Borax (Boric Acid) Sold or Represented as Food

This page is part of the Guidance Document Repository (GDR).

Looking for related documents?
Search for related documents in the Guidance Document Repository

It has been brought to the attention of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that Borax is occasionally represented and sold as a food in Canada. Borax, also known as Boric Acid, has a history in some cultures of being added to foods as a firming agent, meat rub, preservative, or tenderizer.

The CFIA is concerned about the use and sale of Borax as a food ingredient. Health Canada has advised that based on available data relating to its toxicity, this product could pose an unacceptable risk to a consumer's health. Consumption of Borax has been documented in literature as causing the death of infants and adults. The use and sale of Borax as a food ingredient is not permitted and is considered a violation of Section 4(a) of the Food and Drugs Act.

Borax should not be used in food preparation and should not be sold or represented as a food ingredient.

Packages of Borax:

  • should not have any words or phrases suggesting that it is a food, such as consume by; traditional flavour, etc.; and
  • should not be offered for sale on shelves containing food products.

The CFIA will take appropriate enforcement action should Borax be found to be imported, sold or used as a food ingredient.

Originally issued July 14, 2004 (Information Letter To Industry)

Date modified: