On June 13, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced that final Safe Food for Canadians Regulations have been published in Canada Gazette, Part II (CGII).
he new consolidated regulations are the result of an unprecedented level of consultations with stakeholders and consumers since the Safe Food for Canadians Act was passed in 2012, and they will come into force on January 15, 2019. The period between the final publication of the regulations in CGII and coming into force will give businesses time to familiarize themselves with and prepare for the new requirements, including licensing, traceability and preventive controls.
The Government of Canada is helping Canadian food businesses continue to have access to trading partners such as the United States, which 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 that import food or prepare food for export or to be sent across provincial or territorial borders will now need to have licences as well as preventive controls that address potential risks to food safety. To help reduce the time it takes to remove unsafe food from the marketplace, most food businesses will also have to maintain simple traceability records that allows them to trace their food back to their supplier and forward to whom they sold their products. Retailers will only be required to trace their food back to their supplier, not forward to consumers to whom they sold their products.
Note: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency will transition to a new licensing system that will grant licences to a person or a business to conduct specific activities relating to food, such as manufacturing, treating or packaging. The new Safe Food for Canadians Regulations will replace the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Regulations.
Source: Canadian Food Inspection Agency June 13, 2018 news release