Borax (Boric Acid) Sold or Represented as Food

It has been brought to the attention of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that Borax is occasionally represented and sold as a food in Canada. Borax, also known as Boric Acid, has a history in some cultures of being added to foods as a firming agent, meat rub, preservative, or tenderizer.

The CFIA is concerned about the use and sale of Borax as a food ingredient. Health Canada has advised that based on available data relating to its toxicity, this product could pose an unacceptable risk to a consumer's health. Consumption of Borax has been documented in literature as causing the death of infants and adults. The use and sale of Borax as a food ingredient is not permitted and is considered a violation of Section 4(a) of the Food and Drugs Act.

Borax should not be used in food preparation and should not be sold or represented as a food ingredient.

Packages of Borax:

  • should not have any words or phrases suggesting that it is a food, such as consume by; traditional flavour, etc.; and
  • should not be offered for sale on shelves containing food products.

The CFIA will take appropriate enforcement action should Borax be found to be imported, sold or used as a food ingredient.

Originally issued July 14, 2004 (Information Letter To Industry)