Annex I-2: Unmarked, Un-stamped, Tamper Evident Sealed Meat Shipments

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

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

1. Scope

This Annex describes the import procedures and restricted end use requirements of imported meat products described as unmarked or un-stamped.

2. Introduction

Meat products which are labelled with all mandatory labelling requirements including the meat inspection legend stamped directly on the meat product or applied to a tag or label and tamper evident sealed are considered to be fully marked meat products. Meat products which are not fully marked may be imported into Canada as un-stamped or unmarked products, however, their use is restricted.

3. Legislation

Applicable legislation is from the Meat Inspection Regulations (MIR) sections:

114. (1) Subject to subsection (2) and sections 115 and 122, no meat product that is an edible dressed carcass, a part of the dressed carcass or an edible organ removed from the carcass shall be shipped from a registered establishment unless the meat product has been identified as edible;

  • (a) by stamping or branding the meat product with the meat inspection legend;
  • (b) in the case of a dressed poultry carcass or the dressed carcass of a domesticated rabbit, by labelling it with a breast tag marked in accordance with paragraph 94(1)(c); or
  • (c) in the case of a meat product that is contained in a sealed container, by means of a printed meat inspection legend that is visible on or within the container.
  • (2) Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of an edible dressed carcass, a part of the dressed carcass or an edible organ removed from the carcass that is packaged in a container or bulk container that is labelled in accordance with sections 94 and 109.

115. A meat product may be shipped from a registered establishment without having a label marked on it in accordance with this part where;

  • (a) it is shipped from the registered establishment in a bulk container or transport container that was sealed with an official seal under the authority of an Inspector to another establishment that is registered for an activity set out in paragraph 27(1)(b) or (e);
  • (b) it is accompanied by;
    • (i) a document from the Operator stating that the meat product is edible; and
    • (ii) in the case of a prepared meat product, an ingredient listing; and
  • (c) the official seal is broken only with the consent of an Inspector.

4. Un-Stamped Meat Products

4.1 Definition

Un-stamped meat products mean that meat products do not bear the meat inspection legend directly (stamped or applied by means of a sealed bag or a breast tag) but are packaged in fully labelled shipping containers. This implies that the shipping containers are bearing all the mandatory information, including the meat inspection legend.

4.2 Examples of Un-stamped Meat Products

  1. Bulk packed single ingredient meats (pork chops, boneless beef, chicken portions) for institutional use;
  2. Prepared bulk packaged cooked diced meats for pizza toppings in a restaurant; and,
  3. A 5 kg box of bulk seasoned frozen chicken wings sold at retail.

Note: Products meeting the above definition, sealed in tamper evident containers, are considered fully marked products.

4.3 Labelling Requirements for Un-Stamped Meat Products

The shipping container of un-stamped meat products must be labelled with all mandatory labelling information. Refer to Annex E of this chapter or Chapter 7 of the Meat Hygiene Manual of Procedures (MOP) .

Generally, un-stamped meat products are bulk packed in containers weighing 5 kg or more and are not for direct retail sale. Containers less than 5 kg are usually sold at the retail level.

All prepared un-stamped meat products require a CFIA approved label on the container. If intended for retail sale, prepared and single ingredient imported meat products must have the CFIA label approval.

4.4 Restrictions of Un-Stamped Meat Products

Un-stamped meat products are permitted to be imported into Canada from all countries provided:

  1. The product is shipped in a transport container sealed with;
    • for all countries other than the United States, an official foreign meat inspection seal; and,
    • for the United States, an official seal or a numbered company seal.

    The seal number must be recorded on the Official Meat Inspection Certificate (OMIC).

  2. The product description on the OMIC is preceded by the word "Unstamped," for example: "Unstamped chicken wings";
  3. The shipping container labelling meets Canadian requirements and the container is identified with the export stamp or shipping marks;
  4. Unstamped meat products must be maintained under seal, identified on the OMIC, when shipped to a registered establishment. In the case of a broken seal, a missing seal or a seal is not identified on the OMIC, the shipment will not be allowed entry to a registered establishment; and,
  5. United States skip lots bearing company seals may be released at the border for shipment to non registered facilities. United States skip lots bearing official meat inspection seals must have the seal removed under the authorization of an Inspector in accordance with section 130 (1) of the MIR.

5. Unmarked Meat Products

5.1 Definition

Unmarked meat products mean that meat products do not bear the meat inspection legend directly and that they are packaged in non-labelled or partially labelled shipping containers. This implies the shipping containers are bearing part of, or none of, the mandatory information including the meat inspection legend.

Unmarked meat products are only allowed to be imported from the United States.

5.2 Examples of Unmarked Meat Products

  1. Combos of manufacturing beef shipped for further processing to another registered establishment; and,
  2. Cartons of whole bacon shipped for slicing and packaging at another federal registered establishment.

