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A Consumer's Guide to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Understanding Canadian Food Inspection Agency responsibilities

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is dedicated to safeguarding Canada's food supply and protecting animal health and plant health. Through our core functions, we work with government, industry and public partners to

What is the CFIA responsible for?

Our role falls into two broad categories

The scope of our mandate is vast and complex. For example, our activities include

We also

What are my rights as a consumer?

You have the right to the following:

What kind of information can I get from the CFIA?

The CFIA helps consumers by providing access to relevant information on food safety, animal health and plant health.

The CFIA uses tools such as web tools, videos, brochures and fact sheets to share information. The CFIA also helps consumers reduce risks that may impact their health or well-being. This is done by providing information regarding food-related outbreaks, recall actions, and animal disease outbreaks.

When should I contact the CFIA?

Consumers play an important role in maintaining the integrity of our food supply and in animal and plant health. You can do this by reporting any of the following:

* Residents of Quebec should contact the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec at 1-800-463-5023.

What happens after I have contacted the CFIA?

The CFIA uses the information and details you provide to

After receiving a complaint about a food product or being notified about the possible presence of an animal disease or plant pest, the CFIA conducts an inspection. During the inspection, the CFIA works to determine if there is a food-related risk, animal disease or plant pest and determines the source and the extent of the problem.

Inspectors may contact various people involved and may use a wide range of tools to do their inspection. These tools include

If we determine that there is a food risk, animal disease or plant pest, we do a risk assessment of the product. Based on the assessment, we decide on the most appropriate action to take to control the risk, disease or pest.

These actions may include

How am I informed of the results?

If you want to be informed of the results, please tell the CFIA inspector at the time you contact the CFIA. Arrangements will be made to contact you once the inspection has been completed.

In addition to the information regularly published for the public, such as food recall advisories and allergy alerts, you can request more information through the Access to Information Act. Under the Access to Information Act, you can request any material under the control of the CFIA, regardless of its medium or form.

To submit an official request for Government of Canada records, visit the CFIA's Access to Information web page.

Where do I go for more information?

The CFIA website is an important source for information related to food safety, animal health and plant health.

Information for consumers is available from our Consumer Centre, including

On our "Have a Question?" page, you can do the following:

To learn more about the CFIA's Statement of Rights and Service, visit our website.

How do I contact the CFIA?

If you cannot find the web resources to answer your questions, please contact us using one of the methods following methods:

By phone

Our phone lines are open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday to Friday.

Toll-free: 1-800-442-2342
Local: 613-773-2342
TTY: 1-800-465-7735

We will respond to you or arrange for the appropriate person to contact you within two business days, under normal operating circumstances.*

By email

You can email us at

You will receive an immediate acknowledgement that your message has been received and we will contact you within two business days, under normal operating circumstances.*

*Response times may be affected when the CFIA is involved in emergency management situations. We ask for your patience and understanding during these times.

If you have specific questions, contact one of our Area Offices.

Atlantic Area Office
1081 Main Street
P.O. Box 6088
Moncton, New Brunswick
E1C 8R2
Telephone: 506-777-3939
Fax: 506-777-3942

Quebec Area Office
2001 Robert-Bourassa Boulevard
Room 746-C
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 3N2
Telephone: 514-283-8888
Fax: 514-283-3143

Ontario Area Office
174 Stone Road West
Guelph, Ontario
N1G 4S9
Telephone: 519-837-9400
Fax: 519-837-9766

Western Area Office
1115-57 Avenue NE
Calgary, Alberta
T2E 9B2
Telephone: 403-292-4301
Fax: 403-292-4551

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