Food Safety is a growing concern among consumers, who are pushing regulators in Canada to improve food safety. A recent extra push, following a large scale meat recall, has forced the government to consider simplifying and consolidating their systems to better meet the needs of modern consumers.
There’s currently an act in the works, which has already been adopted by the senate as of this writing (Article), which addresses this need for further control of food safety in Canada. The bill is designed to reform current food safety policies, “in order to modernize and enhance the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s” food safety policies. The proposed act focuses on three core concepts:
- Improved food safety oversight to better protect consumers
- Streamlined and strengthened legislative authorities
- Enhanced international market opportunities for Canadian industry
The government statement (Here) says the new act will deliver more consistent inspection and enforcement authorities to the CFIA. It also involves the consolidation of power among regulatory bodies, and some specific implications have been mapped out. The following activities have been suggested to support the overall concepts:
- An enhanced ability for inspectors to compel food producers to provide information in a timely and standardized manner
- The authority for CFIA to require traceability systems for food producers by way of regulation
- Tougher penalties for intentional activities that put the health and safety of Canadians at risk
- A more consistent inspection regime across all food commodities
- Better control over imports and exports
The main purpose of these activities, of course, is to improve food safety. All of these activities are going to have an effect on the process manufacturers in Canada who are actually responsible for creating the food Canadians are eating. It is easy to see how the consumer benefits if these activities are carried out.
For the process manufacturers of the food in particular, the effect could be quite considerable, especially when it comes to things like access to timely information and traceability, as these are things that many process manufacturers of food and beverage products simply do not have yet.
Implementing processes and systems that support these activities will take time and money, which again will affect food and beverage manufacturers. Ultimately, the new regulation will benefit Canadian consumers, but not before food manufacturers face some challenges to comply and maintain systems that satisfy the CFIA demands.
We will continue to keep you up to date on the latest updates to the act, as it makes its way to becoming a law. If voted into law, we will issue a follow-up publication detailing what action can be taken to address the new regulations head on.
To learn more about the act and ways it could potentially affect your business, the government website on the act serves as a great resource as it continues to make its way to becoming a reality. You can find that website by Clicking Here