampling Plan for Prepackaged Foods (AQL 6.5) (CAC/RM 42-1969) except that a lower acceptance number for decomposition shall be used as indicated in the sampling tables.

The tables specify the minimum number of sample units to be used for the following types of inspections:

  1. Level I - Sensory examinations of all products subject to inspection other than lots which are subject to reinspection.
  2. Level II - Sensory examinations of all products which are under reinspection.

5.2 Size of Sample Unit

The sample unit shall consist of a can of shrimp and the entire contents thereof.

6. Description of Defects

6.1 Taint

A unit will be considered tainted when any of the following conditions are found:

a) Rancid

Odour characterized by the distinct or persistent odour of oxidized oil; or

Flavour characterized by that of oxidized oil which leaves a distinct bitter aftertaste.

b) Abnormal

Distinct and persistent uncharacteristic odours or flavours such as burnt or acrid, metallic, or associated with feed, and not defined as rancid or decomposed; or

Flavour or odour resulting from the improper addition or mixing of ingredients.

6.2 Decomposition

A unit will be considered decomposed when any of the following conditions are found:

a) Odour or flavour

Persistent, distinct and uncharacteristic odour or flavour including but not limited to the following:

  • fruity, vegetable, musty, yeasty, sour, faecal, ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, putrid.

b) Discolouration

More than 10% m/m shrimp with faded pigment, liver stain, or black discolouration not caused by the metal container.

c) Texture

Breakdown of muscle structure characterized by:

  1. muscle structure which feels dry as though no packing medium had been used; or
  2. muscle structure which is very soft, mushy or pasty; or
  3. muscle structure which is rubbery or tough, to the feel, or when chewing.

6.3 Unwholesome

a) Critical Foreign Material

A lot will be considered defective when any of the following conditions are found:

  • the presence of any material which has not been derived from shrimp (and packing media) and which poses a threat to human health (such as glass, etc.); or
  • distinct and persistent odour or flavour of any material which has not been derived from shrimp (and packing media) and which poses a threat to human health (such as solvents, fuel oil, etc.)

b) Foreign Material

A unit will be considered defective when the following condition is found:

  • the presence of any material which has not been derived from shrimp (and packing media) but does not pose a threat to human health (such as insect pieces, sand, etc.)

c) Other Defects

A unit will be considered defective when any of the following conditions are found:

  1. Struvite Crystals (magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals)
    Any struvite crystal greater than 5 mm in length.
  2. Sulphide Blackening (smut)
    Sulphide blackening affecting greater than 5% of the drained contents.
  3. Undesirable Parts
    Any combination of loose or attached shell, head pieces or antennae in excess of 2% of the drained weight.

6.4 Failure to Meet a Standard of Identity

a) Broken Shrimp

A unit will be considered defective for broken shrimp if it fails the following criteria when examined by the method outlined in section 7.

Table with maximum permitted broken shrimp for size designations
Size Designation Maximum Number of Broken Shrimp Permitted (% m/m)
Extra Large, Jumbo 5
Large 5
Medium 5
Small 10
Tiny 15
No size designation 10
Table with maximum permitted broken shrimp for style designations
Style Designation Maximum Number of Broken Shrimp Permitted (% m/m)
Picnic or Cocktail 15
Salad 50
Broken no maximum

b) Deveining (Cleaning)

In the case of deveined shrimp, a unit will be considered defective for deveining if it is found to contain more than 5% m/m of improperly cleaned or deveined shrimp, when examined using the method outlined in section 7.

c) Size Designation

When a size designation is declared, a unit will be considered defective for size designation if it exceeds the maximum count per 100 g declared weight specified in section 4.2, when examined by the method outlined in section 7.

d) Count Range

When a count range is declared, a unit will be considered defective for count range if the count is greater than or less than the range specified on the label, when examined by the method outlined in section 7.

7. Examination Methods

7.1 Complete external can examination.

7.2 Open can and complete drained weight determination, according to defined procedures. A drained weight determination should only be conducted on samples which have equilibrated at room temperature for several hours. This will ensure that any gelled brine has liquified.

7.3 Remove product from can. Examine can interior for presence of foreign material, sulphide blackening, struvite, and corrosion or other can interior defects.

7.4 Examine liquid and surface of shrimp for presence of struvite crystals, sulphide blackening, foreign material, or undesirable parts. Assess colour.

7.5 Examine each unit for style of presentation as required:

When a size designation is declared, count the number of whole shrimp present. Calculate the whole shrimp present per 100 g using the following formula:

  • (number of whole shrimp in unit÷actual drained weight of unit) × 100 = # shrimp÷100 g

During this procedure, separate broken pieces and determine the percentage of broken shrimp present. The percentage of broken shrimp may be calculated using the following formula:

  • (weight of broken shrimp÷actual drained weight of unit) × 100 = % broken shrimp

Where shrimp is further described on the label (e.g., "deveined"), product is examined for compliance. All percentages are calculated based on the actual drained weight of the unit.

7.6 Assess odour. Assess flavour and texture as required.

7.7 Record any defect for that unit on the appropriate worksheet.

8. Classification of "Defectives"

A sample unit which contains defects as described in section 6 is classified as a "defective".

