Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Food Processing Regulations

 
 
Subscribe to our free E-Newsletter, "Agri-News" (formerly RTW This Week)Agri-News
This Week
 
 
 
 General municipal business licensing requirements | Alberta Environment requirements | Food safety requirements | When is a provincial license/inspection required? | When is a federal establishment license required? | Packaging and labeling | Organic processing

Do I need a permit or a license? All three levels of government have legislated acts and regulations dealing with food safety, packaging, labeling, licensing and taxation.

General Municipal Business Licensing Requirements

Most food processing businesses require a municipal license. Fees vary depending on the specific business.
The licensing department will refer your application to the local board of health, fire and police departments for their approval.

As well, all businesses must conform to zoning and by-law regulations designated by municipal governments. Construction and leasehold improvements require prior approval by the planning and building departments as well as your local health authority. Municipalities require a development building permit prior to issuance of any business license.

Know your area’s zoning laws and obtain your permits before you build or sign a lease.

Contact the building or planning department in your municipality for information on the development permit process and steps in applying for a business license.

Alberta Environment Requirements

Alberta Environment requires that most food processing facilities be either approved or registered with the government department.

Contact the approvals engineer in your region for more information on the approval or registration application.

Lethbridge – 403-381-5322
Calgary – 403-297-7602
Red Deer – 403-340-7052
Edmonton – 780-427-7617
Grand Prairie – 780-538-5351

http://www.environment.gov.ab.ca

Food Safety Requirements

All food processors in Alberta are subject to the provincial Public Health Act and the Food Regulation (AR 31/2006), administered by Alberta Health Services. An inspection of a food processing facility by Alberta Health Services is required prior to commencement of operations. A food sales permit is also required and obtained from Alberta Health Services. For further information, contact a public health inspector at your local community health services office.

Chinook Regional Health Authority, Lethbridge, 403-382-6009

Palliser Regional Health Authority, Medicine Hat office, 403-529-8042

Calgary Health Region, Calgary, 403-943-1110

David Thompson Regional Health Authority, Red Deer, 403-341-8622

East Central Regional Health Authority, Camrose, 780-608-8800

Capital Health Authority, Edmonton, 780-342-2000

Aspen Regional Health Authority, Westlock, 780-349-8705

Peace Country Health Authority, Grande Prairie, 780-538-5387

Northern Lights Regional Health Authority, Ft. McMurray, 780-791-6024

http://www.health.gov.ab.ca

When is a Provincial License/Inspection Required?

Provincial inspection of a food processing establishment is required in the case of: dairy processing and meat & poultry processing.

Dairy Processing
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development’s dairy section administers regulatory functions pertaining to the Dairy Industry Act and National Dairy Code.

Contact:
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
Regulatory Services Division
Inspection and Investigation Branch
Provincial Building
4920 - 51 Street
Red Deer, Alberta T4N 6K8
Telephone: 403-755-1474

Processed Meats and Poultry
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Developments’s Regulatory Services Division approves and licenses abattoirs, and inspects processes in accordance with the provincial Meat Inspection Act and Regulations (AR 42/2003). All meat and poultry products for sale in Alberta must be government (federal or provincial) inspected. Meat that is to be sold only in Alberta can be processed at a provincially inspected plant.

Contact:
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
Regulatory Services Division
Meat Inspection Branch
304, 7000 - 113 St.
Edmonton, Alberta T6H 5T6
Telephone: 780-422-2104

When is a Federal Establishment License Required?

Federal regulations cover meat products, dairy products, fish products, shell and processed eggs, fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, honey and maple products which are sold interprovincially and internationally (i.e. products destined for out-of-province sales).

Federal registration of a food processing establishment may apply if you manufacture food products containing any of the following commodities and are selling the product outside of Alberta:

  • meat
  • dairy
  • processed fruit and vegetables
  • honey and maple products
  • shell egg and processed egg
  • fish
Establishments requiring federal registration are monitored by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to verify conformance with regulations on safety and wholesomeness, and for packaging and labeling to avoid fraud.

If you manufacture a food product containing any of the above commodities, you should contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to verify if your food processing establishment requires federal registration.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Calgary
Floor 1, Room 102
110 Country Hills Landing N.W.
Calgary, Alberta T3K 5P3
Telephone: 403-299-7680

Edmonton
Room 205, 7000 - 113 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T6H 5T6
Telephone: 780-495-3333

http://www.inspection.gc.ca

NOTE: If your food product falls outside of the definitions requiring federal registration, it is then subject to the Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act/Regulations, Food and Drug Act/Regulations and Provincial Food Regulations.

Packaging and Labeling

The federal government regulates all food products entering into all levels of trade. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is a chief source of regulatory information for food processors regarding packaging and labeling. It enforces the Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act and regulations, the Food and Drug Act and regulations, the Canada Agricultural Products Act and regulations, and the Meat Inspection Act and regulations. On January 1, 2003, changes to the Food & Drug regulations resulted in changes to the nutritional labeling information which includes mandatory nutrition facts on all prepared foods, nutritional claims update and diet related health claims update.

Contact:
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Labeling Division
Suite 205, 7000 - 113 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T6H 5T6
Telephone: 780-495-3333

Floor 1, Room 102
110 Country Hills Landing N.W.
Calgary, Alberta T3K 5P3
Telephone: 403-299-7680

http://www.inspection.gc.ca

Organic Processing

A processor is defined as a person or company who performs any type of value-adding operation to raw products that have been organically produced. These operations include cooking, baking, heating, drying, mixing, grinding, churning, separating, extracting, cutting, fermenting, slaughtering, eviscerating, preserving, dehydrating, or other manufacturing which includes packaging, canning, jarring or otherwise enclosing in a container.

To maintain the organic integrity of a processed product, processors must adhere to national standard and be certified by a certifying body. These standards cover the requirements from the transportation and storage stages through to processing, packaging and labeling for processor certification. Some of these regulations include:
  • Organic products cannot be mixed with non-organic products during storage and transportation.
  • Only the permitted food additives and processing aids can be used during processing.
  • Only the permitted pest control agents can be used on the product.
  • A processed product can be labeled as organic if at least 95% of the ingredients, excluding added water or salt, are obtained from certified sources of production.
A complete listing of the national organic regulations and standards can be obtained from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website:

http://www.inspection.gc.ca
 
 
 
 

Other Documents in the Series

 
  Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Preface
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Introduction
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Starting Out
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Business Planning
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Business Considerations
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Food Processing Regulations - Current Document
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Facilities
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Product Development
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Processing and Packaging Equipment
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Packaging and Labeling
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Distribution and Sales
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Promotion
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Financing
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Sources of Assistance
Business Basics for Alberta Food Processors - Additional Resources
 
 
 
 
Share via AddThis.com
For more information about the content of this document, contact Ag Info Centre.
This information published to the web on June 1, 2005.
Last Reviewed/Revised on March 31, 2012.