Small Scale Food Processor Association SSFPA


Resources for Food Safety Planning: FAQs

Below are some answers to questions we are frequently asked. If you have questions you want answered, please contact us.

I am following the rules that I have from the government. Why do my customers want me to follow more rules?

Governments statutes are for protecting the public to ensure food is safe. Larger industrial buyers are also demanding industrial third-party auditing of quality and safety, done by an independent certification entity.  These certification requirements can range from simple GMP to HACCP or ISO or GFSI recognized HACCP-based food safety certification schemes.  In some cases if you want to be a supplier, you may have to meet the requirements of these third-party audits. Although each certification scheme is different, the foundation priniciples are based on GMP and HACCP.  Links are provided to their websites.

GFSI/ISO 22000


Silliker Labs

Guelph Food technology/American Institute of Baking

British Retail Consortium  


I only produce and sell product in BC. I thought federal regulations applied only to product sold out of the province. Why do I have to follow federal Food and Drug legislation?

British Columbia has the Food Products Standards Act which requires all food sold in BC to comply with the federal Food and Drug legislation unless there is a provincial standard. (As far as we know there is only one, referring to milk.)

BC Milk Industry Standards Regulation

What are my legal obligations regarding food safety?

All processors are required to follow all the applicable rules and statutes, even if they are not inspected for this.

The BC Meat Inspection Regulations state that I have to be a licensed Class A plant to process Meat Products. Why is my plant being inspected by EHO’s and not BCCDC?

The BC Meat Inspection Regulations only apply to plants that slaughter as well as process meat. If you are just processing meat you do not require a License under the BC Meat Inspection Act. However, you will need approval from your local environmental health officer.

If your plant is only slaughtering, or slaughtering as well as processing meat products, then the BC Meat Inspection Regulations apply. If you are only processing meat and not slaughtering as well, you do not require a provincial license under the BC Meat Inspection Regulations. However, you do need approval from your local environmental health officer.

Plants that produce foods in the following categories are required to be licensed for provincial trade with BC Ministry of Agriculture or BC Centre for Disease Control. Other provincial plants (selling within BC) should be approved by your local environmental health officer.

Meat Slaughter plants (BCCDC)

Fish and Seafood (BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands)

Dairy Products (BCCDC)

Honey (BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands)

Eggs and Processed Eggs (BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands)

What regulations do I have to follow if I am processing food on my First Nations reserve?

Health Canada regularly visit reserves to check and advise on health and safety issues. They review plans and specifications for new facilities and conduct routine inspections of venues, referencing, as a minimum, Provincial standards. Health Canada communicates any health issues to regional health authorities. They also check any food processing operations (non food service operations) and communicate with regional health authority EHO’s. If products produced are to be sold outside the province, either directly or to an intermediary who ships outside the province, CFIA is notified about the existence of these operations which are subject to CFIA jurisdiction.

Processing operations on reserve have to be licensed if they are producing any of the products listed above, and may be approved by regional health authority EHO’s for other food products depending on the individual regional health authorities’ policy requirements and the risk factors of the product.