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April 09, 2020

Information on the Safe Food for Canadians rules scheduled for July 15

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued the following update on the part of the “Safe Food for Canadians Regulations” scheduled to come into force on July 15, 2020, namely for “All other foods (manufactured foods)“.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic the CFIA says it will not prioritize compliance activities:

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From: CFIA Webmaster
Subject: 20200407 – Update on SFCR requirements for the manufactured food sector
Date sent: Tue, 7 Apr 2020

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is working diligently to respond to challenges raised by industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic while remaining committed to preserving Canada’s food safety system and its animal and plant resource base.

At the same time, we recognize that industry is prioritizing the health and safety of its employees while working hard to ensure Canada’s food supply remains reliable and safe for Canadians.

Given these extraordinary circumstances, until further notice the CFIA will not prioritize compliance activities associated with the July 15, 2020 coming into force of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) for the manufactured food sector.

Any changes to the CFIA’s prioritization of these compliance activities will be announced with adequate lead time once the situation allows.

Despite the above, affected businesses are encouraged to apply for a licence under the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA). However, importers of manufactured food will generally not encounter delays or disruptions in their imports simply because of not having a Safe Food for Canadians licence yet. Domestic manufacturers can continue to operate while they apply for a licence.

Industry is responsible for ensuring the safety of their food products at all times. The CFIA will continue to support businesses in their efforts to comply with relevant legislation, including the SFCA and the SFCR.

In the event of a food safety issue, the CFIA will take action to protect consumers. This may include recalling, seizing or detaining food products and using other enforcement and control measures.

We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and may adjust our compliance activities as it evolves.

Please continue to check our website regularly for updates on the CFIA’s response to COVID-19.

For information on the SFCR, please see our Toolkit for food businesses.

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