A Guide to Identifying Food Products Affected by the Proposed Imported Food Sector Product Regulations
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This Guide provides information to help identify food products affected by the proposed Imported Food Sector Product Regulations. As such, it is solely intended as a reference tool made available to assist industry in making a determination if their product falls within the scope of the Regulations. The CFIA accepts no responsibility, legal, financial or otherwise, for any loss that users may incur from its use. Users are urged to exercise their own due diligence and should consult the legislation relevant to their industry. For ease of reference, refer to the list of federal legislation on the CFIA website.
For detailed information about which foods are included under the proposed new regulations, importers can consult the following self identification tool. Importers should begin with the Step A, which is a screening tool to broadly determine if an importer is, or may be, affected. Importers can then proceed to the relevant commodity area(s) in Step B for information about specific products. Importers of products classified as Imported Food Sector (IFS) products according to the tool will be affected by the proposed regulations. If after using this tool an importer is still uncertain if they will be affected by the proposed regulations, they can contact the CFIA for assistance.
Please note that other conditions of import may also apply to all foods. Refer to the CFIA Automated Import Reference System (AIRS) for information on current import requirements by food commodity.
Step A: Initial Analysis
Initial Screening Tool
In general, an Imported Food Sector (IFS) product:
- meets the definition of 'agricultural product' in the Canada Agricultural Products Act (CAPA);
- is intended as food for human consumption or as an ingredient in food;
- originated in a country other than Canada; and
- is not regulated under the following federal food commodity-specific legislation:
- The Meat Inspection Act and Regulations
- The Fish Inspection Act and Regulations
- The following regulations under the CAPA:
- Dairy Products Regulations
- Egg Regulations
- Processed Egg Regulations
- Honey Regulations
- Maple Products Regulations
- Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Regulations
- Processed Products Regulations
An 'agricultural product' is defined in the CAPA as:
- an animal, a plant or an animal or plant product, or
- a product, including any food or drink, wholly or partly derived from an animal or a plant.
Decision Tree 1 uses general questions to determine whether a food product is, or may be, an IFS product.
If the result of Decision Tree 1 is that the food product may be an IFS product, further analysis using one of the food commodity-specific decision trees is required.
Decision Tree 1: Initial IFS Product Screening Tool
Step B: Analysis by Food Commodity
Marine plant matter and products containing marine plant matter (in the absence of fish, shellfish, crustaceans or marine mammals) are Imported Food Sector (IFS) products.
Products containing any amount of fish, shellfish, crustaceans or marine mammals are under the Fish Inspection Act and are not IFS products.
Decision Tree 2: Fish, Seafood and Aquatic ProductsFootnote 1
Animal and Meat Products
The following animal and meat products are Imported Food Sector (IFS) products:
- Any product containing reptiles, amphibians and/or land invertebrates, such as alligators, frogs, land snails, turtles and snakes.
- Products containing 2 per cent or less meatFootnote 2, unless they are a processed egg or cheese that contains meat (and therefore fall under the Processed Egg Regulations or the Dairy Products Regulations).
- Products containing only highly processed meat products, including gelatin, bone meal, collagen casing, hydrolysed animal protein, derivatives/components of animal fats/oils (i.e. monoglycerides, diglycerides or fatty acids). These are all exempt from the Meat Inspection Act, except for shortening from animals, edible tallow, lard and suet when used for human consumption.
Note: A letter of exemption from the Meat Inspection Act and Regulations is required for products that contain 2 per cent or less meat.
