On July 6, 2022, Canada unveiled changes in the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) and the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR). These amendments were published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.
All these changes fall under the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)'s Food Product Innovation initiative, which aims to develop a more modern food labelling system that responds to current and future challenges in food labelling for all foods. Due to the effects of COVID-19 and the Government's approach to support economic recovery, the initiative is refocused on provisions that facilitate industry innovation and remove duplicative requirements.
Repeal of some standard container sizes
Certain standard container sizes are removed. The remaining standard container sizes can be found at standard container sizes IBR.
Incorporation by reference of ingredient common names (class names)
The list of mandatory ingredient's common names and optional class names which was previously included in regulations can be found at common names for ingredients and components IBR.
Updated definition of test market food
Test market provisions are expanded to cover all foods, which allows new foods on the Canadian market to apply for test market authorizations. These new foods have not been sold in Canada previously in that form and differ substantially from any other food sold in Canada in composition, function, condition or packaging form.
Harmonized and streamlined food commodity-specific labelling requirements
Certain commodity-specific requirements are removed. The remaining requirements for certain commodities can be found at descriptive words, expressions and identification names for specific foods IBR.
Clarification of licensing provisions of the SFCR do not apply to restaurants and similar enterprises
More details can be found at the summary of changes.
None of the changes require industry to make changes to their current food labels. As such, no transition period is necessary and all of the regulatory changes came into effect on the date the regulations were registered.
Stakeholders who intend to export their products to Canada should be aware that if their products are involved in the amendments.
For stakeholders who have exported products with requirements for containers, such as peanut butter, honey and meat products, they shall refer to the latest requirements for standard containers.
Enterprises that pursue market innovations may take the opportunities by applying for test market authorizations.