Bakers Journal

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BAC updates industry on Safe Food legislation


July 4, 2014
By Bakers Journal

July 4, 2014, Mississauga, Ont. – Even if you are already
meeting food safety standards, you will need to clear a few hoops to comply
with the requirements of the Safe Food
for Canadians Act
and regulations.


July 4, 2014, Mississauga, Ont. – Even if you are already
meeting food safety standards, you will need to clear a few hoops to comply
with the requirements of the Safe Food
for Canadians Act
and regulations.

On June 25, The Baking Association of Canada (BAC) provided
updates on the legislation. When the act comes into force in June 2015,
companies exporting or importing ingredients or finished products within or
outside Canada will require a licence and a preventive control plan (PCP) that
meets government criteria.

A panel consisting of Laura Pasut, director of food and
nutrition policy for the BAC, Arun Sahu, manager of quality assurance for
Backerhaus Veit, and Mike Hudson, vice-president of quality systems and
regulatory for Lallemand/American Yeast, examined what this will mean for bakers
and suppliers in a webinar called “Are you ready? New food safety regulations
are coming!” hosted by BAC and moderated by Carolyn O’Brien of the BAC’s
technical and nutrition policy committee.

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Every two years food producers and distributors who transport
products over provincial or national borders will need to apply for one or more
licences – at a cost of $250 per licence – depending on their activities, said
Pasut. Companies with several locations may decide to maintain multiple
licences to prevent a problem in one facility from affecting others.

Importers to Canada need not reside in Canada, as was
previously indicated, said Pasut. Instead, if the foreign state has a similar
system to Canada’s, for example, the U.S., importers may report from abroad.

The PCP requires that companies identify issues and outline
their response. Businesses with under $30,000 profit annually will not require
a PCP. Companies must maintain traceability records for three years, as is the
Codex standard. The information need not be kept in Canada but must be
accessible.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada
are reviewing commodity-specific requirements. The process is holding up other
aspects because the agencies want to ensure label changes are done efficiently
and only once, she said.

On the supplier side, Mike Hudson said an associated draft
Risk Assessment Model (RAM) involves initial risks, mitigating factors
(evaluation of the PCP) and compliance factors (company’s compliance history
including inspection findings). He noted the Food Safety Enhancement Program
and HACCP remain in effect. Inspectors will assess before their visit, walk the
premises inside and out, finalize the scope of inspection, assess the PCP and
determine compliance. Importers must provide more documentation, and training
will be key for industry and regulators.

There will be a transition period of one year from June 2015
for the licence and a second year for a PCP.

The CFIA website houses the draft legislation and A New Regulatory Framework for Federal Food
Inspection: Overview of Proposed Regulations
.

The agency will post interpretive guidance and model systems
online as user-friendly templates. Readers may submit comments directly to the CFIA,
or BAC members may contact Laura Pasut at info@baking.ca
by July 15 to meet the July 21 deadline and be included as in the BAC
submission on A New Regulatory Framework (overview).
It will be published in Canada Gazette,
Part I,
with revisions. Industry will then have 60 days to comment on Gazette, Part II.

Read more about the regulations in “Licence to travel” in
the April 2014 issue of Bakers Journal.