As a part of ongoing food regulatory modernization initiatives, the Government of Canada is taking further action to strengthen Canada's world-class food safety system with the Safe Food for Canadians Act and Regulations.
The Safe Food for Canadians Act consolidated 14 sets of regulations, including the Organic Regulations, into one. These regulations will implement targeted improvements to the food system in order to overcome the risks and challenges posed by the speed, volume and complexity of present day food production. The Regulations (SFCR) came into force on January 15, 2019.
The three main components of the SFCR are: licensing, traceability and preventative controls.
Licensing: most food businesses require a licence to import, export or send food across provincial and territorial borders. Businesses that require a SFCR licence should:
1. Understand when they require a licence;
2. Determine the scope of their licence (i.e. identify person(s) with authority, what activities will be on the licence, and the location of the licensed activities);
3. Enroll in My CFIA; and
4. Complete a service request to apply for their SFCR licence.
Read these tips for a smooth Safe Food for Canadians licence application for more information.
Traceability: most food businesses will be required to trace food commodities one step forward and one step back.
If you are importing, exporting, or selling food inter-provincially, you may be required to trace forward one step (e.g. to a retailer or another food business) and backwards to the immediate supplier (i.e. one step forward, one step back). Retailers are only required to trace food from their suppliers and would not be required to trace food sold to their customers.
Preventative Controls: some businesses need to prepare, keep and maintain a written preventative control plan (PCP) demonstrating how hazards and risks to food are addressed within your business. Businesses with existing HACCP systems in place will be well positioned to create PCPs.
The CFIA has created a Safe Food for Canadians Regulations webpage with links to tools and resources to help businesses understand the regulations, including:
Click here for more information on the Safe Food for Canadians Act and Regulations. Contact the CFIA with questions or concerns regarding your business's requirements.