9. Lot Acceptance

A lot will be considered unacceptable when:

  1. any single instance of critical foreign matter occurs; or
  2. the total number of sample units found defective for taint, decomposition or unwholesomeness, individually or in combination, exceeds the acceptance number for the sample size designated in the sampling plans; or
  3. the total number of sample units found defective for decomposition exceeds the acceptance number shown in parentheses for the sample size designated in the sampling plans; or
  4. the total number of sample units found defective for standards of identity (style of presentation) and size designation or count range (if a size designation or count range is declared), exceeds the acceptance number for the sample size designated in the sampling plans.

Standard 4 - Canned Crab

PDF (62 kb

1. Introduction

This standard for canned crab derives its authority from the Fish Inspection Regulations. It defines minimum acceptability of canned crab for taint, decomposition, unwholesomeness and other requirements, other than weight, as defined in the Fish Inspection Act and Regulations and describes methods for determining that acceptability.

2. Scope

This standard applies to canned and/or heat processed crab in hermetically sealed containers and prepared from species of the infra-order Brachyura of the order Decapoda and all species of the family Lithodidae.

This standard does not apply to specialty products where the crab meat constitutes only a part of the edible contents.

Crab must be alive before processing and be prepared from sound, wholesome raw material processed using current good manufacturing practices.

Documents used to determine good manufacturing practice and compliance include:

  1. International Code of Practice for Low Acid Canned Food CAC/RCP 23-1979.
  2. Metal Can Defects Identification and Classification Manual, Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
  3. Codex Alimentarius Sampling Plans for Prepackaged Foods (AQL 6.5) (CAC/RM 42-1969.
  4. Code of Practice - General Principles of Food Hygiene for Use by the Food Industry in Canada, Health Canada.

3. Nomenclature

  1. The name of the product shall be "Crab Meat" and may be preceded or followed by the common or usual name applied to the species and meeting Canadian Regulations.
  2. Where a can of crab meat is labelled according to the percentage of leg meat in twin or single face packs, the composition of the leg meat shall be expressed as a percentage of the drained weight.
  3. Any presentation other than twin-face leg pack or single-face leg pack must have the style of pack accurately described on the label (e.g., Chunk Crab Meat, Salad Crab Meat).
  4. Any additional descriptive terms used must accurately reflect the contents of the can.

4. Forms of Product Presentation

4.1 Canned crab meat may be presented as:

a) Twin Face Leg Pack

In which the top and bottom of the contents consist of well-filled and neatly arranged leg meat and the inner portion consists of salad or flaked crab meat.

b) Single Face Leg Pack

In which one end of the contents consists of well-filled and neatly arranged leg meat and the remaining portion of salad or flaked crabmeat.

c) Chunk Pack

In which at least 50% of the contents consists of solid pieces or chunks of crab meat, the remainder being flakes, and is accurately described on the label.

d) Salad Pack

In which the contents consists of flakes, shoulder meat and claw or broken leg meat portions, and is accurately described on the label.

4.2 Other presentations

Any other presentation of the product may be permitted provided that it:

  1. is sufficiently distinctive from the forms of presentation set out above; and
  2. meets all other Canadian regulatory requirements; and
  3. is adequately described on the label and in accordance with all regulatory labelling requirements.

5. Sampling

The sampling and tolerance plans at the front of this manual shall be used to determine the acceptability of the lot. The sampling plans dictate the minimum sample size to be taken. If necessary, in the opinion of the inspector, more than the minimum sample size specified may be taken.

5.1 Sampling of lots for the sensory examination of the product shall be in accordance with the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Sampling Plan for Prepackaged Foods (AQL 6.5) (CAC/RM 42-1969) except that a lower acceptance number for decomposition shall be used as indicated in the sampling tables.

The tables specify the minimum number of sample units to be used for the following types of inspections:

  1. Level I - Sensory examinations of all products subject to inspection other than lots which are subject to reinspection.
  2. Level II - Sensory examinations of all products which are under reinspection.

5.2 Size of Sample Unit

The sample unit shall consist of a can of crab and the entire contents thereof.

6. Description of Defects

6.1 Taint

A unit will be considered tainted when any of the following conditions are found:

a) Rancid

Odour characterized by the distinct or persistent odour of oxidized oil; or

Flavour characterized by that of oxidized oil which leaves a distinct bitter aftertaste.

b) Abnormal

Distinct and persistent uncharacteristic odours or flavours such as iodine, burnt, acrid or metallic, and not defined as rancid or decomposed; or

Flavour or odour resulting from the improper addition or mixing of ingredients (e.g., salt or citric acid).

6.2 Decomposition

A unit will be considered decomposed when any of the following conditions are found:

a) Odour or flavour

Persistent, distinct and uncharacteristic odour or flavour including but not limited to the following:

  • sickly-sweet, fruity, vegetable, musty, sour, faecal, ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, putrid.

b) Discolouration

Distinct discolouration characterized by a blue, black, orange or yellow colour to the meat.

c) Texture

Breakdown of muscle structure characterized by:

  1. muscle structure which is very soft or mushy; and/or
  2. muscle fibres, particularly in the legs, which are short and very shredded; and/or
  3. muscle structure which is very tough or dry.

