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Canada Tightens Food Safety Laws

Denis Storey
January 11, 2019

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Canadians can eat a little more comfortable with the implementation of a pair of new food safety laws that replace more than a dozen outdated sets of regulations. On Jan. 15, Canada’s Safe Food for Canadians Act and Safe Food for Canadians Regulations both go live.

According to a 2014 study that looked at food safety risk assessment, benchmarking management, and communication, Canada already boasts the safest food in the world.

Nevertheless, regulators insist that new supply chain challenges, driven by “the speed, volume, and complexity of food production,” require new regulations which are “critical to maintain Canada’s reputation as a world leader in food safety and to help Canada’s food businesses remain trusted both at home and abroad.”

The streamlined regs impose new licensing requirements and mandate preventive controls to curb potential food safety risks. Lawmakers expect the consolidated regs to expedite the removal of unsafe food from the market by forcing businesses to trace their food both back to suppliers and ahead to their customers.

The most significant changes these new laws introduce, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, include:

  • Licensing: This enables the CFIA to: authorize persons to conduct certain activities through licensing; identify food businesses, collect information about the activities of food businesses; and take responsive action for non-compliant activities.

  • Preventive Controls: This describes key food safety control principles that must be met by all food businesses. It also outlines the requirements for developing, implementing, and maintaining a written preventive control plan that documents how food businesses meet food safety, humane treatment, and consumer protection requirements (for example, labeling, packaging, standards of identity, grades, and net quantity).

  • Traceability: This requires food to be traced forward to the immediate customer and backward to the direct supplier (one step forward, one step back).

Finally, the CFIA further explains that companies that conduct any of the following activities are required to obtain a license to:

  • Import food or food products.

  • Manufacture, process, treat, preserve, grade, package, or label food for export or be sent across provincial or territorial borders.

  • Export food (where an export certificate is requested).

  • Slaughter food animals from which meat products are derived for export or sent across provincial or territorial borders.

  • Store and handle a meat product in its imported condition for inspection by the CFIA.

TraceGains offers a comprehensive suite of software solutions that can help manufacturers and suppliers get compliant with Canadian law – and stay that way. Reach out today and find out how we can transform your business.

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