The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) plays an important role in ensuring food safety and the protection of animal and plant resources. It works to protect Canadians from avoidable food-related health risks by adequately monitoring products and packaging materials used in food processing. The CFIA fulfills this mission by partnering with both consumer and industry players.
In 2014, the CFIA, together with Health Canada, revised its certification process. Now, only processing aids and packaging materials used in federally registered meat and poultry processing establishments are required to file an attestation request.
If a manufacturer would like to obtain CFIA certification for a product anyway, it can voluntarily make this request directly to Health Canada. In such an event, no update will be made to the CFIA’s registry.
Impact on Products
Health Canada evaluates a product’s safety for consumer health based on its composition. It is also during this safety evaluation that the risks associated with the methods of using the product are assessed. For example, this assessment determines whether a product is to be used with or without rinsing. Upon completing the evaluation, Health Canada issues a letter of no objection. This letter usually states the product concentrations that may be used without objection by federal authorities as well as the restrictions on how the product may be used (for example, rinsing with potable water). In food plants, letters of no objection issued by Health Canada are examined by CFIA inspectors. This allows CFIA inspectors to determine whether the products used in the plant are in compliance and being used properly (dilution, rinsing, etc.).