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Do you own a business in food processing, manufacturing, or farming? Are you planning to start a business in any of these areas?
Information for BC Food Processors
The Public Health Act’s Food Premises Regulation’s Sections 23 and 24 were updated in 2013 to enhance food safety in British Columbia’s food processing industry. These changes require food processors in B.C. to develop, maintain and follow a written Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point-based (HACCP) food safety plan and a written sanitation plan.
If your B.C. food processing facility is federally registered and you have written food safety and sanitation plans in place*, those plans meet the B.C. Food Premises Regulation requirements. You would then already comply with the new provincial food safety regulatory requirements.
HACCP-based plans are an international industry standard. You need to complete these plans and have them approved by your environmental health officer by March 26, 2016. If you are already operating a food processing establishment, your food safety procedures will likely form a good portion of the written food safety plan and your sanitation plan.
The Ministry of Health is committed to supporting you as a food processor as you develop your food safety and sanitation plans. The ministry is offering one-day training courses throughout B.C. to help you develop your plans. For step-by-step workbooks and other materials, as well as dates and locations for training courses, visit www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/keeping-bc-healthy-safe/food-safety/food-safety-sanitation-plans. If you are unable to visit the website, the ministry can send you an electronic (PDF by email) or paper copy of the workbook, as well as the training schedule. Please submit a request by email to:
. Your environmental health officer can also provide advice on the changes needed to meet the new requirements.
If you have already written a food safety plan and a sanitation plan, check to make sure they meet the new requirements at: www.bclaws.ca/Recon/document/ID/freeside/11_210_99. Please contact your local health authority to have your food safety plan and your sanitation plan approved (ask for the environmental health officer who is responsible for inspecting your business). For contact information for your local or nearest health authority office, please visit:
Fraser Health - www.fraserhealth.ca/find-us/services/our-services?program_id=9434;
Interior Health - www.interiorhealth.ca/FindUs/_layouts/FindUs/info.aspx?type=Service&loc=&svc=Environmental%20Health&ploc=;
Island Health - www.viha.ca/mho/contacts/hpes.htm;
Northern Health - northernhealth.ca/OurServices/Facilities/HealthUnits.aspx;
Vancouver Coastal Health - www.vch.ca/locations-and-services/find-health-services/?program_id=18;
*Federal registration is required for exports and interprovincial shipments in commodities such as dairy, honey, eggs, meat, fish, maple products, and fresh or processed fruits and vegetables. Federal registration may also be required for imports of these same food commodities. Many food products do not currently require federal registration for import or export.
For more information on whether your company or facility should be federally registered, please review the following information on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website:
Food imports - www.inspection.gc.ca/eng/1376515896184/1376515983781
Food exports - www.inspection.gc.ca/eng/1323723342834/1323723662195
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