Questions and answers about the proposal

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 Questions and Answers about the Proposal
About the Proposal

1. How would foods prepared and sold within the same province be impacted?

The proposed regulations generally would not apply to foods sold within a province (intra-provincial trade). However, certain traceability, labelling and advertising requirements would apply to businesses selling within a province, such as net quantity declarations and bilingual labelling requirements. If businesses supply food products to Alberta retailers, they would be asked by the retailer to have traceability requirements in place.

The Food and Drugs Act and regulatory requirements that apply to foods sold within the same province are not impacted by the proposed SFCR.

Businesses can find out if they would need a licence, Preventive Control Plan and/or have traceability requirements by using interactive tools at

2. How would the proposed regulations impact imported foods and importers?

Those importing food, including ingredients used in food sold in Alberta, would be required to meet the same requirements as domestic producers selling food in another province, where applicable, such as obtaining a licence to import food into Canada. In addition, they would be required to work with their foreign suppliers to control any potential risks to the food they import. Importers would be required to have preventive controls in place; they would need to know their food, know their foreign supplier, and clearly articulate in a written plan the steps they take to control potential risks to food. This means being aware of any hazards that pose a risk of contamination to the food, ensuring that their suppliers are using safe conditions to prepare, store and transport their products and keeping this information in a written plan, known as the Preventive Control Plan. Importers would also have to keep traceability records identifying who they purchased food from and who they sold food to, similar to domestic producers.

3. When would the proposed regulations become law?

The outcome of this public consultation will affect the timing of final publication in Canada Gazette, Part II (CGII) and the corresponding coming into force.


The CFIA has developed the What would your traceability requirements be? tool to help you determine what information needs to be included in your traceability system.

4. I sell food at retail; would I need to trace the food I sell?

Retailers (excluding restaurants or other similar businesses that sell food as meals or snacks) would be responsible for tracking the incoming food that they sell (one step back). However, they are not required to track the sale of the food to the consumer (one step forward).

5. What is a lot code?

A lot code is a unique identifier for your food that allows it to be traced. You are responsible to determine what it represents and how it is represented. An explanation of how to read the lot code should be included in your traceability system.

6. When would I need to keep traceability documents?

Once the SFCR comes into force, the following timelines would apply: a person would be required to keep traceability documents immediately for meat, fish, eggs, processed eggs, dairy, processed fruit or vegetable products, honey, maple, and fresh fruit or vegetable products. Fresh fruit or vegetable growers and harvesters would have an additional year. A staged implementation approach for coming into force for all other foods would provide an additional two years.

Organic Products

The proposed organic provisions cover: food for human consumption; plant and animals, or any of their parts from which food is derived; animal feed; aquaculture animal feed, and seed.

7. Would there be any new regulatory requirements for the organic sector?

Yes. The following new requirements have been proposed: organic aquaculture standards related to aquaculture animals, seaweed and aquatic plants, and a person who is manufacturing, processing, treating, handling, slaughtering, producing, storing, packaging, labelling and conveying an organic product would need to obtain certification for that activity, unless they already hold an organic certification for that organic product.

8. My product is organic; do the provisions in Part 14 prevail over other food provisions?

No, one does not prevail over the other; they both apply. If you wish to label your food as organic, it needs to meet the provisions in Part 14 in addition to all of the other applicable parts of the proposed SFCR.

9. What is the difference between an inspection mark and an inspection legend?

The Safe Food for Canadians Act defines “inspection mark” as a prescribed mark, stamp, seal, product legend, work, design, or any combination of these things. This definition means that an inspection mark is the broader term that includes both the inspection legend and the Canada Organic logo.

Support for Businesses

10. Will the proposed regulations place too much burden on importers and small businesses that are not familiar with the CFIA and/or have limited knowledge of preventive controls?

As part of its proposal, the CFIA has addressed small business concerns by providing an exemption from the requirement to maintain a written Preventive Control Plan for businesses in some sectors with gross annual sales of food under $30,000. Small businesses will also be given additional time to comply with the regulations with staggered coming into force dates. Plain language guidance material and digital tools will continue to be developed to help food businesses in meeting the new requirements.

11. Will food businesses have enough time to prepare and implement a Preventive Control Plan?

Yes. The CFIA recognizes the challenges that some small businesses may have in meeting the administrative and compliance requirements related to the proposed regulations. To help address this, a staged implementation approach for coming into force for small businesses to comply with the proposed preventive control requirements has been proposed; refer to Table 1.

Additional Questions

12. Where should stakeholders direct their questions?

Stakeholders can refer to the main consultation page on the CFIA’s website to learn more about the proposed regulations – Further questions should be forwarded by phone to 1-800-442-2342 or by email via us.

Table 1: Proposed staggered implementation approach for Part 4 requirements.

Meat, Fish, Eggs, Processed Eggs, Dairy, Processed Fruit or Vegetable Products, Honey, MapleFresh Fruits and VegetablesAll Other Foods

>$30,000 and >5 employees
All Other Foods

>$30,000 and <5 employees
All Other Foods

Preventive control measuresImmediately upon coming into force+1 year+2 years+3 years+3 years
Written Preventive Control PlanImmediately upon coming into force+1 year+2 years+3 yearsNot required1

1 In addition to all other foods, honey, maple, and fresh fruit or vegetable products would not need a written Preventive Control Plan if they have gross annual sales of food that is <$30,000.

To request an export certificate, you must meet all requirements immediately upon coming into force.

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Eileen Kotowich.
This information published to the web on March 30, 2017.