Dear Trade Partners,
With Canadian food safety regulations evolving and modernizing to better protect consumers, we are providing a summary of the key regulatory changes impacting beverage alcohol suppliers along with resources to assist you in making a smooth transition.
Food Labelling Modernization Initiative
On December 14, 2016, Health Canada published amendments to food labelling requirements to better inform consumers and evolve regulations to keep pace with innovation in the food industry. Notable changes include the food labelling requirements for ingredients lists, nutrition facts tables, declaration of sugars and serving size. The full details are available on the Canadian government website.
The agency provided the industry a transition period of five years, which means the deadline for compliance is December 14, 2021.
Note: on June 22, 2019, the Government of Canada proposed further changes to labelling requirements under the Food Labelling Modernization Initiative. At this time, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is consulting on these proposed changes. When the proposed changes are published, the LCBO will update our trade partners. The notice to industry can read here.
Safe Food for Canadians Regulations
On January 15, 2019, a new regulation came into force requiring that selling units bear a legible lot code and products sold must have traceability records for one step forward and one step back in the supply chain.
The food industry was provided a transition period of 18 months, which means all products must comply with the new requirements by July 15, 2020. Further information about Traceability and Lot Code requirements can be found here.
Beer Standard of Identity
New regulations concerning the beer standard of identity and associated labelling requirements came into force on April 15, 2019. The full details about the new regulations concerning the beer standard of identity are available here.
With a transition period of more three and a half years, all beer products must meet the requirements of the amended Food and Drug Regulations by December 14, 2022.
Vodka Standard of Identity
New regulations concerning the vodka standard of identity and associated labelling requirements came into force on June 17, 2019. The full details about the new regulations concerning the vodka standard of identity are available here.
With a transition period of approximately three and a half years, all vodka products must meet the requirements of the amended Food and Drug Regulations by December 14, 2022.
For each of the above regulatory changes the LCBO will take a phased approach to implementation, which will be defined and communicated in a follow-up letter.
To ensure your business operates without interruption and/or avoid corrective labelling fees, the LCBO strongly urges suppliers to review the new and proposed regulations, consider their impact on the labelling of their products and develop a plan to comply. Suppliers are reminded that they are responsible for ensuring that all products supplied to LCBO comply with all applicable laws, including the Food and Drug Regulations and the Safe Food for Canadians Regulation.
Suppliers are also encouraged to read the accompanying Summary of Regulatory Updates Specific to Beverage Alcohol document below for an overview of the regulations, frequently asked questions and list of resources. As we progress towards the deadlines for compliance, the LCBO will update trade partners in the event of any changes.
Your assistance in sharing this information with your members is greatly appreciated. Inquiries about the regulations or Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) or Health Canada requirements should be directed to CFIA via their website.
Inquiries about LCBO label reviews may be directed to the LCBO's Quality Assurance department. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (416) 864-6724.
Director, Quality Assurance