Harper Government AnnouncesSafe Food For Canadians Action Plan
May 17, 2013, Saskatoon: Building on its long-standingcommitment to food safety, the Harper Government unveiled its Safe Food forCanadians Action Plan today. The Action Plan aims to further improve Canada’sfood safety system by strengthening food safety rules, more effectiveinspection, a renewed commitment to service and more information for consumers.
"Canada has a world-class food safety system andour Government is committed to taking real steps to make it evenstronger," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "This Action Plan isone of the steps our Government is taking to ensure that our system continuesto provide safe food for Canadian families today and in the future."
Through the Action Plan, the Canadian Food InspectionAgency (CFIA) will launch a number of significant food safety enhancements overthe next two years. Most notably, the CFIA will work with consumer groups andindustry to develop new regulations that will bring into force the Safe Foodfor Canadians Act, passed in November 2012.
As a first step, the CFIA is strengthening some of itsbeef safety rules and has implemented new mandatory requirements that willstrengthen the control of E. coli in federally-registered beef plants.
Also, by July 2, 2013, federally-registered plantsthat produce mechanically tenderized beef cuts, such as steaks or roasts, willbe required to label those products as tenderized and with cookinginstructions.
While these actions are specific tofederally-registered plants, Health Canada also intends to propose broadermandatory labels to identify beef that has been mechanically tenderized atretail outlets like supermarkets. This voluntary practice has been in placesince 2012.
This spring, the CFIA will launch a review of the foodregulations in Canada that will need to be revised in order to bring the SafeFood for Canadians Act into force. It is expected this work will take up to twoyears. Active consumer and stakeholder engagement in the process will beimportant to the success of efforts to bring the new legislation into force.
Consumer groups and stakeholders will have that opportunityat an upcoming food safety regulatory forum in June.
For more information on the Action Plan, visit the CFIA’s website atwww.inspection.gc.ca/safefood.