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Safe Food for Canadians Act and Regulations: The Nitty Gritty

 
 
The Safe Food for Canadians Act and Regulations (SFCR) will come into effect on January 15th, 2019. We reviewed some of the details of SFCR in a previous blog post, but you may still have questions, like…
 
“Will the new regulations come into effect all at once?”
“Will these changes affect my small business?”
“Do the regulations also apply to exporters?”
“What are the labeling requirements under the new regulations?”
 
If so, read on.
 
Timelines
 
Some of the requirements will come into effect on day one, while others be phased in gradually over the next two-and-a-half years.
 
Businesses dealing in the following will need to meet the new requirements right away:
 
  • meat
  • fish
  • eggs and processed eggs
  • dairy
  • processed fruits or vegetable products
  • honey and maple products
Those dealing in other foods will have an additional 12-30 months to meet the new requirements, with timing dependent on the food commodity, type of activity and business size.
 
Implementation timelines related to all foods and business types can be found on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA’s) SFCR Timelines webpage.
 
New Safe Food for Canadians Act and Regulations come in to effect January 15, 2019Small businesses exemption
 
Businesses that make $100K or less in gross annual food sales are exempted from the requirement to have a written preventive control plan (PCP). They will, however, still need to have preventive controls in place, pertaining to areas such as sanitation and pest control.
 
Important to note is that the meat, fish, egg, processed egg, processed fruits and vegetables, and dairy sectors will not be able to claim this exception, regardless of their gross annual food sales.
 
Refer to the CFIA’s webpages on PCPs and small businesses for more information.
 
Exporting
 
The CFIA verifies that exported food and food products meet Canadian requirements as well as those of the importing country, which may have different requirements for different food commodities. Exporters are responsible for knowing and meeting the requirements of the country of import relating to public health, animal health and plant protection.
 
The requirements related to exports across different food sectors are explained in the CFIA food exports page.
 
Labeling
 
The new regulations consolidate the requirements for food labelling, standards of identity and grading that used to exist separately under four separate acts: the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Canada Agricultural Products Act, the Meat Inspection Act, and the Fish Inspection Act. Requirements currently covered under the Food and Drugs Act (FDA) will remain and must also be followed where applicable.
 
More information on the labeling requirements under the SFCR can be found on the CFIA’s labeling provisions website.
 
And, as always, our helpful and experienced team of consultants is at your avail should you have any questions about how the new food safety requirements will affect you.
 
Contact us today!
 
Information provided by: Canadian Customs Dept. - Cole International