The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) – An Overview

The Canadian Food Inspection
Agency (CFIA)
An overview
© 2007 Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada
(Canadian Food Inspection Agency), all rights reserved. Use without permission is prohibited.
Our people
Approx. 7,200
dedicated and highly
trained professionals
work across Canada.
We have:
18 regional offices
160 field offices
Our Senior Management
Agency is now reporting to Minister of Health for
Food/Consumer Protection and Minister of
Agriculture and Agri-food for our Animal Health and
Plant Protection mandate.
Budget 2014
First budget tabled where the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is
part of the Health Portfolio, and it included a number of key policy decisions.
Many of the Budget themes touched on the Agency's regulatory
transformation, including reducing regulatory burden, Canada-US regulatory
cooperation, and modernizing legislation like the Plant Breeders Rights Act
Under the broader theme of "Supporting Families and Communities",
Budget 2014 announced $390 M over 5 years to strengthen Canada's food
safety system.
Agency Transformation
• The CFIA is transforming how it delivers its mandated
programs and activities to better meet the needs of
today’s consumer and industry. We are:
• consolidating and modernizing our regulations
• being more consistent in how we interpret and enforce them
• streamlining processes
• using a more rigour process to integrate science in our decisions,
• providing single-window access to services whenever feasible
Safe Food for Canadians Action Plan
• The Action Plan aims to strengthen Canada’s
food safety system through:
• stronger food safety rules
• more effective inspection
• a renewed commitment to service, and
• more information for consumers.
Legislative and Regulatory Modernization
Multi-year, comprehensive review of our regulatory frameworks for all
three business lines
The Safe Food for Canadians Act will replace the 13 existing food
regulations with a single set of food inspection regulations
User fees review
Agency-wide strategy for compliance promotion
Vision of applying the modernized inspection model across all CFIA
regulated commodities to integrate non-food activities.
• Movement towards a single licensing/permissions
process for all importers and domestic producers.
• This single process will be highly automated and
supported by information management and
information technology.
• Licensing will be supported by the Centre of
• Establishment of a single, automated process for
processing and issuing export certificates across all
business lines
• Creation of an electronic certification system that
will allow the electronic transfer of information and
export certificates, speeding up the administrative
• Movement towards a single licensing system to
promote efficiency and consistency
• A highly automated system of information exchange
which will promote informed decision making
Risk Assessment
Development of a structured approach to analyzing risk and hazards
to help determine the frequency, intensity and type of oversight
Qualitative and quantitative data used to characterize the level of risk
and produce a risk rating at the establishment level.
Outcomes from the risk ratings will inform and guide the direction and
development of work plans and priority activities on a risk basis.
Inspection Verification Teams
Will oversee the performance of Canada’s entire food inspection system
by verifying the overall system is effective and that food safety rules and
standards are consistently and rigorously followed and enforced.
Existing front-line CFIA inspectors will continue to conduct specified
daily tasks to verify that a plant's food safety requirements are being
The IVTs will have a broader audit role that will include in-depth
assessments of a plant's food safety controls and operations, as well as
inspection activities.
Field operations and enforcement
Development of a single inspection delivery approach for food, and
common delivery approaches across animal and plant health.
Work plans that incorporate risk-based program design, and risk-based
priority setting to direct activities in the field and for activities carried out in
our laboratories.
Strengthened tools
• New online food labelling tool
provides industry with a self-assessment checklist, examples of
the regulations in practice, and detailed diagrams of product labels
so they can continue to protect food safety.
• consolidates the Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising, and
other food labelling information into one tool
• Reference Database for Hazard Identification (RDHI)
a tool to identify food-related hazards in production and
• Will assist food processors and producers to develop more
accurate, effective and uniform food safety procedures and
preventive control plans, such as HACCP Plans
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