The law requires that every retail food establishment has a food safety plan in place that meets all requirements for storing, refrigeration, cooking, cooling, reheating, and sanitation. In Canada, the government requires the Regulatory Authority conduct inspections of these premises a minimum of once a year or once every two years depending on the location and federal funding.
Four things we must understand about this system.
- The Regulatory Authority (Food Inspectors) has discretionary power to decide what is an infraction or violations of the food safety laws.
- The Regulatory Authority does not have a timetable for code enforcement for Retail Food Establishments.
- The Regulatory Authority is Complaint Driven, meaning that there must be an official complaint to do a thorough in-depth investigation of any or all infractions.
- Food Inspectors only look at a snap shot of operations, and not necessarily the entire systemic overview.
For the retail food industry this causes an in-consistence of enforcement. For the consumer this creates an illusion of consistency and gives a false sense of security. Even though the law is in place to provide the consistent guidelines, from inspector to inspector or consumer to consumer expectations/agendas vary.
The problems that arise from such a system in our country is that the average consumer assumes that this system will protect them from a foodborne illness, or that retail food establishments have an effective food safety plan in place. And in truth, there is no real substantial proof to this assumption.
The solution to these concerns is for these retail food businesses to provide proof and documentation through HACCPCanada that a HACCP-Based Food Safety System has been actively implemented.
HACCPCanada monitors the critical control point logs quarterly (minimum) as well as employee food safety training, and requires the retail food outlet have a successful food safety inspection report with all deficiencies cleared.
Learn more at haccpcanada.net