ARCHIVED - Memorandum (Clarification) - Use of carbon monoxide (CO) in packaging of meat products

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January 23, 2012

To: Area Meat Program Managers, Area Program Specialists, Supervisors, Inspectors-in-Charge(IIC)andVeterinarians-in-Charge (VIC) of federally registered meat and poultry processing establishments.

The use of carbon monoxide (CO) in Modified Atmospheric Packaging (MAP) is allowed presently under specific conditions in accordance with Health Canada and CFIA requirements and standards.

Health Canada has no objection to the use of up to 0.4% CO of suitable food grade quality when used in an outer barrier bag containing a packaged retail meat cut, but not when it is in direct contact with fresh meat.

The gas used must be from the Reference Listing of Accepted Construction Materials, Packaging Materials and Non-Food Chemical Products, available on the CFIA internal and external websites. The gas must be used in the manner in which it was found acceptable by CFIA, which presently is in the chemical composition delivered unaltered by the supplying gas company. There is presently no provision for the processing establishment to mix or alter the composition of the gas through on-site reformulation with other gases.

Any alternative, chemical composition and intended use must be submitted prior to use for review and evaluation by the CFIA, Food Safety Division, Chemical Evaluation, in collaboration with Health Canada, Bureau of Chemical Safety.

Original signed by:

Martin Appelt
National Veterinary Program Manager
Meat Programs Division

Note: IIC and VIC to share this information with operators.

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