Complaints, Comments and Compliments

This page outlines how you can contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to register a complaint, comment or compliment about our activities or programs.

Note: This page is not for submitting a food safety or labelling concern. If you believe a food product is a health and safety risk, or you have other questions, please refer to the Report a Food Safety or Labelling Concern page on our site or contact the CFIA webmaster or contact the CFIA area recall coordinator.

The CFIA is committed to excellence in our processes and practices and we strive for continuous improvement in dealings with our regulated parties and stakeholders. We are committed to providing quality service that is consistent, professional, timely and fair, based on the CFIA’s Statement of Rights and Service for Producers, Consumers and Other Stakeholders.

Your feedback helps us to review and improve our services. When you contact us, you can expect that we will work with you in a timely, impartial and professional manner.

Complaints and appeals

Complaints and appeals are generally related to quality of service, administrative errors or regulatory decisions made by CFIA employees.

Complaints and appeals can be made

  • when you are not satisfied with our staff’s approach;
  • when you perceive undue delays; and
  • when you disagree with decisions made by CFIA employees related to licensing, registration, permits, orders, inspection results, seizure, labelling and other items.

The CFIA takes complaints and appeals very seriously, so these are handled in an efficient and transparent manner.

The CFIA uses an incremental process to manage complaints and appeals which is described here. To make a complaint or an appeal, follow these steps.

Step 1

  • Speak to the CFIA employee involved regarding the matter. Try to resolve the matter with this employee.

Step 2

  • If you are not satisfied with the response from Step 1, speak to the employee’s supervisor (at the manager or director level) about how to resolve the matter.

Step 3

  • If you are still not satisfied after following Steps 1 and 2, submit a formal complaint in writing to the Complaints and Appeals Office. Do this by using the Complaints section of the Complaints, Comments and Compliments - PDF (113 kb) form. Once received, the Complaints and Appeals Office will start an impartial and transparent review of the matter.
  • To help us understand your concern and to avoid delays, we strongly recommend that you
    • contact us in writing by completing the form carefully, and
    • attach any supporting documents that you think may be helpful to us when reviewing your complaint.

See the "How to reach us" section for contact information.

  • When we receive your completed form, we will contact you (either by phone or email) within 2 business days to give you a file number, acknowledge receipt of your information, and inform you about the process.

Comments and compliments

We also would like to hear your feedback, suggestions or ideas about our service or how to improve our service. This could include letting us know when you believe CFIA staff have provided a good service. Your feedback helps us identify areas where we can improve our programs and services.

You can submit your feedback using the Comments and Compliments section of the Complaints, Comments and Compliments - PDF (113 kb) form.

When we receive your completed form, we may contact you (either by phone or email) to acknowledge that we received your comment and to ask you questions to better understand your feedback.

How to reach us

Complaints, Comments and Compliments - PDF (113 kb) form.

By phone
Our phone lines are open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time,
Monday to Friday.

Toll-free: 1-800-442-2342
Local: 613-773-2342
TTY: 1-800-465-7735

By email
CAO_BPA@inspection.gc.ca

By mail

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
c/o Complaints and Appeals Office
1400 Merivale Road, T1-6-350
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0Y9

By Fax
Toll-free: 1-855-297-4198 
Local:  613-773-6561

Privacy of your information

All personal information provided on this form or to one of our officers, by you or your representative, in the course of a review will be dealt with in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act and other applicable laws.  The information will be stored in Personal Information Bank No. PSU 902. The CFIA may contact you, or your representative, to ask for feedback about how we handled your complaint, compliment or comment.