Canada is widely recognized as having one of the safest food systems in the world. But new legislation effective January 15, 2019 addresses the “speed, volume and complexity of modern food production” and its significant new risks, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The focus of the Safe Food for Canadians Act and its regulations is on prevention and traceability.
The Act will not be new to anyone involved in food production. It was passed in 2012, but its regulations come into effect now. This allowed the federal government time for extensive public consultations and gave businesses time to prepare for the new requirements, including licensing, traceability and preventive controls.
CFIA says that the new legislation reduces unnecessary administrative burden by replacing 14 sets of regulations with one. The new consolidated regulations will require food businesses that import or prepare food for export or to be sent across provincial or territorial borders to have licences. They must also have preventive controls that outline steps to address potential risks to food safety.
The new regulations will help reduce the time it takes to remove unsafe food from the marketplace by requiring businesses 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.)
These measures will help Canadian companies continue to have access to trading partners such as the United States, which has already adopted similar regulations. Once the regulations are fully in force, Canadian food businesses exporting foods that are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can leverage their Safe Foods for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) licence to demonstrate that their food safety controls meet their U.S. importers’ requirements under the U.S. Foreign Supplier Verification Program.
CFIA has an instructional section on its website, providing specific information on the license application, a Getting Started Toolkit for businesses, and a host of interactive tools and resources on the new requirements for businesses. https://bit.ly/2ygMB0P
Source: FoodSafetyNews.com January 7, 2019 posting