In this blog, we’ll focus on answering your questions about the SFCR License and Preventive Control Plans, including why they are important and how they go together.
What is a Safe Food for Canadians Regulations License (SFCR)?
The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) and the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) came into effect on January 15, 2019. The SFCR consolidates 14 sets of existing food regulations into one single set of regulations to maintain consistency of regulations for your food business, reduce administrative burden and allow food business to focus on outcome-based provisions. Under the SFCR, certain food businesses will require a license to conduct one or more activities.
This is to establish a framework and improve food safety in Canada. The SFCR applies to food and food ingredients for human consumption, whether they are imported, exported, or traded within the provinces. There are new elements covered in the SFCR regarding licensing, preventive controls, and traceability. The SFCR lists out requirements to issue, renew and amend a license and rules relating to meat products. It also lists out what kind of food businesses will require a license and when they need to have one. Having the license allows the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to know who the manufacturers are and what activities they conduct.
Why do I need an SFCR License?
As per Part 3, Division 1 of the Safe Food for Canadian Licence Regulations. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issues an SFRC license to businesses conducting food-related activities, such as manufacturing, trading, importing, or preparing food products for export or to be sent across territorial or provincial boundaries. This CFIA SFCR license helps the agency in aligning Canada’s regulations with global food standards, identifying food businesses, and taking responsive action when their activities fail to be compliant with the regulations. Certain requirements of the SFCR License may apply in 2021 based on food type of activity, commodity, and business size.
What is a Preventive Control Plan (PCP)?
The SFCR has a section focusing on preventive controls. These measures are to maintain food safety, reduce contamination, and ensure food that enters the Canadian market is safe. These controls cover areas including sanitation and pest control, treatments and processes, equipment, maintenance, and operation of establishments, unloading, loading, and storing food, employee competence, employee hygiene, employee health, and complaints and recalls. A preventive control plan (PCP) is written to explain how to identify and control the risks to food and food animals.
They are based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles and include areas related to packaging, labeling, grades, and standards of identity. Foreign suppliers and Canadian importers must explain how they meet the preventive food safety control requirements. According to SFCR section 86-89, food businesses must have and maintain a written PCP. However, some small businesses may be exceptions. This is to ensure businesses are manufacturing, exporting, and importing safe food. These measures help to identify, prevent, and correct issues during the production stage, which then protects Canadians, avoids product recalls, and continues market access with other countries that have similar requirements.
We can provide PCP plans, employee training, certification audit preparation, food safety documentation, and food safety plan development.
How can Quality Smart Solutions serve you?
Firstly, QSS can help with formula review, product labeling, and nutrition facts creation (for Canada and the USA).
Secondly, we can also help with registering supplemented foods with TMALs (Temporary Market Authorization License) or reviewing when the new Supplemented Food Regulations are published.
Thirdly, we help with Safe Foods for Canadians Regulations (HACCP, PCP, Food Import, GFSI Certification, and self-affirmed Gras & GRAS Notifications).
Help with facility registration, FSVP agent, and US Agent.