Alta. cuts regulations for low-risk food production

Alberta is changing regulations that will allow some food producers to sell low-risk products without being subject to inspections or permits.

The government said today the changes will improve access to local food. Some small producers and processors have been advocating for regulatory changes, saying current rules bar them from being competitive in the market.

“This regulatory change maintains our standards for food safety, supports Alberta entrepreneurs, adds new jobs and benefits the economy by giving Albertans new opportunities to buy locally produced foods,” Health Minister Tyler Shandro said in a news release.

“It also makes it easier than ever to turn your passion into a home business.”

Low-risk foods that can be sold without meeting regulatory requirements include products that don’t require refrigeration, such as baked goods, jams/jellies, candies, pickled foods and cereals.

High-risk foods that contain meat, poultry, seafood and(or) raw milk will require inspection and permits.

Home-prepared foods, including those sold at farmers markets, will need to be appropriately labeled, which the government said will allow consumers to make informed choices.

Farmers market vendors will be required to comply with the new labelling standards, as well as adhere to existing farmers market guidelines.

“More and more, Albertans are looking to buy local. Removing restrictions so Albertans can make low-risk foods in their home kitchens to sell to the public is a practical way to cut red tape and support home businesses while increasing Albertans ‘access to local food,” Grant Hunter, associate minister of red tape reduction, said in the news release.

Contact jeremy.simes@producer.com

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