Industry Information Session: Implementation of the 2011 Health Canada "Policy on Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-to-Eat Foods"
Topic 3: Roles and Responsibilities

In relation to the Listeria Policy, the following roles and responsibilities are outlined in the Policy:

  • RTE Food Industry
  • Government
  • Consumers

RTE Food Industry - Processors and Importers

(Section 3 of the Listeria Policy)

  • Ensure that the food is safe and complies with all applicable legislative and regulatory requirements, such as:
    • Sections 4 (1) and 7 of the Food and Drugs Act (FDA)
    • Section 3.1(1) of the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Regulations
    • Section 2.1 (1) of the Processed Products Regulations
    • Any applicable provincial regulations
    In order to demonstrate due diligence the Listeria Policy should be implemented.
  • Be aware of their RTE products physico-chemical parameters (aw, pH), stated shelf-lives and storage conditions
  • Communicate all positive results of Lm found in a RTE product or persistent Listeria spp. on food contact surfaces (FCS) to regulatory authorities (e.g., CFIA) as soon as possible
  • Implement a corrective action in response to unsatisfactory results
  • Have a mechanism in place to withdrawal/recall contaminated product, as applicable

RTE Food Industry - Processors

(Section 6.2.1 of the Listeria Policy)

  • Implement effective Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and/or Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system to minimize all potential sources of food contamination
  • Implement routine monitoring sampling (environmental and end-product)

RTE Food Industry - Importers

(Section 6.2.2 of the Listeria Policy)

  • Verify that the foreign processor is supplying safe product that complies with Canadian legislation
  • Provide information on the supplier's food safety programs, including process controls (e.g., Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), GMP, HACCP)
  • Implement safe food storage/handling procedures

RTE Food Industry - Exporters

(See section 6.2.3 of the Listeria Policy)

  • Comply with the requirements of the receiving country as well as Section 37 of the Food and Drugs Act:
    "…package and its contents do not contravene any known requirement of the law of the country to which it is or is about to be consigned has been issued in respect of the package and its contents in prescribed form and manner."

Government - Health Canada (HC)

(Section 3 of the Listeria Policy)

  • In consultation with CFIA and provincial/territorial governments, develops food safety standards and policies to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses
  • Helps Canadians maintain and improve their health

Government - Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

(Section 3 of the Listeria Policy)

  • Protects Canadians from preventable health risks through a fair and effective regulatory regime
  • Oversees the food industry to ensure that it meets its food safety responsibilities
  • Assesses industries validation data for product re-categorization

Government - Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)

(Section 3 of the Listeria Policy)

  • Promotes and protects the health of Canadians
  • Conducts surveillance of foodborne illness across Canada

Government - Provincial and Territorial Government (P/T Gov't)

(Section 3 of the Listeria Policy)

  • Oversees the food industry to ensure that it meets its food safety responsibilities
  • Assesses industries validation data for product re-categorization

Government - HC, CFIA, PHAC, P/T Gov't

(Section 3 of the Listeria Policy)

  • Work together to investigate the source of any Lm related illnesses when an outbreak is suspected
  • Engage the medical community, public health officials, the food industry and consumers on issues related to Lm and listeriosis

Consumers

(Section 3 of the Listeria Policy)

  • Learn and implement safe food handling practices
  • Informed food selection
  • Safe food handling, preparation and storage practices
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