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New safety rules on fruits and veggies now in effect

New food safety requirements focus on food safety initiatives including traceability efforts

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is now enforcing new regulations on businesses that deal in fresh fruits and vegetables.

The new requirements fall under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), which focus on preventing unsafe food from entering the marketplace, and also removing it from the marketplace faster.

Under the new regulations, most businesses are required to maintain:

  • Preventive controls that address food safety hazards such as microbiological contamination to food and that help to prevent contaminated and non-compliant food from entering the marketplace;

  • Written preventive control plans that document the risks to food and how these risks are being controlled; and,

  • Traceability documentation that tracks the movement of food one step forward and one step back in the supply chain.

Also, new requirements for labelling of consumer-prepackaged fresh fruits or vegetables that are not packaged at the retail level are also in force. However, businesses have until January 15, 2021 to use up existing packaging.

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