6.3 Unwholesome

a) Critical Foreign Material

A lot will be considered defective when any of the following conditions are found:

  • the presence of any material which has not been derived from crab (and packing media) and which poses a threat to human health (such as glass, etc.); or
  • distinct and persistent odour or flavour of any material which has not been derived from crab (and packing media) and which poses a threat to human health (such as solvents, fuel oil, etc.)

b) Foreign Material

A unit will be considered defective when the following condition is found:

  • the presence of any material which has not been derived from crab (and packing media) but does not pose a threat to human health (such as insect pieces, sand, etc.)

c) Other Defects

A unit will be considered defective when any of the following conditions are found:

  1. Struvite Crystals (magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals)
    Any struvite crystal greater than 5 mm in length.
  2. Sulphide Blackening (smut)
    Staining of the meat in excess of 5% of the drained contents.
  3. Undesirable Parts
    Shell, gills, viscera or cartilage in excess of 2% of the drained contents.

6.4 Style of Presentation

A unit will be considered defective for style of presentation if any of the following conditions occur:

  1. it fails to meet the declared percentage of leg meat when examined according to the method outlined in section 7; or
  2. in the case of chunk pack, greater than 50% of the contents is flaked, when examined by the method outlined in section 7.

7. Examination Methods

7.1 Complete external can examination.

7.2 Open can and complete drained weight determination, according to defined procedures. A drained weight determination should only be conducted on samples which have equilibrated at room temperature for several hours. This will ensure that any gelled brine has liquified. Where parchment paper has been wrapped around the product, care should be taken to ensure product is free to drain properly.

7.3 Carefully remove product, and parchment paper where necessary, from can. Examine can interior for presence of foreign material, sulphide blackening, struvite, and corrosion or other can interior defects.

7.4 Examine liquid and surface of crab for presence of struvite crystals, sulphide blackening, foreign material or undesirable parts.

7.5 Examine each unit for style of presentation as required:

Where percentage of leg meat is declared, collect leg meat separately and determine compliance using the following formula:

  • (Weight of leg meat in unit÷Declared drained weight of unit) × 100 = % leg meat

For packs labelled as "chunk", collect chunks (pieces not less than 10 mm in each direction) separately and determine compliance as follows:

  • (Weight of chunks in unit÷Declared drained weight of unit) × 100 = % chunk

7.6 Assess odour. Assess flavour and texture as required.

7.7 Record any defect for that unit on the appropriate worksheet.

8. Classification of "Defectives"

A sample unit which contains defects as described in section 6 is classified as a "defective".

9. Lot Acceptance

A lot will be considered unacceptable when:

  1. any single instance of critical foreign material occurs; or
  2. the total number of sample units found defective for taint, decomposition or unwholesomeness, individually or in combination, exceeds the acceptance number for the sample size designated in the sampling plans; or
  3. the total number of sample units found defective for decomposition exceeds the acceptance number shown in parentheses for the sample size designated in the sampling plans; or
  4. the total number of sample units found defective for standards of identity (style of presentation), exceeds the acceptance number for the sample size designated in the sampling plans.

Standard 5 - Canned Clam

PDF (49 kb)

1. Introduction

This standard for canned clams derives its authority from the Fish Inspection Regulations. It defines minimum acceptability of canned clams for taint, decomposition, unwholesomeness and other requirements, other than weight, as defined in the Fish Inspection Act and Regulations and describes methods for determining that acceptability.

2. Scope

This standard applies to canned and/or heat processed clams, clam meats, minced clam meats or chopped clam meats in hermetically sealed containers, prepared from any of the following species:

  • Mya arenaria
  • Spisula solidissima
  • Ensis directus
  • Mercenaria mercenaria or Venus mercenaria
  • Arctica islandica
  • Saxidomus gigantea
  • Other species commonly associated with the clam family.

Canned clams, clam meats, minced clam meats or chopped clam meats should be prepared from sound, wholesome raw material processed using current good manufacturing practices.

Documents used to determine good manufacturing practice and compliance include:

  1. International Code of Practice for Low Acid Canned Food CAC/RCP 23-1979.
  2. Metal Can Defects Identification and Classification Manual, Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
  3. Codex Alimentarius Sampling Plans for Prepackaged Foods (AQL 6.5) (CAC/RM 42-1969.
  4. Code of Practice - General Principles of Food Hygiene for Use by the Food Industry in Canada, Health Canada.

3. Nomenclature

  1. The name of the product shall be "Clams" or "Clam Meats".
  2. The following forms of presentation must be accurately described on the label: minced or chopped, as appropriate.
  3. Any additional descriptive terms used must accurately reflect the contents of the can.

4. Forms of Product Presentation

The product may be prepared from clams, steamed or not, smoked or unsmoked, whole (unshelled) clams or shucked meats, which have been culled, washed, trimmed if necessary and packed in a container with brine, own juice and/or other suitable food grade packing media.

4.1 Other presentations

Any other presentation of the product may be permitted provided that it:

  1. is sufficiently distinctive from the forms of presentation set out above; and
  2. meets all other Canadian regulatory requirements; and
  3. is adequately described on the label and in accordance with all regulatory labelling requirements.

5. Sampling

The sampling and tolerance plans at the beginning of this manual shall be used to determine the acceptability of the lot. The sampling plans dictate the minimum sample size to be taken. If necessary, in the opinion of the inspector, more than the minimum sample size specified may be taken.