Decision Tree 3: Animal and Meat ProductsFootnote 3
Egg and Egg Products
The following eggs and egg products are Imported Food Sector (IFS) products:
- Whole eggs not produced by the domestic hen (Gallus domesticus), for example turkey eggs, quail eggs, salted duck eggs, preserved 100-year-old duck eggs, Cornish hen eggs
- Processed egg products containing eggs produced by domestic hens or turkeys that are less than 50 per cent processed egg by weight (frozen eggs, frozen egg mixes, liquid egg mixes, dried eggs and dried egg mixes)
- Processed egg products produced from any type of bird other than a domestic hen or turkey, regardless of the percentage of processed egg
- Cooked eggs and/or products made from cooked eggs that do not contain fish and/or more than 2 per cent meat
Decision Tree 4: Eggs and Egg ProductsFootnote 4
The Dairy Products Regulations define dairy products as "milk or a product thereof, whether alone or combined with another agricultural product that contains no oil or fat other than that of milk." It is important to note that, in this context, 'milk' refers to the "normal lacteal secretions of the mammary gland of an animal" and, therefore, includes milk from any animal (except human beings). As such, it follows that the milk fat can also be derived from the milk of any animal (except human beings). Examples of dairy products include cheese, milk, chocolate milk, cream, sour cream, ice cream, yogourt and whey.
Given this definition, the following dairy products are Imported Food Sector (IFS) products:
- Products that contain fat or oil other than milk fat, including:
- Non-dairy liquid or powdered coffee whiteners
- Products that contain a high proportion of dairy ingredients but are not commonly recognized as a milk or milk product, including:
- Frozen novelties
- Cheese muffins
- Breaded cheese sticks
- Pudding (both powdered mix and pudding cups)
Small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids added to milk products are often an exception to the "no fat other than milk fat" rule. Dairy products that contain small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids for the purpose of making a "source of omega-3 fatty acids" claim on the label fall under the Dairy Products Regulations.
Decision Tree 5: Dairy ProductsFootnote 5
Honey products that are not composed of 100 per cent honey are Imported Food Sector (IFS) products, such as:
- Honey in the comb
- Dried honey products
- Flavoured honey products
- Coloured honey products
Maple products that are not made from 100 per cent pure maple sap from the genus Acer are IFS products, including:
- Maple candy
- Maple-flavoured syrup
- Table syrup that contains some maple syrup
Unconcentrated maple products (such as raw sap that has not been boiled, known informally as "maple water"), as well as products made from the sap of trees other than maple trees from the genus Acer (such as birch sap), are all IFS products.
In general, products made solely from concentrated maple sap are not IFS products. This includes maple sugar, maple butter and maple taffy.
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Products
This section applies to fresh produce, which includes fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, fresh nuts, fresh edible fungi, fresh sprouts, fresh herbs, and any fresh cut fruit and vegetables (ready-to-eat and non-ready-to-eat).
In general, fresh produce falls under the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Regulations and are not Imported Food Sector (IFS) products.
Fresh produce is an IFS product when it is:
- Mixed with other components (such as croutons or dressing packets in bagged salad)
- Stored in juice or sweetening agents
Whole fruit or vegetables that are infused with flavouring agents are not IFS products.
The definition of 'fresh cut' includes fruit and vegetables that have been trimmed, chopped, peeled, shredded, or treated with approved food additives as listed in the Food and Drug Regulations.
Decision Tree 6: Fresh Fruit and Vegetable ProductsFootnote 6
Processed Fruit and Vegetable Products
This section applies to fruit and vegetables that have been processed (frozen, dehydrated, hermetically sealed or cooked). In general, the following processed fruits and vegetables are Imported Food Sector (IFS) products:
- Any products that are not covered by a grade, standard of identity or by standard container sizes within the Processed Products Regulations
- Processed products containing 2 per cent or less meat (with exceptions, for example vegetable soup, beans with pork)
- Processed products with a shelf-life of less than 90 days
- Processed products that contain oilseeds, grains or nuts and their products (for example, tofu and products that contain coconut or pasta - with the exception of canned spaghetti in tomato sauce)
- Nuts that have been dehydrated, roasted, blanched, salted, spiced, cured or otherwise prepared
- Fried vegetables (potato chips, refried beans)
- Spiced or battered french fried potatoes, potato patties
- Fruit and vegetables that have been dehydrated, roasted or salted
- Fruit and vegetables packed in alcohol, as well as the alcohol itself
- Fruit and vegetable products packed in a non-hermetically sealed container that must be kept refrigerated (for example, unpasteurised apple juice).
The processing method determines if a processed fruit and vegetable product is an IFS product. If more than one processing method is used to make the product, consider only the last method used during the process.
a) Hermetic Sealing
Most hermetically sealed fruit and vegetables are covered by standards and requirements in the Processed Products Regulations.
Hermetically Sealed Vegetables
In general, the following hermetically sealed vegetables are IFS products:
- All vegetable pastes and pasta saucesFootnote 7 that are not tomato-based
- All condiments except for tomato ketchup, relish, and chutneys
- Vegetable-based jams, jellies, broths and spreads (for example, based on tomatoes, peppers, beets, carrots), purées (except tomato purée)
- Hermetically-sealed vegetables packed in more than 15 per cent oil
- Hermetically-sealed infant foods containing more than just vegetables, with the exception of infant foods containing any amount of fish or more than 2 per cent meat
- Salsa (vegetable)
- Veggie burgers, patties/sausages
- Re-fried beans or fried beans
- Pimento sauce/pepper sauce
- Tomato sauce
Hermetically Sealed Fruit
In general, the following hermetically sealed fruit are IFS products:
- Fruit purées and pulps except for those made from pumpkin and apples
- Fruit spreads, butters and snacks, fruit salsas and fruit ketchups
- Certain jams, jellies and marmalades, for example those made from coconut, figs or with wine
- Pie fillings that do not contain fruit, or that are re-constituted from powders
- Hermetically-sealed infant foods containing more than just fruit, with the exception of infant foods containing any amount of fish or more than 2 per cent meat
Hermetically Sealed Juices
In general, the following hermetically sealed juices are IFS products:
- Ready-to-serve hermetically sealed drinks, cocktails and beverages that contain less than 100 per cent juice
- Carbonated juices (except apple and grape)
- Blends of carbonated juices
- Concentrated juices (except apple and grape)
- Juices from concentrate (except apple and grape)
- Blends of concentrated juices
- Fruit nectars other than those made from peaches, pears, prunes and apricots
- Nectar blends
Note that any juice intended for consumption by infants falls under the Processed Products Regulations and therefore are not IFS products. Juices intended for infants could:
- Have an image of a baby on the label
- Be labelled as "baby juice"
- Specify the age group the product is intended for on the label (infants are under one year of age)
Most frozen fruit and vegetables fall under the Processed Products Regulations. The following sections on frozen vegetables, fruit and juices indicate which products are IFS products.
- Frozen soups and frozen vegetables with nuts, sauces or pasta
- Frozen infant foods
- Frozen purées, pulps and jams
- Most frozen fried vegetables (except french fried potatoesFootnote 8)
- Frozen battered vegetables (for example, onion rings)
- Frozen infant foods
- Frozen purées, pulps and jams
- All frozen concentrated juices, except for orange, sweetened orange, and apple juice
- All frozen nectars and vegetable juices
- All frozen vegetable juices
The following products are IFS products:
- Dehydrated fruit and vegetables
- Dehydrated edible fungi
- Re-hydrated vegetables and edible fungi, including those in powder form.
Decision Tree 7 (Part 1): Processed Fruit and Vegetable ProductsFootnote 9
Decision Tree 7 (Part 2): Processed Fruit and Vegetable Products
Decision Tree 7 (Part 3): Processed Fruit and Vegetable Products
Glossary of Terms
- Agricultural Product
- (Canada Agricultural Products Act):
- An animal, a plant or an animal or plant product,
- A product, including any food or drink, wholly or partly derived from an animal or a plant, or
- A product prescribed for the purposes of [the] Act
- (Meat Inspection Act): Any animal in the class of mammals or birds and includes any other animal that is prescribed for the purposes of this Act or that falls within a class of animals prescribed for those purposes.
- (Food and Drug Regulations, Division 14: Meat): Any animal used as food, but does not include marine and fresh water animals.
- (Fish Inspection Regulations): All species of the class Crustacea.
- Dairy Product
- (Dairy Products Regulations): Milk or a product thereof, whether alone or combined with another agricultural product, that contains no oil or fat other than that of milk (see Milk definitions in this glossary).
