( Photo courtesy Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation )

By Jan. 15, most fresh produce companies supplying the Canadian market will be subject to new requirements under the Safe Food for Canadians regulations.

The Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation said in an update that the requirements that will come into force at that date include preventive controls, and preventive control plans and traceability. Those requirements will include lot code labeling of consumer-prepackaged fresh fruits or vegetables, according to the DRC update. However, growers and harvesters will have until Jan. 15, 2021 to use up existing packaging, the DRC update said.

The DRC noted that guidance documents about the new requirements are found on Canadian Food Inspection Agency website.

A document that spells out the food safety requirements for importers is located here, while import requirements for leafy green vegetables from  California and Arizona are found here.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency also offers an online toolkit for businesses here to help managers determine which regulations apply to their operations.

In related news, the DRC said importers who require a Safe Food for Canadians license,  and who do not hold a valid food license or a valid DRC membership by Jan. 15, may experience delays or refusal of entry of their shipment at the border, in addition to possible other enforcement actions.