5.1 Sampling of lots for the sensory examination of the product shall be in accordance with the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Sampling Plan for Prepackaged Foods (AQL 6.5) (CAC/RM 42-1969) except that a lower acceptance number for decomposition shall be used as indicated in the sampling tables.

The sampling tables specify the minimum number of sample units to be used for the following types of inspections:

  1. Level I - Sensory examinations of all products subject to inspection other than lots which are subject to reinspection.
  2. Level II - Sensory examination of all products which are under reinspection.

5.2 Size of Sample Unit

The sample unit shall consist of a can of clams and the entire contents thereof.

6. Description of Defects

6.1 Taint

A unit will be considered tainted when any of the following conditions are found:

a) Rancid

Odour characterized by the distinct or persistent odour of oxidized oil; or

Flavour characterized by that of oxidized oil which leaves a distinct bitter aftertaste.

b) Abnormal

Distinct and persistent odour or flavour uncharacteristic of the species or method of preparation, such as ash-like or charcoal-like, feedy, burnt or acrid, metallic, and not defined as rancid or decomposed; or

Flavour or odour resulting from the improper addition or mixing of ingredients.

6.2 Decomposition

A unit will be considered decomposed when any of the following conditions are found:

a) Odour or flavour

Persistent, distinct and uncharacteristic odour or flavour including but not limited to the following:

  • sour, musty, vegetable, fruity, ammonia, yeasty, hydrogen sulphide, faecal, putrid.

b) Texture

Breakdown of tissue characterized by structure which is very soft or mushy.

c) Discolouration

Distinct discolouration of the clam meats, characterized by green, gray or black colours. (Note: Excluded from this defect is a normal greenish tinge to the belly wall, due to the presence of algae in the stomach).

6.3 Unwholesome

a) Critical Foreign Material

A lot will be considered defective when any of the following conditions are found:

  • the presence of any material which has not been derived from clams (and packing media) and which poses a threat to human health (such as glass, etc.); or
  • distinct and persistent odour or flavour of any material which has not been derived from clams (and packing media) and which poses a threat to human health (such as solvents, fuel oil, etc.)

b) Foreign Material

A unit will be considered defective when the following condition is found:

  • the presence of any material which has not been derived from clams (and packing media) but does not pose a threat to human health (such as insect pieces, sand, etc.)

c) Other Defects

A unit will be considered defective when any of the following conditions are found:

  1. Struvite Crystals (magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals)
    Any struvite crystal greater than 5 mm in length.
  2. Sulphide Blackening (smut)
    Staining of the meat in excess of 5% of the drained contents.
  3. Discolouration of Packing Medium
    The packing medium is blue or black.

7. Examination Methods

7.1 Complete external can examination.

7.2 Open can and complete drained weight determination, according to defined procedures.

7.3 Carefully remove product from can. Examine can interior for presence of foreign material, sulphide blackening, struvite crystals, and corrosion or other can interior defects.

7.4 Examine liquid and clams for presence of struvite crystals, sulphide blackening or foreign material. Assess colour of clams and liquid.

7.5 Assess odour. Assess flavour and texture as required.

7.6 Record any defect for that unit on the appropriate worksheet.

8. Classification of "Defectives"

A sample unit which contains defects as described in section 6 is classified as a "defective".

9. Lot Acceptance

A lot will be considered unacceptable when:

  1. any single instance of critical foreign material occurs; or
  2. the total number of sample units found defective for taint, decomposition or unwholesomeness, individually or in combination, exceeds the acceptance number for the sample size designated in the sampling plans; or
  3. the total number of sample units found defective for decomposition exceeds the acceptance number shown in parentheses for the sample size designated in the sampling plans.

Standard 6 - General Canned Shellfish

PDF (25 kb)

1. Introduction

This standard for canned shellfish derives its authority from the Fish Inspection Regulations. It defines minimum acceptability of canned shellfish for taint, decomposition, unwholesomeness and other requirements, other than weight, as defined in the Fish Inspection Act and Regulations and describes methods for determining that acceptability.

2. Scope

This standard applies to canned shellfish in hermetically sealed containers. It is intended to be used for the inspection of canned shellfish products for which specific Canadian product standards have not been elaborated.

Canned shellfish shall be prepared from sound, wholesome raw material processed using good manufacturing practices.

Documents used to determine good manufacturing practice and compliance include:

  1. International Code of Practice for Low Acid Canned Food CAC/RCP 23-1979.
  2. Metal Can Defects Identification and Classification Manual, Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
  3. Codex Alimentarius Sampling Plans for Prepackaged Foods (AQL 6.5) (CAC/RM 42-1969.
  4. Code of Practice - General Principles of Food Hygiene for Use by the Food Industry in Canada, Health Canada.

3. Nomenclature

The name of the product shall be that recognized in common usage in Canada, and in accordance with the Fish Inspection Regulations and any requirements of the applicable Codex Alimentarius Recommended International Standard.

Descriptive terms should be used where necessary to accurately describe the contents of the can.

4. Forms of Product Presentation

This product may be prepared from shellfish, cooked or not, smoked or unsmoked, whole (unshelled or with the half-shell removed) or shucked meats, which have been culled, washed, trimmed if necessary and packed in a container with brine, own juice and/or other suitable food grade packing media.

