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Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): CFIA information for industry

Last updated: 2020-07-10, 13:00 (EDT)

Questions or concerns

COVID-19 is the CFIA's current priority. Please check this page first to get the latest information.

If you have a question not answered on our website, send us your question by email.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CFIA is delivering critical services that protect food safety, animal health, plant health and market access. Appropriate oversight of domestic production and imported food products are essential to providing safe food for consumers while supporting trade and the supply chain. As the COVID-19 pandemic situation continues to evolve, the CFIA will seek to review and adjust its response efforts accordingly.

The CFIA will continue to actively review its response to COVID-19 and adjust as appropriate.

The Government of Canada works in close collaboration with industry and its federal, provincial and territorial partners.

Learn more about how the Government of Canada will maintain a safe and stable food supply.

On this page

Guidance

Latest updates

Information for industry

COVID-19 in the workplace

  • Information for operators about business activities

    Operators and food establishments should continue to follow guidance and protocols set out by local public health officials as instructions may vary depending in certain areas and provinces based on the products they produce.

    The CFIA has outlined its expectations for operators and food establishments during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Right to refuse work

    There is no restriction on when a CFIA employee can invoke their right to refuse work (Canadian Labour Code Part II Section 128(1)); however, the refusal cannot place someone in danger (Canadian Labour Code Part II Section 128(2)).

    If an employee has reasonable cause to believe that there is danger, then they have the right to refuse work. The code does not define reasonable.

    Danger means any hazard, condition or activity that could reasonably be expected to be an imminent or serious threat to the life or health of a person exposed to it before the hazard or condition can be corrected or the activity altered.

    Each situation must be evaluated on its own merits.

  • Precautionary measures for livestock producers

    Livestock producers must continue to follow normal biosecurity measures, particularly if they have COVID-19 symptoms or are self-isolating due to contact with a COVID-19 case. In additional to avoiding contact with animals, this includes avoiding contact with those who:

    • have travelled abroad in the last 14 days
    • are ill, especially with symptoms of COVID-19
    • have been in contact with a confirmed or suspected case in the last 14 days

    For more information about on-farm disease prevention, producers are encouraged to consult the:

    These measures are recommended as a precaution, and are basic practices to prevent transmission of diseases between humans and animals. For any questions or concerns, producers, producers should seek professional advice from their veterinarian or a public health professional.

Information on importing and exporting food or animals

The Government of Canada has determined the continuation of trade is essential and is committed to supporting the flow of essential goods and services to its citizens.

  • Import and export inspection services

    The CFIA's import and export services are continuing during the COVID-19 pandemic. These services are identified as critical activities within the business continuity plan activated by the CFIA to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    There is no evidence that food is a source or a transmission source of COVID-19. As a result, there are no additional food safety requirements with respect to imported or exported food at this time.

    All food imported into Canada must continue to comply with Canada's food safety requirements in accordance with the Safe Food for Canadians Act and Regulations.

  • Crossing the border for truck shipments during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Truck drivers transporting food and/or livestock from the United States (U.S.) into Canada are currently exempt from the 14-day self-isolation period if they have no symptoms associated with COVID-19.

    CFIA employees at a Canadian or American land border crossing will inspect the shipment as normal.

    Canadian truck drivers transporting food and livestock to the United States are also exempt from the 14-day self-isolation period, unless the driver has been in a country listed in the U.S. presidential order prior to entering the United States.

    Truck drivers should be aware that access to personal services and amenities may be limited in both the United States and Canada at this time.

  • Specific information regarding the import of horses from the U.S.

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, electronic export certificates issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) with digital endorsement will generally be acceptable for horses being imported into Canada if they originate in the United States or Canada.

    A CFIA port of entry veterinarian or Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer may accept export certificates presented on a mobile device in place of a hard copy certificate. A CFIA port of entry veterinarian or CBSA officer may use his or her discretion when deciding whether to accept the certificate. The CFIA may request an original signed copy of the document at any time.

    All other communications between the CFIA and regulated parties, commercial carriers and other stakeholders should continue to be in paper format.

    All existing Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) requirements continue to apply.

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