Canada's new Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) are now in effect.

The regulations are consistent with international standards and focus on prevention and allowing for faster removal of unsafe food from the marketplace.

They will replace 14 sets of regulations with one.

"The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations are consistent with international food safety standards, and position Canadian food businesses to be more innovative and competitive, both at home and abroad," said Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay. "They represent a vital step towards achieving our Government's trade target of growing agriculture and food exports to $75 billion by 2025."

Under the SFCR, food businesses that import or prepare food for export or to be sent across provincial or territorial boundaries must have a license.

Businesses are also required to have preventive controls that outline steps to address potential risks to food safety, and to trace their food back to their supplier and forward to businesses who bought their products.

While some requirements come into force immediately, others will be phased in over the following 12-30 months, depending on the food commodity, type of activity and business size.

The United States has recently made it a requirement for all Canadian businesses that export food to meet their new food safety standards.

The SFCR will permit Canadian food businesses to acquire a license that demonstrates that they meet the requirements under the U.S. Foreign Supplier Verification Program so that they can continue trading with the United States.


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