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Fact sheet: Traceability

Safe Food for Canadians Regulations

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Traceability is the ability to track the movement of a food or a food commodity, one step back and one step forward.

Under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), traceability requirements apply to most food businesses that:

The traceability requirements do not apply to restaurants and other similar enterprises.

Find out what traceability requirements apply to you by using the Traceability interactive tool. It only takes 5 minutes.

How does it work

The traceability documents must:

Clear and readable records are to be maintained for two years, be accessible in Canada, and provided to CFIA upon request. Where electronic records are used, they need to be provided in a single file and in a format that can easily be opened and used in standard commercial software.

Why it matters

While many businesses in Canada have simple traceability records in place, others do not. This can impact the effectiveness and timeliness of food safety investigations and recalls.

Businesses that trace the source of each food supplied to them (one step back) and its next destination (one step forward) can access timely and precise information as needed. This can significantly reduce the time it takes businesses to remove unsafe food from the market. This better protects Canadians and increases confidence in Canada's food safety system.

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