Labelling of Meat and Meat Products

The purpose of a label is to provide basic product information to consumers. Provicial meat plants are subject to both federal and provincial labelling requirements. The requirements can be found in the following legislation:

Federal

Provincial

The provincial Meat Regulation (O.Reg. 31/05) requires pre-packaged meat products and bulk containers to have:

  • The meat inspection legend.
  • A production date or code, unless meat product is a carcass or half carcass. All required information is easily legible and in characters not less than 1.6mm in height (unless the principal display area is 10cm2 or less in which case the information may be in characters not less than 0.8mm in height).
  • Storage instructions ("Keep Refrigerated/Garder au Froid" or "Keep Frozen/Garder Congélé") if the meat product is not shelf-stable or does not meet any conditions specified in the legislation.
  • Appropriate use statements ("ready to cook", "uncooked", "ready to cook/prêt à cuire" or "uncooked/non cuit" or an equivalent term) and cooking instructions when the product is not ready-to-eat but appears to be ready-to-eat.
  • The words "May contain kidneys" or "May contain kidneys/Peut contenir des reins" for young chickens or young ducks.
  • The words "clean, green" or "clean, green/lavé, vert" if the meat product is a part of an alimentary tract that has not been scalded or bleached but cleaned in another manner.
  • Where there is a standard set out in Table 1 Meat Product Standards of O.Reg.31/05, the product conforms to the standards set out by the table and the related common name is used on the label.
  • Species is included where a carcass, cut, organ or tissue is described on the label. When a word or phrase from the table in section 119 (Labelling Restrictions Based on Process of Meat Products) is shown on the label of a meat product, the meat product has met the related requirements of this table.
  • You must also meet all federal labelling requirements.

For more information on provincial labelling requirements, please speak to your inspector or Area Manager.

Federal labelling requirements are under the jurisdiction of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). For information on federal requirements, please visit CFIA's Food Labelling for Industry website or contact CFIA directly.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 10 June 2011
Last Reviewed: 23 May 2017