SFCR License - Safe Food for Canadian Regulations in Canada

Quality Smart Solutions serves as your trusted partner throughout all stages of the SFCR license application process, from assembling all required SFCR License documents and preparing applications to complying with regulations.

SFCR is a Safe Food for Canadian Regulations system that has been created to cover all aspects of food safety. It is important for you to know about this because it ensures that your food is safe for consumption and won’t cause any harm to the health of your customers.

What are the Safe Foods for Canadians Licence Regulations?

The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) are federal regulations that require food businesses to comply with food safety requirements. These include the following: Safe Foods for Canadians Regulation was introduced on January 15th, 2019 to modernize how food businesses approach and regulate food safety. SFCR monitors imported, exported, or interprovincially traded food products. Also, it lets Canadians have a strong, world-class regulatory foundation for managing risks through three pillars: licensing, traceability, and preventive controls. The goal of the Safe Food for Canadians License Regulations is to ensure consistency and uniformity of rules across all types of foods, diminish management burden, and enable food businesses to be inventive through outcome-based provisions. As an outcome of SFCR License regulations, food businesses are able to use innovative technology, prevent foodborne illness, and withdraw unsafe food from the market in case of any incidents.

Why do I need a 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.

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SFCR safe food for canadians regulations License

Type of businesses that need an SFCR License

Any business conducting food-related activities that include the following activities needs an SFCR license. These activities are:

The SFRC license application is an online portal with a fee associated with the respective activity.  SFRC Licenses are valid for a set time and will be subject to renewal.  Any changes to the SFRC food license (eg. Site location, activities, etc.) will require an amendment to the SFCR License.

What happens if my business does not comply with the SFCR regulations (specific labeling guidelines & requirements)?

Non-compliance with the SFCR regulations can result in penalties, fines, or legal action. The CFIA may suspend or revoke your SFCR License, preventing you from continuing your food manufacturing operations. It’s crucial to adhere to the regulations to avoid these consequences. SFCR outlines specific requirements for food labeling and packaging. This includes accurate ingredient lists, allergen declarations, bilingual labeling (English and French), and clear indications of the origin of the product. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with these guidelines to ensure compliance. To obtain an SFCR License, businesses must have a robust food safety system in place. This includes implementing preventive controls, having traceability measures, ensuring proper labeling, and maintaining records of production and distribution. Additionally, businesses may need to undergo inspections to verify compliance.

SFCR License (Operations & Importing)

You must hold a license to operate a food establishment from the SFCR. If you’re operating a retail food establishment, you’ll need to apply for a food dealer’s license at your local municipal office. If you’re operating an institutional or industrial kitchen, contact the SFCR for details on how to proceed with licensing your facility.

SFCR license holders need to take steps to ensure food imported into Canada is safe:

Importing food into Canada is regulated because it gives us the opportunity to protect Canadians from unsafe food products entering our country. It also helps protect Canadian consumers from being misled about what they’re buying.

As a permit holder, you are responsible for ensuring that imported foods meet all applicable laws and regulations. In addition, as an importer of record you must keep records on all imported foods in your possession or control at all times so that we may easily trace back those products should there be a need for further inspection or investigation related to those items (e.g., recall).

A food establishment licence is required for any business that sells food for human consumption. The purpose of a food establishment licence is to ensure that businesses sell safe food and meet all provincial requirements related to the production, storage and handling of food.

SFCR License to Import and Operate
SFCR Canada

How to prepare for an SFCR Canada inspection?

To prepare for an SFCR Canada inspection, businesses should ensure they have all necessary documentation and records, including their preventive control plan, traceability records, and labeling information. It’s also important to ensure that all employees are trained on food safety practices and that the facility is clean and well-maintained. During the inspection, businesses should be cooperative and transparent with the inspector, answering questions and providing requested information. If any issues are identified during the inspection, businesses should take immediate steps to address them and ensure they comply with SFCR Canada requirements.

What are the key requirements of SFCR Canada and consequences of non-compliance?

The key requirements of SFCR Canada include having a preventive control plan in place, maintaining traceability records, complying with labeling requirements, and obtaining a license or registration with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Preventive control plans are designed to identify and manage potential hazards in the food production process. At the same time, traceability records help track food product movement throughout the supply chain. Labeling requirements include providing accurate and complete information about the product, such as the ingredients, allergens, and nutritional information. Businesses must also obtain a license or registration with the CFIA, depending on the food activity they are engaged in.

Non-compliance with SFCR Canada can result in serious business consequences, including fines, product recalls, and even legal action. In addition, non-compliant businesses may damage their reputation and lose customer trust. Businesses need to take SFCR Canada requirements seriously and ensure that they comply to avoid these negative consequences.

SFCR License Canada

Can I import food products into Canada without an SFCR License and how often are inspections conducted to ensure SFCR compliance?

No, businesses importing food products into Canada must also comply with the SFCR regulations. Having an SFCR License is essential for both domestic food manufacturers and importers to ensure that the imported products meet Canadian food safety standards. The frequency of inspections can vary based on the type of food product and the level of risk associated with the manufacturing process. CFIA inspectors conduct regular inspections to verify compliance with the SFCR regulations. Businesses should always be prepared for these inspections and maintain their food safety standards consistently.

Why should I hire Quality Smart Solutions for your SFCR Food License Needs?

We have a proven track record of successful applications for hundreds of entities in obtaining SFCR licenses in addition to regulated activities and uplifting licensing conditions.

All Types of Licensing Applications

We have the capability to handle all types of licensing applications for startup, SMEs as well as established corporations

Expert Guidance

Based on the assessment, our team of experts will guide you about the application process and licensing requirements.

Form Preparation

We'll help you prepare application forms and all essential documents, such as business plan, compliance & internal control manual, etc.

Former Health Canada Officers

We have former Health Canada officers to work closely with you and give you access to the most extensive talent pool in every key function.

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