Information for Restauranteurs and Food Service Operators

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Restaurant and food service inspection across Canada is generally carried out by provincial governments, municipalities or regional health authorities. You can report any concerns about restaurant food to your local inspection authority.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency provides protection for consumers from deceptive practices in restaurants. Any claim made in connection with restaurant food offered for sale must be true and accurate. If you suspect that restaurant food has been misrepresented to you in an advertisement, on a menu, or by restaurant staff, you can contact the CFIA's Retail Food Program.

As the Agency charged with administering the fraud provisions of the Food and Drugs Act, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency aims to prevent deceptive practices in restaurants. Section 5(1) of the Act prohibits anyone from labelling, packaging, treating, processing, selling, or advertising any food in a misleading or deceptive manner. This means that any claim made in connection with food offered for sale must be true and accurate.

Any claim or statement that misleads people in any way can be considered deceptive. Most cases of misrepresentation in restaurants and food service facilities occur due to the wording on menus. Also, signs posted in or outside the restaurant, newspaper, radio, or television advertisements, pictures on signs or on menus, and even statements made by employees can also mislead the customer.

Restaurant operators are encouraged to ensure that their staff provide accurate information regarding the composition of foods being served, when such information is available and is requested by customers. This is particularly important given that some people may have strong personal, religious or medical reasons for avoiding certain foods.

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