Videos – Safe Food for Canadians

An overview of the proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations and how they would impact food businesses.
What Food Businesses Need To Know – Transcript

Narrator: Canadians expect that the food they bring home and to their families is safe. Safe food is also important to businesses who want customers to be healthy, happy and loyal. Safe food is not only the law, it's smart business.

Building prevention into every step of the food chain is key to food safety. And that's exactly what the Government of Canada is proposing in a new set of rules called the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations.

The proposed Regulations consolidate many existing food laws. And the rules would generally be the same whether you import, export or do business across provincial borders in Canada.

Let's get back to that key word prevention. The proposed regulations are built on 3 key elements – preventive controls, traceability and licensing, and prevention is at the core of each of them. Let's begin with preventive controls.

Andréa Frenette, Inspector, Canadian Food Inspection Agency: When I inspect a food establishment, it's important for me to see proof that systems are in place to control potential risks to food.

Narrator: A simple example would be a hand washing station, like this one. Are employees washing their hands before handling foods to prevent the spread of bacteria? Are they following food safety procedures?

Having preventive controls in place, and a written plan that outlines steps to manage potential risks to food, would go a long way to keeping food safe.

Canada isn't the only country going this route. Many key trading partners around the world are also strengthening their preventive approach to food safety.

The ability to trace food is another important element of the proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations.

Sometimes foods are recalled when there is reason to believe that the food is not safe for consumers. Keeping records that show where a food came from and where it went makes it easier to quickly remove unsafe products from the market and keep Canadians safe.

Having a licence to run your food business is the third key element of the proposed regulations.

Licensing would allow the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to conduct inspections more effectively because we'd have a record of existing food companies and the food they produce. It also would make it easier for us to reach you with important food safety information.

You may be wondering how all this will impact your business. While preventive controls, traceability, and licensing are the three key elements, the proposed regulations also include other important provisions.

We've created some useful tools and resources to help you understand the proposed regulations and what is expected of you.

Before these regulations become law, we want to hear from you. Visit our website and stay connected to learn more about the proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations and how you can provide feedback.

An overview of the proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations for food importers.
Importing Food – Transcript

Every day, thousands of metric tons of food and beverages arrive in Canada by sea, land and air. Thanks to food importers, Canadians enjoy a variety of foods year round.

Even with one of the best food safety systems in the world, we must continue to evolve to meet the challenges of a dynamic global food system.

That's why the Government of Canada is proposing the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations, which would apply to all foods, whether imported, exported or manufactured in Canada for trade across provincial borders.

These regulations are built on three key elements that would bring Canada's food safety requirements in line with international standards:

Licensing, preventive controls, and traceability.

Licencing – the first element – means that as an importer, you would need a licence from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to import food into Canada. Secondly, you would need preventive controls in place to make sure your food is safe when you import it into Canada. The third element – traceability – means you would be able to trace where you bought your food and to whom you sold it.

Let's look more closely at preventive controls and what this means.

As an importer, you would need to understand the risks associated with the food you import and work with your foreign supplier to control those risks.

How would you do that?

The first step would be to know your food. This means being aware of any biological, chemical, and physical hazards that pose a risk of contamination to the food.

You would need to describe the food you import, clearly identify those potential risks, and outline steps to control them.

The next step would be to know your foreign supplier. As an importer, you would need to be sure that your suppliers are using safe conditions to prepare, store and transport your product.

For example, do you know how your suppliers control hazards such as pests in their food establishments?

Do they know what ingredients are allergens in Canada, and have they properly identified these allergens?

Have they taken precautions to protect food from contamination like E-coli?

And are their employees qualified to do their job?

You would need to show that your foreign suppliers meet the same food safety standards required of our domestic manufacturers.

The last step would be to clearly outline those steps in a written plan and keep it up to date.

Preventive controls will go a long way toward protecting consumers from unsafe foods, and reducing the chances of costly food recalls.

Keeping clear records is also important when it comes to traceability – the third key element.

You would need to document where you bought your food and to whom you sold it. These records become especially important if there is reason to believe a product is not safe for consumers or if it must be recalled.

Before the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations become law, we would like to hear from you.

Visit our website and stay connected to learn more about the proposed Safe Food for Canadians Regulations and how you can provide feedback.

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