- (Egg Regulations): An egg of the domestic hen.
- (Processed Egg Regulations): An egg of a domestic hen belonging to the species Gallus domesticus or of a domestic turkey belonging to the species Meleagris gallopavo, but does not include an ovum.
- Egg Product
- (Processed Egg Regulations): A dried, frozen or liquid food that contains at least 50% by weight of frozen egg, frozen egg mix, liquid egg, liquid egg mix, dried egg or dried egg mix.
- (Fish Inspection Act): Any fish, including shellfish and crustaceans, and marine animals, and any parts, products or by-products thereof.
- (Food and Drugs Act): Includes any article manufactured, sold or represented for use as food or drink for human beings, chewing gum, and any ingredien
- Hermetically Sealed Container
- (Food and Drugs Regulations; Processed Products Regulations): Means a container that is designed and intended to be secure against the entry of microorganisms, including spores.
- (Honey Regulations): Means the food derived from the nectar of blossoms or from secretions of or on the living parts of plants by the work of honey bees.
- (Food and Drug Regulations): A person who is under the age of one year.
- Maple Product
- (Maple Products Regulations): Any product obtained exclusively by the concentration of maple sap or maple syrup, excluding any substitute.
- Maple Sap
- (Maple Products Regulations): The sap obtained exclusively from trees of the botanical genus Acer.
- Maple Syrup
- (Maple Products Regulations): The syrup obtained by the concentration of maple sap or by the dilution or solution of a maple product, other than maple sap, in potable water.
- Marine Plant
- (Fish Inspection Act): Includes Irish moss, kelp and other salt water plants, and any products or by-products thereof.
- (Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990): The edible part of a carcass that is the muscle associated with the skeleton, tongue, diaphragm, heart, gizzard or mammalian oesophagus, with or without accompanying and overlying fat, together with those parts of the bones, skin, sinews, nerves, blood vessels and other tissues that normally accompany the muscle and are not ordinarily removed in dressing a carcass, but does not include the muscle associated with the lips, snout, scalp or ears, mechanically separated meat or meat to which an ingredient other than meat has been added.
- Meat Product
- (Meat Inspection Act):
- A carcass,
- The blood of an animal or a product or by-product of a carcass, or
- A product containing anything described in paragraph (b)
- (Dairy Regulations): As used in the manufacture of dairy products, means the normal lacteal secretion, free from colostrum, obtained from the mammary gland of an animal.
- (Food and Drug Regulations): The normal lacteal secretion obtained from the mammary gland of the cow, genus Bos; [plus fortification from vitamin D]
- (Processed Products Regulations): With respect to a food product, canned, cooked, frozen, concentrated, pickled or otherwise prepared to assure preservation of the food product in transport, distribution and storage, but does not include the final cooking or preparation of a food product for use as a meal or part of a meal such as may be done by restaurants, hospitals, food centres, catering establishments, central kitchens or similar establishments where food products are prepared for consumption rather than for extended preservation.
- Processed egg
- (Processed Egg Regulations): Frozen egg, frozen egg mix, liquid egg, liquid egg mix, dried egg, dried egg mix and egg product.
- (Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act): Includes
- offer for sale, expose for sale and have in possession for sale, and
- display in such manner as to lead to a reasonable belief that the substance or product so displayed is intended for sale.
- (Food and Drugs Act): Includes offer for sale, expose for sale, have in possession for sale and distribute, whether or not the distribution is made for consideration.
- (Fish Inspection Regulations): All species of bivalve molluscs of the class Bivalvia and all marine, carnivorous species of the class Gastropoda, either shucked or in the shell, in whole or in part, excluding the adductor muscles of scallops and the meat of geoducks.
Acts and Regulations administered by the CFIA (e.g. Meat Inspection Act, Fish Inspection Act, Canada Agricultural Products Act, CFIA Act, etc.)
CFIA Food Programs - main page
Imported Food Sector Regulatory Proposal
Products Regulated by the Processed Products Regulations
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