4.1 Other Presentations

Any other presentation of the product may be permitted provided that it:

  1. is sufficiently distinctive from the forms of presentation set out above;
  2. meets all other Canadian Regulatory requirements; and
  3. is adequately described on the label and in accordance with all regulatory labelling requirements.

5. Sampling

The sampling and tolerance plans in the front of this manual shall be used to determine the acceptability of the lot. The sampling plans dictate the minimum sample size to be taken. If necessary, in the opinion of the inspector, more than the minimum sample size specified may be taken.

5.1 Sampling of lots for the sensory examination of the product shall be in accordance with the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Sampling Plan for Prepackaged Foods (AQL 6.5) (CAC/RM 42-1969) except that a lower acceptance number for decomposition shall be used as indicated in the sampling tables.

The sampling tables specify the minimum number of sample units to be used for the following types of inspections:

  1. Level I - Sensory examination of all products subject to inspection other than lots which are subject to reinspection.
  2. Level II - Sensory examination of all products which are under reinspection.

5.2 Size of Sample Unit

The sample unit shall consist of a can of shellfish and the entire contents thereof.

6. Description of Defects

6.1 Taint

A unit will be considered tainted when any of the following conditions are found:

a) Rancid

The contents in the container show the following defects:

  • Odour characterized by the distinct or persistent odour of oxidized oil; or
  • Flavour characterized by that of oxidized oil which leaves a distinct bitter aftertaste.

b) Abnormal

Distinct and persistent uncharacteristic odours or flavours such as iodine, burnt or acrid, ash-like, metallic, or associated with feed and not defined as rancid or decomposed; or

Flavour or odour resulting from the improper addition and/or mixing of ingredients.

6.2 Decomposition

A unit will be considered decomposed when any of the following conditions are found:

a) Odours and flavours

Persistent, distinct and uncharacteristic odour or flavour including but not limited to the following:

  • fruity, vegetable, musty, yeasty, sour, faecal, ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, and putrid.

b) Discolouration

Discolouration associated with decomposition which is uncharacteristic of the species and type of pack. Depending on the species, abnormal colours may include blue, black, green, grey, or yellowish to orange colours.

c) Texture

Breakdown of muscle structure due to decomposition as characterized by:

  • very tough, rubbery, or dry conditions; or
  • very soft, mushy, or pasty conditions.

6.3 Unwholesome

a) Critical Foreign Material

A lot will be considered defective when any of the following conditions are found:

  • the presence of any material which has not been derived from shellfish (and packing media) and which poses a threat to human health (such as glass, etc.); or
  • distinct and persistent odour or flavour of any material which has not been derived from shellfish (and packing media) and which poses a threat to human health (such as solvents, fuel oil, etc.).

b) Foreign Material

A unit will be considered defective when the following condition is found:

  • the presence of any material which has not been derived from shellfish (and packing media) but does not pose a threat to human health (such as insect pieces, sand, etc.)

c) Other Defects

A unit will be considered defective when any of the following conditions are found:

  1. Struvite Crystals (magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals)
    Any struvite crystal greater than 5 mm in length.
  2. Sulphide Blackening (smut)
    Staining of the meat in excess of 5% of the drained contents.

7. Examination Methods

7.1 Complete external can examination. Open can and perform net and/or drained weight determination, according to defined policies and procedures for these examinations.

7.2 Carefully remove product from can to examination tray. Examine can interior for presence of foreign material, smut, struvite, and corrosion or other can interior defects.

7.3 Inspect liquid and shellfish for presence of foreign material, smut, or struvite.

7.4 Observe colour of flesh and presence of discolouration in shellfish.

7.5 Assess odour. Assess flavour and texture as required.

7.6 Record any defect for that unit on the appropriate worksheet.

8. Classification of "Defectives"

A sample unit which contains defects as described in section 6 is classified as a "defective".

9. Lot Acceptance

A lot will be considered unacceptable when:

  1. any single instance of critical foreign material occurs; or
  2. the total number of sample units found defective for taint, decomposition or unwholesomeness, individually or in combination, exceeds the acceptance number for the sample size designated in the sampling plans; or
  3. the total number of sample units found defective for decomposition exceeds the acceptance number shown in parentheses for the sample size designated in the sampling plans.

Standard 7 - General Canned Finfish

PDF (33 kb)

1. Introduction

This general standard for canned finfish derives its authority from the Fish Inspection Regulations. It defines minimum acceptability for taint, decomposition, unwholesomeness and other requirements, other than weight, as defined in the Fish Inspection Act and Regulations and describes methods for determining that acceptability.

2. Scope

This standard applies to canned finfish in hermetically sealed containers. It is intended to be used for the inspection of canned finfish species for which specific Canadian product standards have not been elaborated.

Canned finfish shall be prepared from sound, wholesome raw material processed using good manufacturing practices.

Documents used to determine good manufacturing practice and compliance include:

  1. International Code of Practice for Low Acid Canned Food CAC/RCP 23-1979.
  2. Metal Can Defects Identification and Classification Manual, Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
  3. Codex Alimentarius Sampling Plans for Prepackaged Foods (AQL 6.5) (CAC/RM 42-1969.
  4. Code of Practice - General Principles of Food Hygiene for Use by the Food Industry in Canada, Health Canada.

