Do you want to learn about the food regulations for food sales in North America? This could include food facility registration, food safety regulation standards, TMAL, food label requirements, FSVP agents, and more. Then your wish is about to be granted.
If you import, export, manufacture, or trade food products in North America you may have had trouble with the complex Food & Beverage Regulatory Requirements.
The food & beverage industry is growing fast, especially with the growing demand for Non-GMO, Vegan/Vegetarian, and other alternatives.
Canadian Food Regulations & Food Labelling in Canada
Canadian Foods are regulated by Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the Canada Border Services Agency. Some applicable regulations for foods and imports in Canada are the Food and Drug Regulations, the Safe Foods for Canadians Regulations, and the Customs Act.
Food labels must be bilingual, and common names, countries of origin, expiry dates, and storage instructions must be included. Any label claims being made must be reviewed against the permitted lists to ensure they are compliant.
All statements must be truthful and not misleading on your label. At Quality Smart Solutions our team of specialists can help review your labels for compliance.
TMAL and Supplemented Food Standards
Traditional foods are those that have been consumed for a long time, such as bread, milk, and eggs. Supplemented foods are those that have had new ingredients or manufacturing processes added to them, such as caffeine in an energy drink.
A traditional food must have a compliant label, and a supplemented food must also be approved through a review process called a TMAL or Temporary Market Authorization Letter.
New regulations are set to be published in the spring of 2022 to allow and set out several categories of foods for which certain ingredients can be supplemented.
Food Safety Requirements for Importing food into Canada
When shipping food from another country into Canada you must have or use a Safe Foods for Canadians Food Import License (SFCR).
A Preventative Control Plan (PCP) and a HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) must be set up for your food manufacturing site. Quality Import Solutions can help with this and with bringing your products into Canada.
U.S Labels must be bilingual and there must be enough product testing (for example, for allergens, microorganisms, and heavy metals). Please note that there are also customs and duties required for importing that must be arranged with a broker or freight partner.
Why food regulations are important in the USA?
USA foods are regulated by the US Food and Drugs Administration, the US Department of Agriculture, and Customs and Border Protection. Some applicable regulations are the Food Safety and Modernization Act, and the Bioterrorism Act. These set out requirements for food in the USA.
US Regulations for Food Label Requirements
It is important to make sure your label meets US standards. This includes the common name, net quantity, ingredients, and nutritional information. The US Department of Health and Human Services has published a labeling guide to help with this.
One tip is to avoid intervening material, which is any text that is not required by regulation. An example of this could be a gluten-free claim between the nutrition facts table and the ingredients list. This can divert the consumers’ attention.
Food Facility Registration in the USA
FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) and the Bioterrorism Act require that all food production facilities must be registered with the FDA and renewed every other year, which allows the agency to track and regulate them. Registration can be revoked if there is a risk to human health. Facilities can submit their registration package online, by mail, or by fax. A US agent is required to communicate with the FDA on behalf of the facility and must be a resident of or located in the USA.
What is and why do I need an FSVP Agent?
An FSVP Agent is a representative located in the USA who is responsible for reviewing and holding food safety-related documentation that proves a company/food facility meets or exceeds US food requirements.
The goal is to ensure products are not adulterated or misbranded by exceeding the US food requirements for all important documentation. The FSVP agent will assist with compliance reviews and audits, or questions issued by the regulator.
Importer of Record!
Finally, our sister company Quality Import Solutions can help with the importation and market entry for Canadian and US foods by acting as your Importer of Record.