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Canadian Federal Food Regulations

Updated: May 26, 2022

Canadian food regulations can be complex with both Federal (Canada wide) and Provincial regulations governing food made and sold in Canada.

There are two key federal regulations impacting food in Canada.

1) The Food and Drug Regulations set out requirements for manufacture, packaging, labelling, storage, importing, distribution of food in Canada. It also regulates prescription and non prescription drugs.

Key components impacting early stage food companies are:

  • Labelling

  • Packaging Materials

  • Compositional requirements for certain foods

  • Food Additives (what is allowed, what foods they they can be used in and at what levels)

2) The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations are relatively new in Canada and came into force in 2019. There are three main components of the SFCR.

  • License: Required for food manufacturers who ship out of their province, companies that import food/ingredients into Canada and companies that export food.

  • Food Safety: The SFCR license applicant must confirm that they meet all the requirements and this includes written food safety "Preventive Control Plan".

  • Traceability: Companies with a SFCR license AND companies who sell product to retailers within their province must have a system in place to track all ingredients purchased and products shipped in the case of a food safety issue.

This image illustrates the structure of Canada Food Regulations.

By Marlis Bens, Venturepark Labs Program Manager


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