Language selection


Archived - Imported and Manufactured Food Program Inspection Manual
Chapter 8: Forms

This page has been archived

This page was archived due to the coming into force of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations. Archived information is provided for reference, research or record-keeping purposes only. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. For current information visit Food.

8.0 Scope

Documentation plays an important role in carrying out the CFIA's various activities. The CFIA has a various forms to collect information on regulated parties or on products. These forms facilitate inspection, sampling and enforcement activities. Filling out these forms properly provides structure and consistency in the way the Agency conducts its business.

A story illustrating the importance of properly filling out forms:

"An inspector conducted an inspection at a medium-size maple syrup establishment that caters to local clients and grocery stores. As part of the inspection, he collected a sample and sent it to a CFIA lab for lead testing. The sample result came back unsatisfactory, prompting the inspector to put the remaining lot of maple syrup under detention. A few weeks went by without hearing from the company with an action plan proposal, and so the Inspector decided to visit the establishment to follow up on the detained product. Upon arriving at the establishment he found that the company had broken the detention by continuing to sell the affected product. The inspector decided to complete an INCR and submit the completed form and other relevant documents (e.g., copy of detention form, etc.) to the area EIS for possible prosecution. EIS reviewed the documents, but decided against pursuing a legal action due to technical errors on the detention form. The inspector misquoted the section of the Act related to the power of an inspector to detain the product. Instead of citing section 23(1)d, the inspector wrote 23(d). Further, not all copies of the completed form had original signatures. EIS indicated that the case would only be dismissed by court due to these seemingly trivial errors."

This chapter outlines the different forms that IMFP inspectors may use related to inspection activities and provides information on how and in which situations these different forms are used.

Table 1 at the end of this chapter provides information and links on where to find each individual form.

8.1 Food Establishment Profile

The Food Establishment Profile is the form used by IMFP inspectors to gather key information about an establishment. The form is used to gather information on a new company, or to update an existing profile of a company where there have been changes in their organizational structure or operations. This form is usually completed or updated at the beginning of the inspection process, during the opening meeting.

The Food Establishment Profile form captures the following information: establishment name, address and contact information; major officers or resource persons; hours of operation; products (production per annum and type of product) and area of distribution; product coding; operations and processing; quality control; and compliance history.

Inspectors should keep updated company profiles on file at their respective CFIA office to be used a tool for inspection planning. For instance, prior to conducting an inspection, an inspector should review the establishment profile so that he or she becomes familiar with the company's management and operations.

Inspectors must be aware of and protect the confidentiality of the information gathered on this form. Because the profile contains significant, third-party information, care must be taken to keep this information secured.

8.2 Inspection Worksheets

Before conducting inspections, inspectors should print the appropriate inspection worksheet, either the General Principles of Food Hygiene Composition and Labelling (GPFHCL) or Good Importing Practices for Food (GIP) worksheet, using the MCAP system. These worksheets serve as a tool that inspectors can use to record observations or findings during the course of an inspection.

In the event that the MCAP system is down, and a form is needed to conduct an inspection, inspectors may use the Word version of the worksheets. Links to both the GPFHCL and GIP inspection worksheets are available in Table 1.

Inspection findings gathered on these worksheets are to be entered into the MCAP system within two weeks of completing an inspection.

8.3 Sampling Forms

8.3.1 Official Sample Form (CFIA/ACIA 0072)

Official or legal sampling applies to specific conditions where legal action is the anticipated follow up action. It demands more complex procedures for sample collection, submission, and laboratory testing to ensure that testing results are admissible in court. It is important that inspectors seek legal advice prior to initiating official sampling.

When collecting official samples, inspectors must use form CFIA/ACIA 0072, Sample Portion. Each form has a unique, pre-printed number on the upper right hand corner of the form, and comprises of quadruplicate copies: 1 - Sample portion, 2 - Duplicate Sample Portion, 3 - Owner's Portion, 4 - Inspector's copy. Once completed, the appropriate sheets must be attached to the samples using CFIA/ACIA 5112 Official Seal (i.e., CFIA tape).

Note that the form is not available through Desktop e-Forms, and must be ordered through the Forms Catalogue on Merlin.

For more information on official sampling, refer to Chapter 7 of this manual.

8.3.2 Receipt for Sample(s) Taken Form (CFIA/ACIA 4168)

The Receipt for Sample Taken form, or form CFIA/ACIA 4168, is used by inspectors when collecting product samples (including official samples) from an establishment for the purpose of CFIA laboratory analysis. This form is required for any food item or products that are actually removed from the premises. A copy of the completed form, which serves as a receipt for samples taken, should be given to the owner or representative of the company.

The form is available through Desktop e-Forms.

8.3.3 Food Product Sampling Submission Form (CFIA/ACIA 5164)

The Food Product Sampling Submission form is available through the Laboratory Sample Tracking System (LSTS). Inspectors must complete this form prior to submitting a sample to the CFIA laboratory for analysis. In addition, inspectors must ensure that a copy of the completed form accompany the shipment of the sample to the laboratory. Refer to section 9.3 of this Manual for more information on LSTS.

