Safe Food For Canadians: Are You Prepared

(Image courtesy: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

In 2019 the Canadian Federal government released the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations. Truly the regulations are simply a consolidation of many different regulations under one umbrella. You may be asking why this was done?

Consistency Meeting Regulations

Description of this image follows.Delivery of regulations is key when considering regulatory agencies and how they operate. As an inspector, you were required to train and learn about each different Act and corresponding regulation and if a violation of regulations was to occur you would have to use a particular act or the Food and Drug to enforce and carry forth actions should your organization not be in compliance with regularly scheduled audits.

Manufacturers used to face many different regulations if they were producing processed products. Now, they would be audited under one set of regulations. Should violations occur, it would be easier for the crown to protect Canadians under one set of regulations rather than multiple sets.

Having said this it is important to know that from this point onward ALL Food products in Canada crossing interprovincial borders will have to be registered. Registration with the CFIA means you must meet all requirements of the Safe Food for Canadians Act and Regulations and Food and Drug Act. If you are caught exporting across provincial boundaries strict fines and even prison time may be enacted depending on the severity of the violation.

Changing Food Processing Patterns and Consumer Choice:

Typically, when you shop in a store you will have a choice of fresh produce, milk and processed foods millions of other Canadians shop for on a daily basis. However, we now live in a globalized world where your ingredients could come from hundreds of different nations. So, were I to make a frozen pasta, my meat might come from Brazil, Pasta from the United States with a sauce concocted of pepper from Zanzibar and dairy products from New Zealand.

My point is that should you be a manufacturer wanting to produce a product with many different ingredients, you would have no further than to look at the Food and Drug Act and Regulations along with the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations. Further, if you are an importer trying to bring products into Canada be aware that this set of regulations will require for you to have quality controls in place that meet the Safe Food for Canadians regulations. Should you not meet these quality control criteria you will be placed on mandatory inspection lists or your license may be suspended or revoked. This is the case whether you are importing bulk ingredients for mass production or importing seafood for a grocer.

Preparing for Greater Trade:

Canada has the ability to feed the world and has food products that are second to none when dealing with quality. Our inspection system is one of the best in the world and Canadians do not take this for granted. This being so consolidated regulations make it more efficient for exporters to follow regulations while being included on food export listings. Please remember that Canada is audited by other nations and conversely we also audit many nations around the world to ensure our food inputs are safe for consumption. Such large scale exports of processed and whole foods are served better by one set of regulations for industry to follow. It just makes sense.