The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is about to introduce a major upgrade to federal regulations around food safety. Next Tuesday, January 15, Canada's new Safe Food Laws will take effect across the country. The new regulations will replace 14 separate laws that are currently part of the Food Safety Act.
According to the CFIA, the new regulations "will make our food system even safer by focusing on prevention and allowing for faster removal of unsafe food from the marketplace." The laws will focus primarily on "rigorous risk management and increasing the focus on traceability," the CFIA notes. Considering the number of alarming food recalls that Canada saw in 2018, the timing of the new laws couldn't be better.
Businesses will now be required to trace their food back to their supplier and then forward to the grocery retailers that purchased and sold their products. The laws will also require new licenses for food businesses that import or prepare food for export across provincial borders. They will include new "preventative controls that outline steps to address potential risks to food safety."
According to the CFIA, the goal of the new regulations is to improve the confidence and trust that Canadian consumers have towards the food they buy from their grocery stores, whether the products are made in Canada or abroad.
Here is an online seminar that explains the new regulations, provided by the CFIA:
Despite having one of the strongest food safety systems in the world, Canada still faces great challenges when it comes to protecting consumers from unsafe food products. "The speed, volume and complexity of food production have produced new risks and challenges," says the CFIA, which they are aiming to tackle with the new regulations.
The CFIA's Safe Food for Canadians regulations have been split into several parts - including Food Exports, Licenses, Labelling Standards of Identity and Grades, Food-Specific Requirements, General Requirements, plus a Getting Started Toolkit for businesses to understand the new legal requirements.
The CFIA also hopes to grant Canada's agri-food and agricultural sector greater access into the market. To see the CFIA's complete Safe Food for Canadians outline, click here.