Understanding the Proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: A Handbook for Food Businesses
Overview of the proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations

What is the scope of the proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations?

16. The proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) would generally apply to food for human consumption (including ingredients) that is imported, exported, or inter-provincially traded (food that crosses a provincial border). It would also apply to food animals from which meat products to be exported or inter-provincially traded may be derived.

17. Some of the traceability, labelling and advertising provisions would also apply to intra-provincially traded foods (food that does not cross a provincial border). Refer to Part 5 and Part 11 within this handbook for more detail.

18.  The Safe Food for Canadians Act and proposed SFCR would not apply to the following:

  • food for use by crew and passengers on ferries, airlines, trains, etc.
  • food intended and used for analysis, evaluation, research or exhibitions, weighing 100 kg or less, or in the case of eggs, is Part of a shipment of five or fewer cases
  • food not sold for use as human food, and labelled as such
  • foods imported from the United States onto the Akwesasne reserve, for use by a permanent resident of the reserve
  • foods imported in bond (in transit) for use by crew and passengers of a cruise ship or military ship in Canada
  • food inter-provincially traded between federal penitentiaries

What are the fundamental new elements of the proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations?

19. While there are many provisions in the proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) which will be covered later in this handbook, there are three fundamental new elements that are of particular interest to most food businesses. They will include the following:

  1. Licensing: This Part would allow the CFIA to authorize certain activities and identify food businesses. The CFIA would be able to collect information about the activities of food businesses, and take enforcement action, such as licence suspension and cancellation, when non-compliant activities are found.
  2. Traceability: This Part would enable food to be traced forward to the immediate customer and backward to the immediate supplier (one step forward, one step back).
  3. Preventive control Measures: This Part would set key food safety controls that must be met by all food businesses. It would also outline the requirements for developing, implementing, and maintaining a written preventive control plan that documents how you meet food safety and marketplace fairness requirements (e.g. for labelling, packaging, standards of identity, grades, humane treatment and net quantity).

How is the proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations structured?

20. The proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) has 17 Parts and 9 Schedules.

  • Part 1: Interpretation
  • Part 2: Trade
  • Part 3: Licences
  • Part 4: Preventive Control Measures
  • Part 5: Traceability
  • Part 6: Commodity Specific Requirements
  • Part 7: Recognition of Foreign Systems
  • Part 8: Ministerial Exemptions
  • Part 9: Inspection Legends
  • Part 10: Packaging
  • Part 11: Labelling
  • Part 12: Grades and Grade Names
  • Part 13: Seizure and Detention
  • Part 14: Organic Products
  • Part 15: Temporary Non-Application to Certain Food Commodities and Persons
  • Part 16: Transitional Provisions
  • Part 17: Consequential Amendments, Repeals and Coming into Force
  • Schedules 1-9 contain tables that outline net quantities, container sizes, legends, and other required information for specific foods.

21. Throughout the proposed SFCR, there are 17 documents incorporated by reference. The content of these documents would be considered law when the regulations come into force but they would be maintained outside of the regulations. Such documents could be internally generated (prepared by the CFIA) or externally generated (prepared outside the CFIA) and could be technical or non-technical.

Documents that are intended to be incorporated by reference have the flexibility to be amended and updated to reflect changes in science, innovation, and global trade agreements. It is the CFIA's policy to consult food businesses and interested parties prior to making changes to internally-generated incorporated by reference documents.

The standards of identity from the regulations that would be merged into the proposed SFCR have been incorporated by reference to reflect the feedback received during the consultations that took place from 2013 to 2015.

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