8.4 Detention and Release Forms

8.4.1 Notice of Detention Form (CFIA/ACIA 3256)

When detaining a product, an inspector must use form CFIA/ACIA 3256, Notice of Detention (see for more details on seizures and detentions). The form has a unique, pre-determined number located on the upper right hand corner and comprises of quadruplicate copies and a pink detention tag.

Once the form is completed, both the inspector and owner or representative of the company must sign the form. Note that all copies (4 copies) require original signatures. An inspector must then hand a copy of the notice to the person in charge of the product, and explain its contents. Emphasis should be given to the warning statement on the form which states:

"Except with written permission of an inspector, no person shall move, sell, alter or dispose of any thing under detention or remove or alter the detention tag."

It is important that the detained products be properly labelled and identified using the "Under Detention" tag and official CFIA tape, and be segregated from other products.

The Notice of Detention form is available through Desktop e-Forms. When using Desktop e-Forms, the form must be printed in four (4) copies. In order to print the "Under Detention" tag which is to be attached to the detained product(s), an inspector must insert the form CFIA/ACIA 3256L into the printer prior to printing that page. CFIA/ACIA 256L may be ordered also through the Forms Catalogue. 3256L is a special label paper designed for use with this form.

Alternatively, an inspector may order the form in a book format through Forms Catalogue on Merlin.

8.4.2 Release from Detention Form (CFIA/ACIA 3257)

According to Section 26 of the FDA, an inspector must release the product when it has been brought into compliance and issue form CFIA/ACIA 3257, Release from Detention Form. The inspector must obtain the owner's signature on the Release from Detention form before releasing the product.

Note: Do not release the product from detention if it must be kept for any reason (e.g. for on-going investigations, for evidence, etc.).

8.5 Voluntary Destruction Form

CFIA inspectors have traditionally employed voluntary destruction or disposal as an enforcement option to deal with products that are not compliant with the Food and Drugs Act and Food and Drug Regulations. Regardless of whether or not a non-compliant product is under seizure and detention, the owner or legal agent may opt to destroy the product. The owner must decide to take this option voluntarily, without the prompting or coercion by the CFIA inspector.

If and when the owner decides to voluntarily destroy or dispose of the affected product, the CFIA inspector should obtain a letter (i.e., using voluntary destruction form) from the owner stating that he or she is destroying the product on his or her own accord. Further, an inspector must supervise/witness the destruction of the product in question.

The voluntary destruction form can be found in Annex 1 at the end of this Chapter.

8.6 Inspector's Non-compliance Report

The purpose of the Inspector's Non Compliance Report (INCR), or form CFIA/ACIA 5046 (long form) and form CFIA/ACIA 5393 (short form), is to standardize enforcement reporting and serve as an investigative tool to assist Inspectors in identifying relevant information and evidence that should be collected when reporting incidents of non-compliance.

When conducting inspections, inspectors should carry hard copies of the INCR form so that it is available when needed. The INCR report should be used to report significant incidents of non-compliance and should be forwarded to your Inspection Manager or Supervisor and a copy should also be sent to your area Enforcement and Investigation Services (EIS) office. EIS will use the report to open files and store the information in the National Enforcement Tracking System (NETS).

8.7 Forms Catalogue

The Forms Management Section of the CFIA has developed a Forms Catalogue on Merlin to allow Agency staff to obtain a listing of all forms, or to search for a form by its title or number. Further, the catalogue allows staff to place an order for that form, if it is available in either a Print-on-Demand (POD) or as a Stocked Form. Instruction on how to use the catalogue is available in Annex XII or at the following link: Forms Catalogue

Table 1: Where to find a form
Form NameLocation
Food Establishment Profile RDIMS 4048816
GPFHCL Inspection Worksheet RDIMS 4117382
GIP Inspection Worksheet RDIMS 4116915
Official Sample Form (0072) Forms Catalogue
Receipt for Samples Taken (4168) Desktop e-Forms
Food Product Sampling Submission Form (5247) Desktop e-Forms
Notice of Detention Form (3256) Desktop e-Forms
Release from Detention Form (3257) Desktop e-Forms
Voluntary Destruction Form Inspection Manual, Chapter 8, Annex 1
Inspector's Non-compliance Report (5393) Desktop e-Forms

Most forms can also be accessed via the Forms section on the IMFP Merlin page.

Annex 1: Template Letter for Voluntary Destruction of Product

Owner's Letterhead
City, Province
Postal Code

Attention: CFIA

This is to certify that the undersigned duly authorized officer has decided to voluntarily dispose of the following merchandise, situated at:

Le soussigné représentant dûment autorisé certifie par la présente qu'il a pris la décision de disposer volontairement de la marchandise suivante, située à:

image - information to fill of the Letter for Voluntary Destruction of Product. Description follows
Description of the fillable part

List and description of articles

  • Name and title
  • Signature
  • Date
  • Act or regulation, section(s) violated
  • Reason
  • Site and method of disposal
    • Date
Date modified: