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FSMA & SFCA Common Approaches to Food Safety

A Comparison of two North American Food Safety Regulations

By Sara Zborovski, LLB 

As set out in the first of this two-part series on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA), similar themes run through both Acts. In this second part of the series, I will outline the common aspects of the two food safety systems.

Prevention

Both Acts focus heavily on preventing problems. Part of the way they achieve this is by requiring members of the food chain to design and implement prevention plans, and by policing these plans by requiring facilities to register with or be licensed by the government.

The SFCA provides for the making of regulations respecting quality management programs, quality control programs, safety programs and preventive control plans to be implemented by persons who conduct any activity regulated under the Act (1).

Under the FSMA, food facilities are required to implement a written preventive controls plan, including evaluation of hazards that could affect food safety, identifying and monitoring preventive steps or controls to minimize or prevent hazards, and identifying an action plan in the event that problems arise (2).

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