Safe Food for Canadians Act implementation begins

The Canadian government has taken the next step in rolling out the Safe Food for Canadians Act.

Last week, officials unveiled the government’s action plan, which aims to provide additional information to consumers, create more effective inspections and enhance food safety rules, according to a statement from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Several food safety initiatives will be launched in the next two years. The first will be new labeling requirements for mechanically tenderized beef cuts. The measure aims to further control E. coli in beef plants by informing consumers which cuts of meat have undergone the tenderization process along with including proper cooking instructions. Federally-registered facilities must begin labeling by July 2.

Additionally, Health Canada has announced they plan to propose mandatory labeling for mechanically tenderized cuts at retail outlets, a practice that has been voluntary since 2012.

The push to label mechanically tenderized cuts also is underway in the U.S., where a rule that would require labeling of mechanically tenderized meat products is under review in the Office of Management and Budget.

The full Safe Food for Canadians Act is slated for implementation in 2015. It also will streamline the four acts that currently govern food safety into one law.

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