The Government of Canada will impose administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) totalling up to $15,000 on companies that fail to comply with food safety rules.

“The use of administrative monetary penalties has been shown to be an effective compliance tool that has been successfully employed by the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) for the Health of Animals Act and its Regulations and the Plant Protection Act and its Regulations,” read the amendment.

Further, the government’s position is that AMPs “ensure that regulations are respected” and are “not punitive and are generally less expensive compared to prosecution or licence suspension or cancellation.”

Detailed in the amendment is the clause that the government will impose the AMPs on companies that refuse or neglect “any duty imposed by or under a provision of the Health of Animals Act, the Plant Protection Act, or of a regulation made under one of those acts.”

AMPs will be issued with a notice of violation with a warning or penalty when a violation has occurred. Penalties range between $500 and $10,000. When an offence is classified as serious or very serious the penalty can increase by up to 50%.

Some of the “serious” and “very serious” examples include removing a detention tag without authorization; failing to keep the prescribed documents for the prescribed one year; failing to prepare or keep documents setting out the required information with respect to a food sold at retail; and failing to take the prescribed measures when a food is the subject of a recall.

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