Summary of Revised Meat RegulationAs part of Open for Business, changes to the Meat Regulation were filed recently by the Ontario government and will come into effect on January 1, 2014. Here's a look at some of these changes.
Clarifying when a provincial meat plant licence is not required:
Under the Meat Regulation, prior to January 1, 2014, some businesses not normally considered to be meat plants required a licence. The regulation has been clarified to ensure slaughter plants and processing plants that conduct higher risk processing or significant product distribution are the focus of inspections.
To achieve this, beginning on January 1, 2014, the regulation now includes the following exemptions:
The changes clarify when a licence is not required and exempt those businesses that do not require a licence. Operations no longer covered by the Meat Regulation will be subject to public health inspection. Any potential changes to licensing status will be discussed between inspection staff and operators in early 2014.
Allowing inspected meat products from unlicensed or unregistered facility:
Meat plant operators will have the option of receiving inspected meat products from unlicensed facilities such as cold storage facilities if minimum food safety requirements are met. The operator is responsible for ensuring the requirements are met.
Improving animal handling and care:
Effective July 1, 2014, plants will need to have a back-up stunning device, or an alternative stunning method in the event of equipment failure or improper stunning; and appropriate equipment to restrain and euthanize animals that are found compromised, unfit or non-ambulatory in their holding pens or crates. In addition, effective January 1, 2014, rabbits may not be suspended while conscious.
A number of additional changes have been made to reduce regulatory burden, and to provide a clearer, modernized and more outcome-based regulation. Here are some highlights:
Amendments to the Fees Regulation
Changes to Ontario Regulation 223/05 (Fees) have been made to reflect the ministry's current practices in charging supplementary inspection fees, i.e., allowing an additional half-hour for transition from pre-slaughter to post-slaughter inspection without charge and clarifying that licensees receive one free day of supplementary inspection per year.
Where to find the amended Meat Regulation
Operators can review the revised O. Reg. 31/05 through e-Laws. Meat inspection staff will assist operators as changes are implemented.
The new food safety requirements are strong, appropriate for the level of risk and workable on the ground. They also support a dynamic and innovative business climate and the continued success of Ontario's meat plants.
The information provided on this page is for summary purposes only. For specific details refer to O. Reg. 31/05 (Meat).
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