3. Nomenclature

The name of the product shall be that recognized in common usage in Canada, and in accordance with the Fish Inspection Regulations and any requirements of the applicable Codex Alimentarius Recommended International Standard.

Descriptive terms shall be used where necessary to accurately describe the contents of the can.

4. Forms of Product Presentation

Canned finfish may be prepared from fish which is fresh, frozen, cooked or smoked.

4.1 Packing Media

The product may be presented in one of the following packing media as appropriate to the species and style of pack, with or without permitted optional ingredients:

a) Own juice

Fish packaged without added liquid;

b) Potable water

In conformity with the requirements of the Fish Inspection Regulations for water used in registered establishments;

c) Spring water or mineral water

Potable water from an underground source but not obtained from a public community water supply and which meets the requirements of Section B12.001 of the Food and Drug Regulations;

d) Vegetable broth

The liquid arising from the cooking of sound wholesome vegetables in water and which may be prepared from one or more types of vegetables. Vegetable broth may also be prepared from hydrolysed vegetable protein but a broth so prepared requires its components to be declared in a list of ingredients;

e) Olive oils

In conformity with:

  • the relevant sections of Division 9 of the Canadian Food and Drug Regulations; or
  • the Recommended International Standard for Olive Oil, Virgin and Refined, and for Refined Olive-Residue Oil (Reference CAC/RS 33-1970);

f) Other vegetable oils

Clear, refined, deodorized, edible vegetable oil in conformity with:

  • the relevant sections of Division 9 of the Canadian Food and Drug Regulations; or
  • the relevant recommended International standards adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission;

g) Sauces

A thickened liquid made from acceptable food ingredients giving a characterizing flavour and odour to the product;

h) Marinades

A thin liquid made from acceptable food ingredients, usually containing a sweetener, an acid solution or an alcoholic solution, with or without spices, herbs, seasonings, vegetables, and other condiments;

i) Fish oils

Clear, refined, edible fish (marine) oil. The species from which the oil is derived should be noted on the product label.

4.2 Optional Ingredients

  1. salt;
  2. natural starches; and
  3. other optional ingredients provided that all ingredients are suitable for human consumption, are free from abnormal taste, flavour, or odour, and are permitted in Division 21 of the Food and Drug Regulations. Examples of such ingredients are spices, herbs, vegetable seasonings, vinegar and wine, and vegetables and fruits for decorative and flavouring purposes only.

4.3 Other Presentations

Any other presentation of the product may be permitted provided that it:

  1. is sufficiently distinctive from the forms of presentation set out above;
  2. meets all other Canadian Regulatory requirements; and
  3. is adequately described on the label and in accordance with all regulatory labelling requirements.

5. Sampling

The sampling and tolerance plans at the front of this manual shall be used to determine the acceptability of the lot. The sampling plans dictate the minimum sample size to be taken. If necessary, in the opinion of the inspector, more than the minimum sample size specified may be taken.

5.1 Sampling of lots for the sensory examination of the product shall be in accordance with the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Sampling Plan for Prepackaged Foods (AQL 6.5) (CAC/RM 42-1969) except that a lower acceptance number for decomposition shall be used as indicated in the sampling tables.

The sampling tables specify the minimum number of sample units to be used for the following types of inspections:

  1. Level I - Sensory examination of all products subject to inspection other than lots which are subject to reinspection.
  2. Level II - Sensory examination of all products which are under reinspection.

5.2 Size of Sample Unit

The sample unit shall consist of a can of fish and the entire contents thereof.

6. Description of Defects

6.1 Taint

A unit will be considered tainted when any of the following conditions are found:

a) Rancid

The contents in the container show the following defects:

  • Odour characterized by the distinct or persistent odour of oxidized oil; or
  • Flavour characterized by that of oxidized oil which leaves a distinct bitter aftertaste.

b) Abnormal

Distinct and persistent uncharacteristic odours or flavours such as burnt or acrid, metallic, or associated with feed and not defined as rancid or decomposed; or

Flavour or odour resulting from the improper addition and/or mixing of ingredients.

6.2 Decomposition

A unit will be considered decomposed when any of the following conditions are found:

a) Odours and flavours

Persistent, distinct and uncharacteristic odour or flavour including but not limited to the following:

  • fruity, vegetable, stale, musty, yeasty, sour, faecal, ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, bilge-like and putrid.

b) Discolouration

Discolouration associated with decomposition which is uncharacteristic of the species and type of pack, such as flushed pink, dark brown, green or yellowish to orange colours.

c) Texture

Breakdown of muscle structure due to decomposition characterized by:

  • muscle structure which is very tough, dry, mealy or chalky; or
  • muscle structure which is very soft, mushy, or pasty.

6.3 Unwholesome

a) Critical Foreign Material

A lot will be considered defective when any of the following conditions are found:

  • the presence of any material which has not been derived from fish (and packing media) and which poses a threat to human health (such as glass, etc.); or
  • distinct and persistent odour or flavour of any material which has not been derived from fish (and packing media) and which poses a threat to human health (such as solvents, fuel oil, etc.)

b) Foreign Material

A unit will be considered defective when the following condition is found:

  • the presence of any material which has not been derived from fish (and packing media) but does not pose a threat to human health (such as insect pieces, sand, etc.)

c) Other Defects

A unit will be considered defective when any of the following conditions are found:

  1. Struvite Crystals (magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals)
    Any struvite crystal greater than 5 mm in length.
  2. Sulphide Blackening (smut)
    Staining affecting greater than 5% of the drained contents.
  3. Undesirable Parts
    Any combination of head parts, heads, tails, scales and viscera exceeding 2% of the drained weight.

