Revised CFIA process provides 2-hour timeframe to confirm
information for public warnings for food recalls
Earlier this month, CFIA asked industry associations to
circulate a letter advising of CFIA's new process for issuing
public warnings for food recalls. The aim of the new process, which
is effective immediately, is to increase the timeliness of
notifying the public, should a public notice be required. The
new process as outlined in the letter is as follows:
Under certain circumstances, the CFIA will share a draft public
warning with the implicated company before CFIA has
confirmed that a food recall with a public warning is needed.
The affected company will be asked to review the draft public
warning for accuracy with respect to the product description,
distribution and company name, and to provide confirmation
within 2 hours.
CFIA notes that the request to review the draft public warning
is not to be interpreted as a request for a recall and
indicates that confirmation of the content of the draft warning
will not imply that the affected company agrees that the product
poses a health risk to consumers.
While the letter indicates that "The CFIA would notify the
affected company as soon as a Health Risk Assessment is obtained
and/or a decision to request a recall has been made" –
the letter does not address when the affected company would have an
opportunity to play a role in the Health Risk Assessment or the
Regulations under Safe Foods for Canadians Act
In late January, CFIA advised industry groups that the
publication of regulations under the Safe Foods for Canadians
Act will be delayed to address feedback from industry
consultations which occurred in late 2014. CFIA advised that it
will assess whether additional consultations are required, and that
stakeholders will be notified once next steps have been
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