A new era of food safety begins today for Canadians, thanks to updated regulations being implemented across the country.
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, announced that the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) came into effect today, which means “focusing on prevention and allowing for faster removal of unsafe food from the marketplace.”
“These new rules also mean greater market access opportunities for Canadian food products exported abroad. In addition, they will reduce the unnecessary administrative burden placed on businesses by replacing 14 sets of regulations with one,” read the official statement from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
“Under the updated SFCR, food businesses that import or prepare food for export or to be sent across provincial or territorial boundaries must have a licence.”
Food businesses are now also required to have “preventive controls that outline steps to address potential risks to food safety, and to trace their food back to their supplier and forward to businesses who bought their products.”
Some requirements will be in force immediately while others will be phased in over the next 12-30 months, depending on the food commodity, type of activity, and business size.
“Business owners are encouraged to consult the sector-specific timelines on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website to determine if and when new requirements apply to them.”
When it comes to how this update with affect suppliers to and from the US, the States has recently made it a requirement for all Canadian businesses that export food to meet their new food safety standards.
The SFCR will permit Canadian food businesses to acquire a licence that demonstrates that they meet the requirements under the US Foreign Supplier Verification Program so that they can continue trading with the United States.