7. Examination Methods

7.1 Complete external can examination. Open can and complete net weight determination, according to defined policies and procedures for these examinations.

7.2 Examine appearance of product in can. Carefully remove fish from can to examination tray. Inspect can contents for presence of foreign material or other undesirable parts, carefully separating fish as necessary.

7.3 Examine can interior for presence of foreign material, smut, struvite, and corrosion or other can interior defects.

7.4 Observe colour of flesh as an indicator of decomposition.

7.5 Assess odour, flavour and texture as required.

7.6 Record any defect for that unit on the appropriate worksheet.

8. Classification of "Defectives"

A sample unit which contains defects as described in section 6 is classified as a "defective".

9. Lot Acceptance

A lot will be considered unacceptable when:

  1. any single instance of critical foreign material occurs; or
  2. the total number of sample units found defective for taint, decomposition or unwholesomeness, individually or in combination, exceeds the acceptance number for the sample size designated in the sampling plans; or
  3. the total number of sample units found defective for decomposition exceeds the acceptance number shown in parentheses for the sample size designated in the sampling plans.

Standard 8 - Canned Salmon

PDF (36 kb)

1. Introduction

This standard for canned salmon derives its authority from the Fish Inspection Regulations and the Food and Drug Regulations. It defines minimum acceptability for taint, decomposition, unwholesomeness and other requirements, other than weight, as defined in the Fish Inspection Act and Regulations and describes methods for determining that acceptability.

2. Scope

This standard applies to canned salmon in hermetically sealed containers. It is intended to be used for the inspection of canned salmon prepared from any of the following species:

  1. Oncorhynchus nerka (sockeye salmon, red sockeye salmon, red salmon)
  2. Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (spring salmon, king salmon, chinook salmon)
  3. Oncorhynchus kisutch (coho salmon, medium red coho salmon)
  4. Oncorhynchus gorbuscha (pink salmon)
  5. Oncorhynchus keta (chum salmon, keta salmon)
  6. Oncorhynchus mykiss (steelhead salmon, deep sea trout)
  7. Salmo salar (salmon, Atlantic salmon)

Canned salmon shall be prepared from sound, wholesome raw material processed using good manufacturing practices.

Documents used to determine good manufacturing practice and compliance include:

  1. Recommended International Code of Hygienic Practice for Low Acid and Acidified Low Acid Canned Food, CAC/RCP 23-1979.
  2. Metal Can Defects Identification and Classification Manual, Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
  3. Codex Alimentarius Sampling Plans for Prepackaged Foods (AQL 6.5) (CAC/RM 42-1969.
  4. Code of Practice - General Principles of Food Hygiene for use by the Food Industry in Canada, Health Canada.
  5. Recommended International Code of Practice for Canned Fish, CAC/RCP 10-1976.
  6. Codex Alimentarius Draft Revised Standard For Canned Salmon, Codex Standard 3-1981.

3. Nomenclature

The name of the product shall be that recognized in common usage in Canada, and in accordance with the Fish Inspection Regulations and any requirements of the applicable Codex Alimentarius Recommended International Standard.

Descriptive terms shall be used where necessary to accurately describe the contents of the can.

4. Forms of Product Presentation

Canned salmon may be prepared from fish which is fresh, frozen, cooked or smoked.

4.1 Styles of Pack

a) Regular-pack

Consists of sections of flesh that are cut transversely from the fish and are equal in length to the height of the can and packed so that the cut surfaces are parallel with the ends of the can.

b) Chunk

A mixture of pieces of fish most of which have dimensions of not less than 1.2 cm in each direction and in which the original muscle structure is retained.

c) Flake, flaked or flakes

A mixture of particles of fish in which the muscle structure of the flesh is retained.

d) Minced, grated or shredded

A mixture of particles of fish that have been reduced to a uniform size and in which particles are discrete and do not comprise a paste.

4.2 Spring Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) Colour Designations

In addition to the appropriate common name, canned salmon of the species Oncorhynchus tshawytscha may be designated as "red", "pink" or "white" to indicate the colour of the flesh in accordance with standards approved by the Minister.

4.3 Packing Media

The product may be presented in one of the following packing media as appropriate to the species and style of pack, with or without permitted optional ingredients:

a) Own juice

Fish packaged without added liquid.

b) Potable water

In conformity with the requirements of the Fish Inspection Regulations for water used in registered establishments.

c) Spring water or mineral water

Potable water from an underground source but not obtained from a public community water supply and which meets the requirements of Section B.12.001 of the Food and Drug Regulations.

d) Vegetable broth

The liquid arising from the cooking of sound wholesome vegetables in water and which may be prepared from one or more types of vegetables.

e) Olive oils

In conformity with:

  • the relevant sections of Division 9 of the Canadian Food and Drug Regulations; or
  • the Recommended International Standard for Olive Oil, Virgin and Refined, and for Refined Olive-Residue Oil (Reference CAC/RS 33-1970).

f) Other vegetable oils

Clear, refined, deodorized, edible vegetable oil in conformity with:

  • the relevant sections of Division 9 of the Canadian Food and Drug Regulations; or
  • the relevant recommended International standards adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

g) Sauces

A thickened liquid made from acceptable food grade ingredients giving a characterizing flavour and odour to the product.

h) Marinades

A thin liquid made from acceptable food grade ingredients, usually containing a sweetener, an acid solution or an alcoholic solution, with or without spices, herbs, seasonings, vegetables and other condiments.

i) Fish oils

Clear, refined, edible fish (marine) oil. The species from which the oil is derived should be noted on the product label.

