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Federal agency to restart suspended food inspection services


June 12, 2020, Ottawa, Ont. – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is announcing that it is now in a position to gradually resume some inspection services that were temporarily suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 23, 2020, the CFIA activated its business continuity plan in order to prioritize critically important services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary suspension of low-risk activities allowed the CFIA to continue to safeguard the health and safety of its staff while refocusing efforts in areas of higher risk and towards activities that are critical to the safety of food, as well as animal and plant health.

In making the announcement, the CFIA stated that it will continue to monitor developments regarding COVID-19 and make adjustments to its service delivery plans as needed.

The agency will adopt a risk-based approach to prioritize the resumption of its activities. The resumption of services will also vary by region, as CFIA staff will need to comply with the provincial and national public health guidance that is in effect where they work.

Industry is encouraged to continue to monitor the coronavirus disease (COVID-19): CFIA information for industry section of the CFIA website for updates to guidance intended for industry.

The CFIA notes it will begin contacting some businesses to make arrangements for the scheduling of inspections. In order to support physical distancing, some paper-based reviews may be done electronically and may not necessitate a visit to the regulated party’s premises.

As inspection services gradually resume, the CFIA states that industry must continue to comply with all requirements pertaining to food, animal and plants and remains responsible for the safety and quality of the food that it produces, imports and exports as inspection services gradually resume.


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