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Processors consulted on food safety regulation

From the Manitoba Co-operator

Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development hosted consultation meetings in Winnipeg and Brandon recently to hear from those who will be affected by proposed provincial food safety regulations. All food safety regulation in the province is now under review as the province moves to proclaim its Food Safety Act in 2015. The food safety regulation will apply to any facility where food products are handled, processed, manufactured, prepared, packaged, stored or distributed, including abattoirs and dairy farms. An estimated 450 food processors and distributors in Manitoba are now faced with additional licensing and procedural requirements, including demands for written food safety programs, training and documenting procedures used by processors to ensure safe food handling.

MAFRD began conducting food safety inspections in 2009 and has been enforcing the province’s food and food handling regulation, said Diane Roberts, a MAFRD food safety specialist at the consultations to explain the document. Manitoba is bringing in food safety regulation to deal with the specifics of licensed food processors, she said.

“The food and food-handling regulation is really geared towards food retail and food serving handling establishments,” she said. “Our clientele are provincially permitted food processing facilities.”

Dave Shambrock, Manitoba Food Processors Association (MFPA) executive director said members of MFPA who’ve seen the proposed regulation are generally satisfied with what they see in it.

“It’s not bad news and it’s not unexpected.”

But it will place more demands on businesses owners and add complexity to their operating environment, he said. MFPA will offer training this fall to help businesses get up to speed with the regulation and help prepare the written food safety programs they
must provide.

“It’s going to challenging,” Shambrock said.

Read the full article here.