Course:FNH200/Lessons/Lesson 04/Page 04.1

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04.1 Food Standards, Regulations and Guides

Terms to remember

  • Health Canada
  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Food and Drugs Act and Regulations
  • Standards of identity and composition
  • Food Grades
  • No Effect Level (NOEL)
  • Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI)
  • Probable Daily Intake (PDI)
  • Diketopiperazine (DKP)
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Clostridium botulinum
  • Nitrosamines

In order to ensure that the food we purchase and consume is safe and within certain preset limits of quality, there are government standards, regulations and grades in place to protect the consumer.

The Department of Justice Canada is responsible for maintaining the Consolidated Statutes and Regulations for the Government of Canada, including the Food and Drugs Act and Food and Drug Regulations.

The Food and Drugs Act of Canada is administered by the Health Products and Food Branch of Health Canada, whereas inspections for compliance are enforced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Several other government agencies work together to ensure the safety and quality of foods produced and/or consumed in Canada.

The government agencies and their regulatory functions are listed below.

Table 4.1 Government agencies and their regulatory functions

Agency

Regulatory Function

Health Canada

(Health Products & Food Branch)

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition.html

  • setting food and drug regulation standards of identity and composition for foods
  • Food and Drugs Act (http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/F-27/)
  • food additive regulations
Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/toce.shtml

  • provides inspection services related to the food
  • responsible for administration and enforcement of different Acts including:
Measurement Canada Agency of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

responsible for ensuring accuracy in the selling of measured goods,

developing and enforcing the laws related to measurement accuracy,

approving and inspecting measuring devices and investigating complaints of suspected inaccurate measurement.

British Columbia Ministry of Health public health inspection of retail stores and food service establishments

inspection of provincially inspected meat processing plants and dairy processing plants

Municipal public health inspection of retail stores and food service establishments

The Food and Drugs Act

Sections 3, 4, 5, and 7 of the Food and Drugs Act form the foundation of the consumer protection laws. Excerpts of the Act are shown in Box 4.1 to give you an idea of the nature of the regulations.

It is interesting to note that Section 3 of the Food and Drugs Act prohibits the advertising to the general public of any food, drug, cosmetic or device for the treatment, prevention or cure of any of the diseases listed on Schedule A of the Food and Drugs Act. This section of the Act also prohibits the sale of a food, drug, cosmetic or device that is labeled in this manner.

In the light of recent trends and the demand for natural health products, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health mandated an External Working Group which is overseeing the revisions may be needed to this section of the Act.

Excerpts from The Food and Drugs Act of Canada

http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/F%2D27/page-1.html#docCont

Section 3

(1) no person shall advertise any food, drug, cosmetic or device to the general public as a treatment, preventative or cure for any of the diseases, disorders or abnormal physical states referred to in Schedule A.

(2) No person shall sell any food, drug, cosmetic or device

(a)that is represented by label, or:

(b) that is represented to the general public as a treatment, preventative or cure for any of the diseases, disorder or abnormal physical states referred to in Schedule A.

Some of the diseases mentioned in schedule A include alcoholism, appendicitis, arthritis, cancer, depression, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, liver diseases, obesity, sexual impotence, tumours, venereal disease.

Section 5

(1) No person shall label, package, treat, process, sell or advertise any food in manner that is false, misleading or deceptive or is likely to create an erroneous impression regarding its character, value, quantity, composition, merit or safety;

(2) An article of food that is not labelled or packaged as required by the regulations, or is labelled or packaged contrary to the regulations, shall be deemed to be labelled or packaged contrary to subsection (1).

Section 4

No person shall sell an article of food that:

(a) has in or upon it any poisonous or harmful substance;

(b) is unfit for human consumption;

(c) consists in whole or in part of any filthy, putrid, disgusting, rotten decomposed or diseased animal or vegetable substance;

(d) is adulterated;

(e) was manufactured, prepared, preserved, packaged or stored under unsanitary conditions.

Section 7

(a) No person shall manufacture, prepare, preserve, package or store for sale any food under unsanitary conditions.

Box 4.1 Sections 3, 4, 5 and 7 of The Food and Drugs Act of Canada, that are the foundation of consumer protection laws.