Labelling, standards of identity and grades
The food label is one of the most important and direct means of communicating product information between buyers and sellers. It is one of the primary means by which consumers differentiate between individual foods and brands to make informed purchasing choices.
The CFIA's labelling legislative framework outlines the purpose of food labelling, key acts and regulations and additional information on federal responsibilities for Canada's labelling requirements.
Information on labelling, standards of identity and grades
Safe Food for Canadians Regulations
The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) set out the requirements for all foods that are imported, exported and inter-provincially traded. Some traceability, labelling and advertising provisions also apply to intra-provincially traded foods. Requirements of standards of identity and grades have been included in documents incorporated by reference.
Companies must adhere to requirements under the Food and Drugs Act (FDA) and Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) in addition to those under the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) and SFCR.
The information below outlines the main changes to labelling, standards of identity and grade requirements under the SFCR.
- Definition of "prepackaged" and "consumer prepackaged"
- Preventive control plan (PCP) content for consumer protection
Provides information on the content of a PCP related to consumer protection, such as the measures for ensuring labelling, standards and grades requirements are met.
- Traceability-specific labelling requirements
- Ministerial exemptions
Exemptions for the purpose of test marketing and to alleviate a shortage of food in Canada.
- Trade of fresh fruits and vegetables
Food and Drug Regulations – updates
- Amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations related to nutrition labelling, list of ingredients and food colours
Notice to Industry
- 2020-04-06: Notice to industry - Temporary suspension of certain labelling requirements for foodservice products due to COVID-19
- 2019-07-09: Notice to industry – Authenticity of honey in the Canadian marketplace
- 2019-06-26: Notice to industry – Final publication of regulatory changes to Canada's vodka compositional standard
- 2019-06-21: Notice to industry – New Test Market Authorizations process
- 2019-06-21: Notice to industry – Pre-publication of regulatory changes for Food Labelling Modernization
- 2019-05-08: Notice to industry – The use of food additives in certain ready-to-eat meat products
- 2019-05-01: Notice to industry – Final publication of regulatory changes to Canada's beer compositional standards
- 2018-09-19: Notice to industry – Use of natamycin in cheese production
- 2018-03-12: Notice to industry – Update on the Blended in Canada wine labelling consultation
- 2017-06-01: Notice to industry – Blended wine labelling consultation
- 2017-03-13: Notice to industry – Interim measure for TMA requests for food additives use in processed products
- 2016-12-21: Notice to industry – Reminder: Amended maple syrup grading and classification now in force
- 2016-06-27: Notice to industry – Undeclared egg in imported surimi and surimi-based products
- 2016-03-09: Notice to industry – Enforcement of new halal labelling and advertising requirements
- 2015-03-18: Notice to industry – Web-based Industry Labelling Tool supports label compliance across the food sector
- 2014-04-23: Notice to industry – Government of Canada improves labelling of halal food products
- Record of food labelling and advertising updates
- Test marketing and other authorizations
- Transition of caffeinated energy drinks from NHPs (Natural Health Products) to food using Temporary Market Authorizations Letters (TMAL)
- Memorandum – Caffeinated energy drinks
- Food labelling modernization
Some labelling aspects will change at a future date as part of the food labelling modernization initiative. Learn about key proposals to modernize the food labelling system and current status of this initiative.
- Food fraud
- "Product of Israel" wine labelling
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