The Safe Foods for Canadian Act (the Act) received Royal Assent in November 2012 and is anticipated to start taking effect at the beginning of 2015. Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have been busy consulting with stakeholders to develop new Regulations to support the Act.

The key goal of the Safe Food for Canadians Action Plan is to achieve the highest possible level of food safety for Canadians. As part of this effort, CFIA is in the process of developing a risk-based approach to its inspection activities on food commodities and establishments that pose the greatest risk for consumers. CFIA will also require all food manufacturers, including processed food manufacturers, to be licensed and have preventive control systems such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points. The Act includes provisions to register or licence importers, holding them accountable for the safety of the food commodities they bring into the country. Under the proposed regulatory framework, franchisors who import food products will need to implement the regulated food safety requirements and develop, maintain and retain Preventative Control Plans (PCPs). They will also have to develop systems to meet the new "one step forward one step backward" traceability requirements and will need to ensure compliance with new record-keeping requirements.