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How food fraud impacts consumers

As a consumer, you expect to get what you pay for and rely on food products to be truthfully represented.

Canada is recognized as having one of the best and safest food systems and is taking measures to prevent food misrepresentation.

When food fraud occurs, it can have economic and health impacts. It could mean you're paying for a product that isn't quite what you think it is. Food fraud can pose a health risk if unidentified allergens or hazardous materials are added to food products.

What consumers can do to combat food fraud

Since food fraud is well hidden, it's not always easy to recognize, but you can still play a role in identifying and tackling food fraud.

Check the label

Check the label to determine if any information may be misleading.

For example, if a fruit is labelled as a "Product of Canada" but it's clear Canada does not have the conditions to grow such a fruit, ask yourself if the product may be misrepresented.

Consider the price

If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

For example, if Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese costs almost the same as Parmesan cheese, then it likely isn't the real Parmigiano-Reggiano. Similarly, if a bottle of extra virgin olive oil is much less expensive than other brands, it may not be authentic.

Contact industry

Contact industry (such as grocery stores, manufacturers, producers or industry associations) to report concerns and ask questions about the information on the food label or how the food is produced. Consumer awareness encourages industry to be more vigilant about how products are represented.

Report your concern

If you suspect food fraud, report your concern to the CFIA.

Food labelling requirements

Everyone has a role to play

Compliance and enforcement actions

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