2016-2017 Regulatory Cooperation Council Work Plan – Food Safety

Department/Agency

United States us flag

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Canada canadian flag

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

Forward Plan Commitment

In April 2016, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Health Canada (HC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded a key initiative under the Canada – U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council Joint Action Plan with the signing of the Canada – U.S. Food Safety Systems Recognition Arrangement. This arrangement formally recognizes that the respective food safety systems in each country provide comparable public health outcomes.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Health Canada and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will work towards implementation of the food safety systems recognition arrangement established in 2016. The exchange of food safety information will be increased to help both countries make informed risk-based regulatory decisions. As the FDA and the CFIA implement their modernized food safety rules and regulations, they will work together to ensure that their systems continue to deliver comparable public health outcomes and reduce unnecessary duplication where possible.

Stakeholders will have several opportunities throughout the year to provide input bi-nationally and engage with FDA and CFIA senior leadership and technical staff on medium and long term priorities as part of the binational annual work planning process.

Work Stream A

Food Safety Systems Recognition Arrangement Implementation and Maintenance: Implementation and maintenance of the Arrangement will enhance responses to food safety issues, improve alignment of food safety risk management approaches and provide a high level of public health protection in relation to food safety assurances for consumers in the U.S. and Canada.

Long-Term Objective: To implement and maintain the new Canada - U.S. Food Safety Systems Recognition Arrangement.

Mid-Term focus: The CFIA and FDA will identify new areas and opportunities for future collaboration on modernized regulatory strategies to maintain systems recognition and development of coordinated approaches to address issues affecting both countries. Discussions with industry representatives will further inform regulator's considerations for future work.

Short Term: The CFIA and FDA will identify activities that will enable the two agencies to work collaboratively to implement the Arrangement.

Initiative A: Implement Food Safety Systems Recognition
Planned Initiatives and Sub-deliverables Date
1. CFIA and FDA to develop respective implementation plans for Food Safety Systems Recognition which will identify the steps needed to enhance reliance on each other's oversight.

Activities in the plan may include:

  • The review and adjustment of admissibility IT systems;
  • The review and consideration of risk-based inspection frequencies;
  • Development of mutually supportive operations manuals and procedures;
  • Development of guidance documents and training materials for respective staff;
  • Current and updated website information on systems recognition to keep stakeholders informed on this initiative.
June 2016 – June 2017
2. Regulators meeting to discuss details on the implementation of the work plan. November 2016
Initiative B: Maintain Food Safety Systems Recognition
Planned Initiatives and Sub-deliverables Date
1. Review current practices of information exchange on food safety regulatory and scientific issues and identify any gaps. Fall – Winter 2016
2. Communicate on food safety modernization, rules, and regulations, to better understand respective policy objectives and enhance consistency of approaches, as appropriate. Ongoing
3. Identify emerging issues of common interest related to food safety and, as feasible, develop coordinated approaches to address issues. Ongoing
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