Language selection


Importing food to Canada: best practices

Infographic: How to Keep Food Safe: 3 Key Principles for Importers

Description of infographic: How to Keep Food Safe: 3 Key Principles for Importers

Keeping food safe

The following principles are considered international best practices in making sure food is safe before it enters the market.

Know Your Foreign Supplier:

  • Knowledgeable: Are their employees experienced in food safety?
  • Hazards: How are hazards identified and controlled in their establishment?
  • Preventive Controls: Do you have proof that preventive controls are in place?
  • Communication: Have you told them what Canadian requirements apply?

Know Your Food:

  • Basics: Can you describe the food you import (for example, name, quantity, lot code, packaging)?
  • Hazards: Have you identified potential risks (biological, chemical and physical)? How are these risks controlled?
  • Traceability: Who manufactured/ processed your food, and to whom did you sell it (e.g. name, address)?
  • Verify: Do you verify the shipment once it arrives in Canada (e.g. correct product is received)? Do you make sure the food is in good condition?

Have A Plan:

  • Requirements: Can you demonstrate how your food meets safety, grading, standards, labelling and net quantity?
  • Documents: Do you keep up-to-date documents demonstrating how your food meets regulatory requirements?
  • Complaints and Recalls: Have you established procedures for handling complaints and recalls?
  • Monitor & verify: Is your plan working as expected?

Your Preventive Control Plan:

A Preventive Control Plan (PCP) describes these elements in a written document.

Tip: Check out the guide for preparing a preventive control plan - For importers.

Did you know?

As a regulated party, you are responsible for ensuring that foods imported into Canada meet the requirements of the applicable Canadian law.

Date modified: