Inspection of Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Packers, Re-packers and Fresh-cut Operators
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) monitors and verifies that food products meet Canadian standards and regulations. This proactive approach includes monitoring, inspection, sampling and testing activities.
The inspection of fresh fruit and vegetable packers, re-packers and fresh-cut operators of fresh produce verifies that potential health risks related to the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables are minimized. These inspections focus on:
- industry's implementation of good manufacturing practices, good handling practices, and preventive food safety controls;
- label verification; and
- microbiological and chemical residue sampling and testing programs
The inspections apply to fresh fruit and vegetables, whether exported, imported or traded interprovincially, such as berries, fresh-cut fruit and vegetables, green onions, herbs, leafy green vegetables, melons, peppers, raw nuts and tomatoes.
The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Regulations, pursuant to the Canada Agricultural Products Act, and the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations provide the CFIA with the authority to undertake these inspections. In addition, the inspections will verify whether fresh-cut operators have implemented Health Canada's Policy on Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-to-Eat Foods (2011) in fresh-cut operations.
When non-compliance is found or a situation poses a health risk to Canadian consumers, the CFIA takes appropriate action. These actions may include notifying the regulated party of the problem, a request for corrective actions, additional follow-up inspections, further directed sampling, or product detention/seizure and/or recall. In cases where corrective actions are requested, follow-up inspections are conducted to verify that corrections have been implemented as planned.
The inspection of fresh fruit and vegetable packers, re-packers and fresh-cut operators supports the shared responsibility that government, industry and consumers have for food safety and prevention of illnesses associated with fresh produce.
For additional information, contact your nearest CFIA office.
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