The following outlines the revised compliance requirements for prepackaged products and provides an outline of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) implementation plan
Compliance Coming into Effect After August 4, 2012
New enhanced labelling information is mandatory in Prepackaged Products. The following information will be required:
– Declaration of sources of common food allergens and gluten when present.
– Declaration of added sulphites if present in a total amount of 10 parts per million (ppm) or more.
– The common names for starches, modified starches, hydrolyzed plant protein and lecithin must provide information regarding the source from which these ingredients are derived (for example, wheat starch).
– Mustard seed will be added to the regulatory definition of a food allergen.
The declarations must appear on the label of the product with consistent and easy to understand terminology, either in the list of ingredients or in a statement that begins with the word “Contains.”
Compliance Before August 4, 2012
During the 18-month period before compliance comes into effect products with undeclared allergens that are identified as posing health risks by Health Canada will continue to be subject to enforcement action by the CFIA including possible product recall. Industry is encouraged to continue to identify the plant source of ingredients on labels (for example, hydrolyzed soy protein, wheat starch, modified wheat starch, soy lecithin).
Enhanced allergen labelling will give people with allergies or intolerances more information to make their food choices. While not required until the coming into force date, companies may start preparing new labels, reformulate etc. based on the new regulations at any time over the next 18 months.
All pre-packaged foods being offered for sale on and after August 4, 2012 must be in compliance with the new regulations. This includes imported and domestically produced foods, sold at all levels of trade in Canada.