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Archived - Overview: Safe Food For Canadians Action Plan

This page has been archived

This page was archived due to the coming into force of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations. Archived information is provided for reference, research or record-keeping purposes only. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. For current information visit Food.

Strengthening Canada's World-Class Food Safety System

The Government of Canada is taking action to further strengthen Canada's world-class food safety system.

The passage of the Safe Food for Canadians Act in November 2012 set the stage for important changes to Canada's food safety system. The Act will come into force at the beginning of 2015.

Over the next two years, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will work with consumer groups and industry to develop new regulations to support the Act. During this period, the CFIA will also launch a number of significant food safety enhancements.

The result: better protection for Canadian families from risks to food safety.

Canada's food supply is already among the world's safest. The Safe Food for Canadians Action Plan focuses on continuous improvement based on science, global trends, and best practices.

Stronger Food Safety Rules

The passage of the Safe Food for Canadians Act has set the stage for strengthening and modernizing Canada's food safety system.

The Safe Food for Canadians Act is more efficient and stronger. It will improve our food safety system and help manage risk to protect Canadian families.

The legislation will draw together all food inspection regulations in Canada currently administered under four different Acts into one overarching law. This will enable the CFIA to apply consistent regulatory requirements and inspection approaches across all regulated food commodities.

The legislation will also allow the CFIA to:

Under the Action Plan, the CFIA intends to:

In the interim, before the Safe Food for Canadians Act comes into force, the CFIA will be implementing some changes using existing authorities and administrative guidelines.

More Effective Inspection

Industry is responsible for producing safe food. CFIA inspectors will be able to better verify that industry is meeting Canada's stringent food safety requirements by having a single, consistent approach to inspection.

Their work will be better targeted at areas of highest risk and this will afford more efficiency thanks to new technologies streamlining workflow.

The CFIA is:

CFIA inspectors will have increased powers in some areas. For example, the CFIA will have the power to:

The CFIA has also established Inspection Verification Teams to oversee the performance of Canada's entire food inspection system.

Interpretation of regulatory requirements will be aided by the replacement of the more than 100 commodity-based manuals with a new set of compliance education documents. Regulatory requirements will be expressed in plain language, and guidance will be provided to help ensure compliance. The goal is to increase industry standards and mitigate risks to food safety.

In addition, the CFIA will:

And, because science is critical to reducing risks to food safety, the CFIA will:

A Commitment To Service

The CFIA is committed to efficient and effective service delivery to the individuals and companies governed by Canadian food safety laws.

As part of this, the Agency:

The review mechanism for regulated parties provides another option for those seeking review of certain decisions made by CFIA officials. Regulations under the Safe Food for Canadians Act will make this an enduring commitment to stakeholders.

The CFIA will also:

More Information For Consumers

The CFIA will continue to maintain a safe food system that serves the needs of both the Canadian public and industry stakeholders.

The CFIA is internationally recognized as having an excellent food recall and public alert system. This will continue.

As part of its commitment to being an open, transparent and visibly accountable organization, the CFIA will also continue to find ways of sharing its work with Canadians.

Information that is already publicly available includes:

Under the new legislation the Minister will have the right — within the parameters of the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Actto disclose personal and confidential business information if disclosure is deemed necessary to protect the health and safety of Canadians, as in the case of a recall ordered by the Minister.

The CFIA will continue to explore other types of information that will have value to Canadians, and the best means of sharing this information.

As well, in order to continue to support consumer protection, the CFIA will be launching a comprehensive and public review of its requirements and enforcement for food labelling.

A Focus On Prevention

Canadians expect their food to be safe — whether they buy it at a chain grocery store, a fish market, or a neighbourhood butcher. While no food safety system can guarantee a completely risk-free environment, the goal of the Safe Food for Canadians Action Plan is to achieve the highest possible level of food safety.

To meet this goal, Canada will continue to build a food safety system that is capable of rapidly mitigating risks to food safety in a way that reduces impacts on consumers. The CFIA will develop a risk-based approach to focus its inspection activities on food commodities and establishments that pose the greatest risk for consumers.

To build a strong safety culture and help identify and prevent emerging food safety issues, the CFIA will also:

Building On A Legacy Of Safe Food

Canadians are justifiably proud of the quality of the country's domestic food supply, and the food commodities that Canada exports around the world.

Guided by the new Safe Food for Canadians Act, the CFIA is carrying out an action plan that will build on this legacy and continue to protect food safety for Canadians for years to come.

Over the next two years, Canadians will see a series of new initiatives that will modernize and build on Canada's food safety system.

The Safe Food for Canadians Action Plan will deliver results and build on the Government of Canada's commitment to safe food for all Canadians.

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