Canada Gets Ready for FSMA
As The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) comes into effect, the countries that export food into the U.S. need to start getting their food producers ready, and evaluating current regulatory systems to make sure they line up with FSMA guidelines.
In Canada, which sends a huge amount of food into the U.S., discussions are already underway, especially about the water purity standards and the Foreign Supplier Verification standards.
In a recent article by Susan Mann of BetterFarming.com, a news site for and Ontario-based community of professional farmers, she spoke with Heather Gale, Executive Director, CanadaGAP, the Canadian food safety program for the fresh fruit and vegetable sector, about FSMA’s potential impact on that province’s farmers.
Gale said that her organization is reviewing the rules and will publish an analysis next year that will identify any differences between the CanadaGAP standard and FSMA.
For instance, she said, the FSMA hand washing and irrigation water testing standards are more stringent that the existing ones under CanadaGAP. Under the current standard, irrigation water testing is not required, only recommended.
The requirements under the Foreign Supplier Verification Program rules and for accreditation of third-party auditors and certification bodies will possibly be addressed by CanadaGAP procedures already in place, the article goes on to say. Hopefully this is true, so that Canadian importers and farmers will have a familiar process for compliance and the process won’t be too disruptive.
This is no small issue, however. Several hundred million dollars in produce flows into the U.S. from Ontario alone and although most of them are already required by growers associations to have third-party certifications of safety, much like FSMA will require, it will be important to make sure those standards align properly once the bill is fully in action.
We’re rooting for you, Canada. We need our poutine.
Edited by Kyle Piscioniere