Government of Canada announces plans to strengthen food safety enforcement

November 21, 2013, Ottawa: Today, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, announced the intention to introduce new penalties for businesses that fail to respect Canadian meat safety requirements.

"Consumers want a strong and reliable food inspection system on which they can depend to provide safe food," said Minister Ambrose. "Introducing these new penalties demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that Canada's stringent food safety requirements are being followed."

These fines, known as Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs), provide Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) inspectors with an additional enforcement option when working with the meat industry. For example, they may be applied if a company withholds information, such as a positive E. coli test result, or records that are needed as part of a food safety investigation, or if a company is regularly identified for not complying with requirements.

Strict fines for food safety violations are another step the Government of Canada is taking to protect consumers. The Healthy and Safe Food for Canadians Framework outlines additional activities being undertaken by the CFIA and its federal food safety partners, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

"Administrative Monetary Penalties are an important element of a modern and effective inspection system," said Dr. Martine Dubuc, Chief Food Safety Officer for Canada and Vice-President, Science, CFIA. "They provide an additional option for dealing with the small number of food producers that fail to follow federal food safety regulations."

Additional information

More information on AMPs and the CFIA's Compliance and Enforcement Policy, and a Backgrounder are available on the CFIA website.

Media inquiries:

CFIA Media relations
613-773-6600

Michael Bolkenius
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health
613-957-0200