OTTAWA – The finalSafe Food for Canadians Regulationshave been published in the Canada Gazette, Part II (CGII). The regulations are the result of consultations with industry stakeholders and consumers and were designed to provide clear and consistent rules for food commodities that help food makers prevent food safety risks. The regulations come into force on Jan. 15, 2019.

“Canada is recognized as having one of the strongest food safety systems in the world,” Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, said in a statement. “I am proud to say that these regulations, which focus on prevention and faster removal of unsafe food from the marketplace, go even further to protect Canadian consumers.”

The regulations impact food companies that import, export or trade within Canada, however some traceability, labeling and advertising regulations also apply to companies that trade interprovincially. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will implement a new licensing system that will grant licenses to an individual or a business to conduct specific activities relating to food, such as manufacturing, treating or packaging.

Under the new food safety regulations, food companies are responsible for creating a written preventive control plan (PCP) that details how the business identifies and controls food safety risks to food and food animals. The controls are based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles.

Food companies also are required to develop traceability systems. Companies must identify the food, be able to trace the food one step back and one step forward. Ingredients and the food animals used in the products also must be traceable. Documentation of the system are to be maintained for two years, be accessible in Canada and provided to the CFIA upon request. Traceability requirements do not apply to restaurants and other similar businesses.

Other regulations focus on labeling, standards of identity and grades; organic products, packing in food containers and other food safety standards and guidelines.

“These regulations are the biggest change to the food industry in the past 25 years and they will have a positive and lasting impact,” Diane J. Brisebois, president and CEO, Retail Council of Canada, said in a statement. “Our members strongly support the objectives of the new regulations and it is our common goal to ensure Canadian consumers have access to safe, high-quality food at affordable prices.”

Read the Safe Food for Canadian Regulations. General information is available here.