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Final Safe Food for Canadians Regulations are published: CFIA

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the final Safe Food for Canadians Regulations have been published in Canada Gazette Part II, so the industry can prepare itself for when they take effect in early 2019


Ottawa – The final Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) can now be found in Canada Gazette Part II (CGII).

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) made the announcement in a statement, adding that the regulations “will provide clear and consistent rules for food commodities so consumers can be confident that food on grocery shelves is safer to eat, whether it is produced in Canada or abroad.”

The statement explains that the new regulations were created after listening to stakeholders and consumers in in-depth consultations. This has been ongoing since the Safe Food for Canadians Act was passed in 2012.

The new regulations take effect on Jan. 15, 2019.

The CFIA says the period from the publication in CGII until they take effect in 2019 should give food and beverage businesses “time to familiarize themselves with and prepare for the new requirements, including licensing, traceability and preventive controls.”

The statement adds that the new rules meet international food safety standards and will “create greater market access opportunities for Canadian food products exported abroad.”

The federal government also notes that the U.S. has already adopted similar regulations. “Once the SFCR are fully in force, Canadian food businesses exporting foods that are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can leverage their SFCR licence to demonstrate that their food safety controls meet their U.S. importers’ requirements under the U.S. Foreign Supplier Verification Program.”

Businesses will “now need licences as well as preventive controls that address potential risks to food safety” if they import, export or send food across provincial or territorial borders. To expedite the movement of food, businesses should also maintain simple traceability records. “Retailers will only be required to trace their food back to their supplier, not forward to consumers to whom they sold their products,” says the statement.

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