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Notice to industry – Compliance timelines for the use of food additives in certain ready-to-eat meat products

Update on compliance timelines

On January 27, 2022, the CFIA posted a new Notice to industry – Update on compliance timelines for the use of food additives in certain ready-to-eat meat products. Please refer to the new notice for current compliance enforcement dates.

November 9, 2021 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is reminding industry that the use of food additives in certain ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products must be clearly labelled and advertised.

Food additives may be used as per Health Canada's lists of permitted food additives; however, it is required by the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) that these food additives be declared in the list of ingredients as either an ingredient or a component of the food (FDR B.01.008).

This does not affect the safety of these products. All food sold in Canada, including RTE meat products, must continue to meet Canada's food safety requirements.

In addition to declaring any food additives, industry is responsible to ensure that the information presented through labels and advertising is not false or misleading, and does not create an erroneous impression (for example, for standards of identity or method of production claims).

Regulated parties should be able to substantiate any claims. This may include providing information to consumers (for example, via a website) on the meaning of the claim by conducting consumer research to substantiate the claim, or other measures to ensure that the average consumer will not be misled.

On November 8, 2021, Health Canada published the Notice of Modification to the List of Permitted Preservatives to Enable the Use of Modified Vinegar in Various Meat and Poultry Products. As stated in the notice, Health Canada has enabled the use of modified vinegar by adding a new entry as item M.3 into Part 2 of the List of Permitted Preservatives. Regulated parties have a 12-month transition period, starting November 8, 2021 and ending on November 8, 2022, to bring their labels and advertising into compliance. For information on labelling, please refer to the Industry Labelling Tool. The CFIA will be monitoring compliance with all federal labelling and advertising requirements and conducting follow up inspections to ensure the necessary changes have been made.

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