Canada to Enforce Penalties and Fines for Food Safety Violations
This week, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced that Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs) of up to $15,000 can now be issued for violations by food businesses that threaten food safety and market access for Canadian goods.
CFIA uses AMPs as a supplemental option to address violations under Canada’s federal food safety regulations. AMPs can range from a violation notice with no monetary penalty to a maximum amount of $15,000 for serious offenses or repeat violators. AMPs can also be issued to individuals and amounts can range from $500 to $1,300. AMPs have been used in the meat sector since 2015. 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.
In conjunction with this, CFIA has also announced that amendments to the Agriculture and Agri-Food Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations were published this week in Canada Gazette Part II and are now in force. These apply to both businesses and individuals.
The introduction of AMPs for all food sectors follows the January 2019 coming into force of the Safe Food for Canadians Act along with the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations, which consolidated 14 regulations into a single set of consistent requirements for all food businesses.
In consultations on the amendments to the AMPs regulations, both industry and consumers indicated that they want the CFIA to address violations of federal rules that threaten food safety and market access for Canadian goods. A strong food safety system maintains consumer confidence and allows Canadian businesses to compete globally.
The Government of Canada is committed to openness and transparency, which includes sharing information about companies that do not comply with federal food requirements. As part of that ongoing commitment, information about AMPs issued will be published in the near future on the agency's website.