Microbiological Testing of Ready-To-Eat (RTE) Products Destined for Canada

AMS has a Microbiological Testing Program as a part of the Export Verification (EV) Program for Ready-To-Eat (RTE) products destined for Canada. The program is designed to verify establishments’ control of closed-faced sandwiches destined for Canada. The EV Program may eventually include other RTE products.

Canada requires that closed-faced sandwiches be produced under a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan. Under the EV program, the sandwiches will be produced in establishments that are under the Food Safety Inspection Service’s (FSIS) voluntary reimbursable inspection service and that are operating under conditions consistent with products produced under 9 CFR part 430. 

For closed-faced sandwiches produced under FSIS voluntary inspection, AMS will conduct a microbiological testing program, on behalf of FSIS, to verify the adequacy of establishment’s food safety system in producing RTE products. Only establishments participating in this program can export closed-faced sandwiches to Canada.

The program will include two types of testing performed by AMS, routine and intensified, to ensure that participating establishments are controlling Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella. For more information, please review the Microbiological Testing Program document (pdf).

If an establishment would like to participate in the AMS Microbiological Testing Program, please contact Lauren Shoemaker, Biology Section Supervisor with the National Science Laboratories, at NationalScienceLaboratories@ams.usda.gov or (704) 867-3873 (Main).