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Update on SFCR requirements for the manufactured food sector

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is working diligently to respond to challenges raised by industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic while remaining committed to preserving Canada’s food safety system and its animal and plant resource base.

At the same time, we recognize that industry is prioritizing the health and safety of its employees while working hard to ensure Canada’s food supply remains reliable and safe for Canadians.

Given these extraordinary circumstances, until further notice the CFIA will not prioritize compliance activities associated with the July 15, 2020 coming into force of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) for the manufactured food sector.

Any changes to the CFIA’s prioritization of these compliance activities will be announced with adequate lead time once the situation allows.

Despite the above, affected businesses are encouraged to apply for a licence under the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA).  However, importers of manufactured food will generally not encounter delays or disruptions in their imports simply because of not having a Safe Food for Canadians licence yet. Domestic manufacturers can continue to operate while they apply for a licence.

Industry is responsible for ensuring the safety of their food products at all times.  The CFIA will continue to support businesses in their efforts to comply with relevant legislation, including the SFCA and the SFCR.

In the event of a food safety issue, the CFIA will take action to protect consumers.  This may include recalling, seizing or detaining food products and using other enforcement and control measures.

We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and may adjust our compliance activities as it evolves.

Please continue to check our website regularly for updates on the CFIA’s response to COVID-19.

For information on the SFCR, please see our Toolkit for food businesses.

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COVID-19 is a global challenge. Keeping our supply chains moving is important for maintaining the health and wellbeing of citizens and businesses. While the Canada - U.S. border is now closed to non-essential traffic, it is still open for trade and commerce. We are committed to doing our part for global supply chains.

We are protecting the health and safety of our employees. They are working from home, except for critical functions that require certain equipment or managing paper/courier flow. In those cases we are following social distancing guidelines.

We are open and available to assist you, and key players in your supply chains. Our dedicated staff are available 24/7 and our brokerage and logistics experts are available to help you make adjustments to your supply chain, if necessary.

We encourage you to check out the government programs available to families, businesses, exporters and importers. And, while respecting the need for social distancing we encourage everyone, including our staff, to reach out and remain connected to family, friends, colleagues and customers.

Stay safe.

Peter Willson
Chairman & CEO
Willson International

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