4.4 Optional Ingredients

  1. Salt.
  2. Other optional ingredients provided that all ingredients are food grade and meet the requirements of the Food and Drug Regulations.

4.5 Other Presentations

Any other presentation of the product may be permitted provided that it:

  1. is sufficiently distinctive from the forms of presentation set out above; and
  2. meets all other Canadian regulatory requirements; and
  3. is adequately described on the label and in accordance with all regulatory labelling requirements.

5. Sampling

The sampling and tolerance plans at the front of this manual shall be used to determine the acceptability of the lot. The sampling plans dictate the minimum sample size to be taken.

5.1 Sampling of lots for the sensory examination of the product shall be in accordance with the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Sampling Plan for Prepackaged Foods (AQL 6.5) (CAC/RM 42-1969) except that a lower acceptance number for decomposition shall be used as indicated in the sampling tables.

The sampling tables specify the minimum number of sample units to be used for the following types of inspections:

  1. Level I - Sensory examinations of all products subject to inspection other than lots which are subject to reinspection.
  2. Level II - Sensory examination of all products which are under reinspection.

5.2 Size of Sample Unit

The sample unit shall consist of a can or pouch of fish and the entire contents thereof.

6. Description of Defects

6.1. Taint

A unit will be considered tainted when any of the following conditions are found:

a) Rancid

Odour characterized by the distinct and persistent and objectionable odour of oxidized oil; or

  • Flavour characterized by that of oxidized oil which leaves a distinct bitter and objectionable aftertaste.
  • Discolouration indicative of rancidity.

b) Abnormal

Distinct and persistent and objectionable uncharacteristic odours or flavours such as metallic and not defined as rancid or decomposed; or

  • Flavour or odour resulting from the improper addition and/or mixing of ingredients.

c) Excessive levels of sexual maturity.

Distinct and persistent and objectionable odours or flavours indicative of advanced sexual maturity (late-run fish).

6.2 Decomposition

A unit will be considered decomposed when any of the following conditions are found:

a) Odours and flavours

Persistent, distinct, uncharacteristic and objectionable odour or flavour such as:

  • fruity, vegetable, stale, musty, yeasty, sour, faecal, ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, bilge-like, putrid.

b) Discolouration

Discolouration indicative of decomposition.

c) Texture

Breakdown of muscle structure due to decomposition characterized by:

  1. excessively mushy flesh uncharacteristic of the species in the presentation; or
  2. excessively tough flesh uncharacteristic of the species in the presentation.

6.3 Unwholesome

a) Critical Foreign Material

A lot will be considered defective when the following conditions are found:

  • the presence of any material which has not been derived from fish (or packing media) and which poses a threat to human health (such as glass, etc.); or
  • distinct and persistent odour or flavour of any material which has not been derived from fish (or packing media) and which poses a threat to human health (such as solvents, fuel oil, etc.).

b) Foreign Material

A unit will be considered defective when the following condition is found:

  • the presence of any material which has not been derived from fish (or packing media) but does not pose a threat to human health (such as insect pieces, sand, etc.)

c) Other Defects

A unit will be considered defective when any of the following conditions are found:

  1. Struvite Crystals (magnesium ammonium phosphate crystals)
    Any struvite crystal greater than 5 mm in length.
  2. Sulphide Blackening (smut)
    Staining affecting greater than 5% of the net contents.
  3. Undesirable Parts
    Any combination of head parts, heads, tails and viscera exceeding 2% of the net weight of the intended pack.

7. Examination Methods

7.1 Complete external can examination. Open container and complete net weight determination, according to the defined policies and procedures for these examinations.

7.2 Examine appearance of product in container. Carefully remove fish from container to examination tray. Compare product form with standard product form. Inspect container contents for presence of foreign material or other undesirable parts, carefully separating fish as necessary.

7.3 Examine container interior for presence of foreign material, smut, struvite, and corrosion or other can interior defects.

7.4 Evaluate the colour to determine if there is discoloration indicative of rancidity and decomposition. Assess the odour, flavour and texture as required.

7.5 Record any defect for that unit on the appropriate worksheet.

8. Classification of "Defectives"

A sample unit which contains defects as described in section 6 is classified as a "defective".

9. Lot Acceptance

A lot will be considered unacceptable when:

  1. any single instance of critical foreign matter occurs; or
  2. the total number of sample units found defective for taint, decomposition or unwholesomeness, individually or in combination, exceeds the acceptance number for the sample size designated in the sampling plans; or
  3. the total number of sample units found defective for decomposition exceeds the acceptance number shown in parentheses for the sample size designated in the sampling plans.
Date modified: