On January 15, Canada’s new safe food law replaced fourteen sets of previous regulations, effectively altering the course of the nation’s food safety requirements for both importers and exporters. Officially called the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) and the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), the law recognizes new threats to food safety, changing consumer preferences, and prevention-focused international standards.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is shifting its focus to prevention of foodborne illness and allowing for faster removal of unsafe food from the marketplace. The new requirements will provide clear and consistent rules for food commodities, allowing consumers to be confident that food is safer for consumption and allowing food businesses to avoid costly recalls.
These new requirements also apply to food that is imported for exporting at a later date.
Under the SFCR, food businesses that conduct any of the following activities are required to obtain a license:
Under the SFCR, most businesses will need to put in place preventive food safety controls to:
In addition, food businesses are required to:
This overview provides a general framework for the changes ahead. For more details and advice, CFIA has an instructional section on its website that provides specific information on the license application, a toolkit for businesses, and a host of interactive tools and resources on the new requirements for businesses. Additionally, SmartSense offers digital food safety solutions that help to increase food safety visibility and reduce risk with real-time monitoring.
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