5.3 Labelling of Unmarked Meat Products

Unmarked meat products differ from unstamped meat products in that one or more of the labelling requirements of the shipping container are not met.

If the outside containers are not labelled, or one or more of the required mandatory labelling information is missing from the label, the meat product should be considered as unmarked rather than un-stamped.

Pre-market registration of labels and recipes for certain meat and processed products no longer required

Section 115 provides an exemption to the use of a label when meat products are shipped under an official seal to another establishment.

The list of ingredients must accompany the shipment to the importer.

The shipping containers of imported unmarked products must be identified with the export stamp.

5.4 Restrictions on Unmarked Meat Products

The import of unmarked meat products is restricted to the United States and subject to the following conditions:

  1. The meat product is in a transport container sealed by an official meat inspection seal of the USDA. The seal number is recorded on the OMIC. Company seals are not acceptable for shipments of unmarked meat products;
  2. The product description on the OMIC is preceded by the word "Unmarked" (example "Unmarked boneless pork shoulder picnics"). The export stamp must be on the shipping container;
  3. The importer must provide the name of the registered meat processing establishment at time of entry into Canada;
  4. For Skip Lot inspection assignments unmarked meat products must be shipped directly from the Port of Entry to a registered establishment for further processing, packaging or labelling; and,
  5. For Full Inspection the unmarked meat products must be sent to a registered establishment for further processing as soon as possible following import re-inspection. The meat products cannot be stored at CFIA registered cold storage or non registered establishments.

6. Tamper Evident Sealed Meat Products

Containers labelled with all mandatory information which are tamper evident sealed by means of tape, a strap, or sticker (bearing evidence of inspection such as the meat inspection legend or company name on the tamper evident seal), are considered fully marked meat products. The means of tamper evident sealing must be such that a container cannot be opened without breaking the seal or destroying the tape or sticker.

6.1 Methods to Tamper Evident Seal Containers of Meat Products

Methods to provide tamper evidence to meat products are described in Chapter 3 of the MOP.

6.2 Importing Fully Marked Meat Products

Fully marked meat products from the United States can be imported without a seal on the truck or transport container unless required by the conditions of an Animal Health import permit. Fully marked meat products from all foreign countries other than the United States shall be imported with the official country seal on the truck or transport container.

7. Use of CFIA/ACIA 1452 (Declaration Covering Meat Products for Further Processing and/or Packaging)

Following satisfactory inspection at a registered inspection establishment, all unmarked meat shipments must be shipped to a registered processing establishment under control of the Inspector in charge. The form, CFIA/ACIA 1452 and official CFIA seals are required. Refer to Chapter 3 of the MOP for more information.

Shipments of un-stamped meat products are required to be shipped under an official or numbered company seal and with a duly completed CFIA/ACIA 1452 only when the products are being shipped to another registered establishment.

8. Bio-Security

To increase security, many food processors tamper evident seal their products. To prevent tampering of meat products any shipping containers opened for inspection should be resealed using CFIA labelled tape.

9. Meat Product Flow Diagram

A flow chart from Chapter 7, describing the differences between unmarked, unstamped and marked meat products, is attached in the present annex.

Unmarked, Unstamped, Tamper Evident Sealed Meat Shipments: Diagram

Click on image for larger view
Unmarked, Unstamped, Tamper Evident Sealed Meat Shipments: Diagram. Description follows.

Unmarked, Unstamped, Tamper Evident Sealed Meat Shipments: Diagram

This flow chart lists the steps to follow to indicate the difference between the product flow of an unstamped meat product and an unmarked meat product.

If the meat inspection legend is applied directly in the case of a stamped or branded non prepared food product, then the product is considered a marked meat product with unrestricted movement. Where the meat inspection legend is not applied directly (unstamped), but the product has either a breast tag and/or is retail labelled, the product is considered a marked meat product with unrestricted movement.

In other instances where the meat inspection legend is not applied directly (unstamped), the shipping container is examined.

If the shipping container bears all mandatory information, and the product is considered "tamper evident sealed", then the product is considered a marked meat product with unrestricted movement.

If it cannot be determined that the product is "tamper evident sealed", but it is a Canadian or American product, it will be considered an unstamped meat product, which may be shipped from a Registered Establishment to any destination. However unstamped meat product may only enter a Registered Establishment or Canada if shipped directly from another Registered Establishment (includes United States equivalents) in a truck sealed with an official seal or in a sealed container).

Where the product is not "tamper evident sealed" and originates from other countries (outside the US and Canada), it is considered an unmarked meat product, which may be shipped from a Registered Establishment only to another Registered Establishment or for export. (This includes all instances where the shipping container bears no or only partial mandatory information.)

Unmarked meat product may only enter a Registered Establishment or Canada if shipped directly from another Registered Establishment (includes all foreign equivalents) in a vehicle or container sealed with an official seal for processing or packing.

Date modified: