Canadian chicken producers are crying foul over shady American spent fowl exports.
Last year, Canada imported more than 97 million kilograms of chicken meat that was declared as being from spent fowl – which is 110% of the United States’ entire annual spent fowl production.
“We’re importing a lot more (spent fowl) than the United States even produces,” said Erna Ference, chair of Alberta Chicken Producers. “That leads us to believe there’s some foul play coming into effect.” Read more here.
Today, Health Minister Rona Ambrose announced new labelling requirements for mechanically tenderized beef (MTB) to help consumers know when they are buying MTB products and how to properly cook them to prevent food poisoning.
Starting today, all MTB products sold in Canada must be clearly labelled as “mechanically tenderized,” and include instructions for safe cooking. The new labels will emphasize the importance of cooking MTB to a minimum internal temperature of 63°C (145°F) and turning over mechanically tenderized steaks at least twice during cooking to kill harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
Click here to read the official government news release.
(Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)
Please find attached draft Circular VNM53. This circular publicizes a “list of regulated commodities and a list of regulated commodities subject to Pest Risk Assessment (PRA) before products can be imported into Vietnam”. Also attached is Vietnam’s list of plant quarantine pests which was published in 2005 and remains valid.
We would also like to provide an update from Post/ Vietnam and comments/ analysis from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regarding the PRA requirements for plant products imported into Vietnam as found in draft Circular VNM56 circulated to industry on June 13, 2014.
Since the publication of the draft Circular VNM56, Vietnam’s Plant Protection Department (PPD) has informed Post that the Circular will replace all previous regulations. Therefore, all Canadian commodities, regardless of whether they have previously been exported to Vietnam, will be subject to PRA requirements once the Circular is implemented. However, PPD has also informed Post that some Canadian commodities will not require a PRA, since Canada is not on Vietnam’s list of countries that have previously exported contaminated shipments. These commodities include: soybeans, rice bran, wheat, barley, corn seeds, meals, corn meal, raw cotton, and wheat bran.
Please note that PPD also indicated that should any shipment of these Canadian commodities be found to carry listed quarantine pests, Canada will be included in Vietnam’s list of countries subject to a PRA for these commodities.
At this time, the CFIA does not see the need to provide formal comments on Vietnam’s draft Circular VNM56, unless industry indicates a need for further clarification.
Today, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, announced the implementation of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) Inspection Verification Teams to oversee the performance of Canada’s food safety system.
Starting this month, six teams of three inspection verification officers will begin conducting targeted verifications at federally registered food establishments such as slaughter and meat production facilities. The verifications will focus on areas critical to the inspection and production of safe food, such as plant sanitation and the effectiveness of a company’s response to food recalls. An additional four teams will be operational by the fall.
s announced in June 2013, the Government of Canada has committed $16 million over three years to establish the Inspection Verification Teams. Their activities are over and above regular inspections conducted every day in facilities across Canada. Existing front-line CFIA inspectors will continue to conduct specified daily tasks to verify that food safety requirements are being met while the Inspection Verification Teams have a broader oversight role.
(Food Safety News)
Food and Water Watch has petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture to revoke equivalency status for four meat inspection programs in Canada, Australia and New Zealand because they have replaced government meat inspectors with company employees.
The Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) “has based its equivalency determinations for these inspection systems for meat imports on the HACCP-based Inspection Models Project (HIMP) in hog slaughter,” read the organization’s letter, adding, “That pilot project has been limited to only five hog slaughter facilities in the United States and has never been evaluated by FSIS as to its effectiveness.” Read more here.
(Steven Burton – Huffington Post)
New regulations in the U.S. and Canada are poised to “amp up” enforcement of non-compliant food manufacturers via sweeping new changes to food safety laws.
These new regulations are in response to a series of food poisoning cases linked to tainted grocery products in the U.S. and Canada resulting in numerous fatalities. Here in Canada, enforcement of these laws will be through the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) via the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) and in the U.S., through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) via two new laws: the Food Safety Enhancement Act and the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Read more here.
Please be advised that the CFIA is updating the Susceptible Species of Aquatic Animals and Associated Diseases of Concern web page in order to maintain consistency with international obligations and further prevent aquatic animal disease introduction to safeguard Canada’s aquatic animals.
The updated list of Susceptible Species of Aquatic Animals and Associated Diseases of Concern can be found here.
This will change importing requirements for some species of aquatic animals as they have either been added or removed from the list. The CIFA has also added the diseases Salmonid Alphavirus and Ostreid herpesvirus 1 microvariant to ensure Canada meets international standards governing trade as outlined by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
Import permits are required for all susceptible species of finfish, molluscs, and crustaceans. These animals must meet the import requirements to enter Canada. Prior to importing aquatic animals, importers should always determine the requirements in AIRS.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has created a Centre of Administration to centralize and consolidate the administration of domestic and import-related permissions (licences, permits and registrations). The Centre of Administration opened for business on April 1st, 2014.
The Centre of Administration provides single window access for stakeholders to inquire about or apply for a licence, permit or registration from the CFIA. The Centre will provide services in both official languages from 7am – 7pm EST. The Centre of Administration will make every effort to achieve the following turnaround time:
- All email and voice mail messages will be responded to within three business days.
- You should plan for up to 10 business days for processing simple applications and longer for complex permissions (inspection or risk assessment required, document review / approval required).
Please note: At various times of the year our service delivery may be affected due to higher than normal volumes.
Please be advised of an important update to the submission of Official Meat Import Certificates (OMIC).
The National Import Service Centre (NISC) no longer collects a paper copy of the OMIC. As of now, facility operators should only submit the electronic copy to the responsible inspector at the facility.
To find out if your meat shipment requires an inspection from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), please use the Automated Shipment Inspection Status Search Tool (ASISST).
For any further questions, please contact: OG-OO@inspection.gc.ca.
(John Cotter – Canadian Press)
The federal government is proposing to give itself the power to fine meat-processing plants that break hygiene and other operating rules meant to protect human health.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the regulatory change would give it another enforcement tool to help protect consumers. But meat industry representatives and a food safety expert are skeptical. Read more here
(STR Trade Report)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have imposed a number of requirements on vessels inbound from specified ports to prevent the introduction of the Asian gypsy moth. A joint notice states that AGM is a serious pest that can be carried on the superstructure of ships and cargo and that AGM populations are prevalent in some seaport areas in Far East Russia, Japan, Korea and northern China. The notice states that U.S. and Canadian authorities intercepted vessels with AGM egg masses in 2013 and that significant delays in cargo loading or discharging activities, as well as routine clearance, can occur if AGM is detected or if vessels arrive without the required AGM certification. Read more here.
Huge changes to Canada’s food and beverage sector coming in 2015 will have the CFIA (Canada Food Inspection Agency) enforcing federal licensing for all food makers, importers and exporters in the country.
A standardized set of inspection criteria for all food products, as well as an expanded list of goods that fall under the watchful eye of inspectors, are also on the way. As part of the CFIA’s efforts to modernize, many of these new regulations will replace regulations that date back to the 1940s. […]
Ushered in with the Safe Food for Canadians Act in 2012, the modernization program calls for all companies to develop and implement scalable preventative control plans. Read more here.
Issues: Recent events of food-borne illness derived from mechanically tenderized beef (MTB) have underscored the need for consistent and enhanced food labelling to provide consumers with information to support the identification of MTB products and provide instructions for safe cooking.
Description: The proposed Regulations would amend the Food and Drug Regulations by introducing the following elements: a definition of MTB, a requirement that all MTB sold in Canada be labelled clearly with information that it has been mechanically tenderized and safe cooking instructions.
Cost-benefit statement: The proposal would provide a net benefit of an estimated $418,800 over a 10-year period. Based on a 95% rate of coverage, (see footnote 1) a one-time compliance cost, estimated to be $114,700, would be attributable to label changes. Further, clear safe cooking instructions on the label would provide consumers with important information to prevent food-borne illnesses, monetized at about $110,800 annually.continue reading
A new report suggests it costs Canadian farmers and the agriculture industry $657 million a year to comply with food inspection rules.
The figure from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business is based on a survey of agri-businesses across the country. The CFIB also says only one-in-five agri-business owners believe the Canadian Food Inspection Agency provides ‘‘good overall service.”
The lobby group says since 2006, the annual average cost of complying with CFIA rules and paperwork has grown from $19,000 to $20,396 per business. Sixty percent of agri-business owners told the CFIB that the federal agency’s regulations add significant stress to their lives. Read more here.
To all importers and brokers importing meat and meat products originating from Australia, you are required to add the prefix AUS in front of the Australian official meat export certificate number when completing and submitting your Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Request for Documentation Review (CFIA form 5272) to the National Import Service Center (NISC).
The Australian certificate number can be obtained from the Australian exporter.
- If the certificate number is entered as 52525252 it will be incorrect and your entry will be rejected.
- If the certificate number is entered as AUS52525252 it will be correct and your entry will be processed.
(Renata D’Aliesio – Globe & Mail)
A U.S. audit of Canada’s food-safety system calls on the federal regulator to strengthen oversight of sanitation and the humane handling of animals at meat-slaughtering plants.
The findings from the tour of seven food-processing facilities, two laboratories and five Canadian Food Inspection Agency offices in the fall of 2012 were kept confidential until recently. The U.S. Department of Agriculture declined to release the report earlier to The Globe and Mail, which requested it through U.S. access to information law. The findings were published last month on the department’s website.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency received an “adequate” rating, the lowest of three scores that are meted out to countries deemed eligible to export food to the United States. The designation means Canada will be subject to more robust audits and its food exports will undergo more inspections at the U.S. border than those of countries whose food-safety systems were rated “average” or “well-performing.” Read more here.
In accordance with the Beyond the Border Action Plan, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will conduct an “onion pilot” aimed at removing certification requirements (grade verification) for US grown onions imported from the United States (US).
The onion pilot will include US grown onions imported from the US that are marketed fresh to consumers or are intended for further processing/repacking (in bulk).
The revised Canadian import requirements for onions will come into effect on January 20, 2014 and will remain in effect until April 30, 2014. During this time period, inspection/certification by USDA (USDA inspection certificate [FV-205]) or CFIA (custom clearance inspection) will not be required for US grown onions imported from the US. Onions will still be required to meet the minimum grade, labelling and packaging requirements according to the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Regulations.
Onions grown in a country other than the US and imported from a US distributor (not in bond) to Canada will still require an FV-205 or a Conditional Release Form (followed by Custom Clearance Inspection) to be considered compliant with Canadian import requirements.