July 16, 2019

Canada Announces Monetary Penalties For Companies Violating Food Safety Rules

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is going to begin issuing Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs) for violations by food businesses that violate federal food safety rules. The penalties will range from a Notice of Violation with no monetary penalty up to a maximum $15,000 for serious offenses or repeat violators.

Canada Announces Monetary Penalties For Companies Violating Food Safety Rules

These penalties are another option the government can use to address violations. The press release states that, “By expanding the use of AMPs across all food sectors, the CFIA will now have a consistent and comprehensive set of tools to enforce compliance with the requirements for all food in Canada.” Canada has been using AMPs in the meat sector since 2015.

Amendments to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations (AAAMPR) were published today in Canada Gazette Part II. These regulations apply to businesses and individuals.

The CFIA is mandated to safeguard food, animals and plants. AMPs could only be used for certain commodities before this new regulation.  The gravity of non-compliance will be determined by considering “potential or actual harm associated with the non-compliance, the compliance history of the regulated party, and the intent associated with the non-compliance.”

Corporations and individuals can pay the penalty, enter into a compliance agreement with the government, can seek a review of facts of the violation, or request a review at the Canadian Agricultural Review Tribunal.

The introduction of AMPs follows the January 2019 Safe Food for Canadians Act and the Safe Food For Canadians Regulations. These consolidated 14 regulations into a single set of requirements that are consistently applied to all food businesses.

Consumers and industry indicated that they want the government to address violations of federal food safety rules. These rules also let Canadian businesses compete globally. Bans on imports of various goods have been issued against the United States in the past few years.

 

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