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Canadian food inspectors to introduce online labelling tool

12 April 2012

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) plans to develop and implement an online self-assessment labelling tool, which could help producers, manufacturers and retailers to create compliant labels.

Expected to launch in 2014-2015, the tool will be used to create industry awareness, understanding and compliance with labelling requirements for a broad range of information, which pertains to net quantity, date markings, nutrition labelling, bilingual labelling, legibility and location.

With the help of the online service consumers could also learn more about labelling and the rules companies are required to follow, the agency said.

The Canadian regulator will test for the potential presence of undeclared allergens in food products and risk-based label verification activities will be performed by its inspectors to check that label information reflects what is actually in the product.

CFIA will investigate complaints, conduct facility inspections and assessments at the retail level, as well as the laboratory testing of products.

The programme also includes the testing and verification of nutrient content or calories in the food at manufacturers, importers and retailers by the watchdog.

CFIA has announced to remove regulations that restrict the sizes of containers for food commodities, providing more options for consumers and industry alike.

According to the agency, the outdated regulations limit industry innovation and consumer choices.