On November 20 2012 Bill S-11, the Safe Food for Canadians Act,(1) passed its third reading in the House of Commons and now awaits royal assent.

The Safe Food for Canadians Act consolidates four key pieces of legislation:

  • the Canada Agricultural Products Act;
  • the Fish Inspection Act;
  • the Meat Inspection Act; and
  • the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (as that legislation relates to food).

Key elements of the Safe Food for Canadians Act include:

  • a mechanism for formalising and strengthening the controls applicable to imported foods through the ability to create a licensing regime for importers;
  • the authority to develop regulations on a broad range of food safety issues, including:
    • quality management/quality control programmes;
    • safety programmes and prevention control plans;
    • food traceability systems and record-keeping requirements; and
    • potentially, mandatory food hazard/recall notification;
  • a prohibition on the importation of unsafe foods (with greater anticipated regulatory/border scrutiny), and a prohibition on the sale of foods that have been recalled by federal order; and
  • significant fines/penalties for contravention of the legislation and possible director/officer liability.

For further information on this topic please contact Martha A Healey at Norton Rose's Ottawa office by telephone (+1 613 780 8638), fax (+1 613 230 5459) or email (martha.healey@nortonrose.com). Alternatively, contact Christine A Carron at Norton Rose's Montreal office by telephone (+1 514 847 4404), fax (+1 514 286 5474) or email (christine.carron@nortonrose.com) or Randy C Sutton at Norton Rose's Toronto office by telephone (+1 416 216 4046), fax (+1 416 216 3930) or email (randy.sutton@nortonrose.com).

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Endnotes

(1) www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Pub=Hansard&Doc=181&Parl=41&Ses=1&Language=E&Mode=1#SOB-7790708.