A Food Safety Specialist’s Guide to the Safe Food for Canadians Act

Food quality trainingA 2014 report by the Conference Board of Canada, in collaboration with the University of Guelph’s Food Institute, revealed that Canada’s food safety system was ranked among the best in the world. In fact, our food safety system tied for first place with Ireland’s, in comparison to 17 other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. Food safety experts understand that this excellent ranking is an indication of the country’s ability to assess, manage and communicate food safety concerns, as well as its capacity to quickly respond to food safety emergencies. One major way that the government of Canada protects Canadians from consuming potentially harmful food is through its Safe Food for Canadians Act.

Students hoping to pursue a food safety career in Canada should have a thorough understanding of the Safe Food for Canadians Act and all the ways in which this legislation helps strengthen the Country’s food system. Read on to learn about some of the main areas of food safety that the Act focuses on improving.

Improved Food Safety Oversight to Better Protect Consumers

With the intent of enhancing food safety procedures from all areas of the supply chain to the consumer, the Safe Food for Canadians Act provides new authorities to address food safety risks, including deceptive practices, food tampering and any other hazards against consumer health. Individuals holding a food safety diploma know that this legislation also works to strengthen food traceability by providing the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) with the authority to develop food regulations and immediately act on possibly unsafe items. The Act also aims to improve Canadian import controls mainly by holding importers accountable for all of the items that are brought into the country.

Strengthened Food Safety Legislative Authorities

Students pursuing food quality training will learn that the Safe Food for Canadians Act establishes a more consistent system through the consolidation of all authorities including: the Fish Inspection Act, the Canadian Agricultural Products Act, the Meat Inspection Act, and the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act. Through the unification of all of these authorities, professionals with food technology, safety and quality diplomas have the ability to provide much more efficient safety inspections.

For example, the Fish Inspection Act ensures the regulation of all imports and exports of fish, covering the proper storage, transportation and inspection of all fish product in the country.

Enhanced International Market Opportunities

Under the Safe Food for Canadians Act, the CFIAis granted the authority to certify all food items for export. As a result, the CFIA is granted the authority to treat all exported food items consistently. This legislation will work to ensure that food is much safer for Canadians, since it helps coordinate our food safety system with that of other countries.

How would you promote food safety in Canada once you earn your food technology, safety and quality diploma?