Annex F: Importation of Inedible Meat Products

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1. Introduction

The scope of this section covers the import of inedible meat products for use as animal food or pharmaceutical purposes. Animal health considerations are a factor in determining whether inedible shipments can enter Canada.

2. Legislation

2.1 Definitions

Meat Inspection Act (MIA) Defines:

"meat product" means

(a) a carcass,
(b) the blood of an animal or a product or by-product of a carcass, or
(c) a product containing anything described in paragraph (b).

Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 (MIR) Defines:

"edible":
means, in respect of a meat product, a meat product that is fit for use as human food;
"animal food":
means a meat product identified for use as food for an animal that is not a food animal;
"condemn":
means, in respect of a food animal or a meat product, to determine that the food animal or meat product is inedible; and,
"condemn":
means to treat a meat product to give it an appearance or characteristic such that cannot be confused with an edible meat product.

2.2 Regulations

MIR Section 26 (1) and (2)
MIR Section 54 and 55.

2.3 Exemptions

The following categories of inedible meat products are exempt from the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 as per section 3 (1):

(d) prepared pet food (e.g. fully packaged and labelled cans or bags of pet food).
(g) gelatin, bone meal, collagen casing, hydrolyzed animal protein, monoglyceride, diglyceride, fatty acid and the products resulting from the rendering of inedible meat products;
(j) animal skins not intended for use as human or animal food, hooves, horns, antlers, feathers, hair, wool and pharmaceuticals containing products of animal origin; and,
(k) a meat product that is destined for inedible rendering.

Meat products exempted from the Meat Inspection Act are subject to the Animal Health Act and Regulations.

3. Categories of Inedible Meat Products subject to the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990

  1. inedible products for manufacturing into animal foods (pet foods); and,
  2. inedible products for manufacturing into pharmaceuticals or medicinal products

3.1 Certification Requirements

Inedible meat products must originate from a country and an establishment eligible to export edible meat products to Canada. The type of inedible product to be imported is subject to Animal Health restrictions in order to prevent the introduction of foreign animal diseases into Canada. All shipments must be accompanied by an official certificate signed by a veterinarian of the foreign authority to certify that the inedible meat products:

  1. Were derived exclusively from animals which received ante-mortem and post-mortem inspection in a federally inspected establishment;
  2. Did not show evidence of pathological condition at the time of collection;
  3. Were hygienically prepared and handled in accordance with the eligible country’s laws and regulations;
  4. Are intended for pet food use only or pharmaceutical use only (as appropriate); and,
  5. Are considered suitable for inclusion in pet food or pharmaceuticals in accordance with the foreign countries regulations (or other specific statements as required for the product type).

Examples of inedible certificates are provided in Annex F-1 (available for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) personnel use only).

4. Denaturing of Inedible Meat Products

Unless otherwise exempted, all inedible meat products must be denatured to ensure that they are not accidentally or fraudulently imported or used for human food. Denaturing may be accomplished by use of an approved agent that will give an unwholesome appearance to an inedible product.

Denaturants that may be used include: charcoal and other CFIA approved agents. The list of approved denaturants is available on the CFIA website.
Search the data base for denaturing agents.

Exceptions to the requirement for denaturing may be made for meat products identified in registered establishments as animal food when the product is not likely to be mistaken for an edible meat product. There are very few meat products that can be considered for this exemption other than unclean gastro-intestinal tracts. Request for exemption from the denaturing requirement under this provision must be approved in advance by the National Specialist, Import Program:

National Manager, Food Imports
Ottawa, ON K1A 0Y9
Tel.: 613-773-6139
Fax: 613-773-5603

5. Reserved for future use

6. Import Inspection of Inedible Meat Shipments

Imports of inedible meat products are referred by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to the CFIA National Import Service Centre (NISC). Inedible meat shipments are not required to be presented for import inspection but may be referred for inspection by the import service center based on documentation supplied to the NISC. The shipment may be inspected to verify:

  1. that the certification is correct and corresponds to the shipment;
  2. that a denaturant was used, if required; and,
  3. that the labeling of the product is correct and corresponds with the intended use.

Non complying shipments must be refused entry to Canada.

Inedible meat may be shipped in containers (cartons/totes) or as large frozen blocks wrapped on pallets.

Inedible meat products for pet food or pharmaceutical use must not be shipped with edible meat products on the same transport container unless:

  1. all products are fully packaged in a manner to prevent leakage and protect from damage (e.g. sealed plastic liners/cardboard cartons);
  2. the containers are visibly clean with no detectable odours;
  3. all containers are fully labelled and tamper evident sealed;
  4. cartons of inedible product are further shrink wrapped and clearly labelled; and,
  5. inedible product is physically segregated from edible product.

7. Labelling of Imported Inedible Meat

Each container should have the following information on the label. Large frozen blocks of inedible meat loaded on pallets should have all the mandatory labelling information on a placard for each pallet.

  1. The identity of the inedible meat product in terms that is descriptive of the product. (e.g. denatured beef lungs, de-characterized pork livers);
  2. The words "Product of" followed by the name of the exporting country (e.g. "Product of USA");
  3. The words "for animal food," or "not for human consumption," etc.;
  4. The net quantity (weight);
  5. If for medicinal purposes the words "For medicinal purposes and/or for pharmaceutical use";
  6. The name and address of the registered establishment where the inedible meat product was produced or labelled, or for the person for whom the meat product was produced or labelled, preceded by the words "Prepared For";
  7. Storage instructions; "Keep Frozen, Keep Refrigerated" as applicable; and,
  8. In lieu of the meat inspection legend, the words "Plant Number" followed by the Establishment number of the foreign establishment in which the meat product was prepared.
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