The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), implemented across the country on January 15, 2019, have brought significant changes for Canadian foodservice business. The new regulations have been put into place with the intention of improving food safety for Canadians, improving consumer confidence in knowing that the food they receive and eat will be safe and from sources they can trust. These regulations bring a variety of benefits for businesses and consumers, as well as some changes your foodservice business will need to take into consideration.
Why the change in regulations?
Food safety is a constantly evolving and changing sector, with new challenges in need of solving that often require new regulations or guidelines. The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations have been created in order to instill more confidence in Canadian consumers, ensuring that the food products they’re purchasing and eating aren’t going to harm them, and that they are exactly what they’re being sold as. The new SFCR regulations have replaced guidelines that were in place for decades, updating regulations to fit constantly evolving food technologies and supply chains. The regulations also adapt to evolving food safety challenges, while still supporting Canada’s ability to compete on an international stage.
The SFCR has improved the consistency of food safety regulations across food businesses and types of food, reducing administrative burden while still supporting the ability of food businesses to be innovative through outcome-based provisions. The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations have replaced a number of acts and regulations relating to dairy products and eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables, licensing and arbitration, and more.
What does my business need to know about the SFCR?
The changes brought on by the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations mean that foodservice businesses and others subject to these regulations are now responsible for ensuring that all food prepared, imported, and exported are safe and meet regulations. In an attempt to curb the spread of food fraud, businesses also must ensure that all food products are labelled and presented in a truthful manner that meets requirements, avoiding any false or misleading advertising or presentation.
Lastly, food must be of a nature and quality that complies with regulatory grade and compositional requirements. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency will also do their part to ensure that businesses receive the proper assistance to ensure compliance, and that appropriate enforcement actions are taken for businesses who fail to meet regulatory standards.
How do these changes benefit foodservice businesses?
New regulations may seem like they’re going to bring difficult new responsibilities for businesses, but the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations have been designed to benefit the industry. Your customers will be able to take solace in knowing that the food they’re buying and consuming is going to be safe and genuine, generally meaning customers who are more satisfied and trusting in you and your staff. The SFCR also makes it easier for businesses to prevent the breakout of foodborne illness by updating dated guidelines, and by removing unsafe food from the supply chain and market easier and more efficiently than ever before.