News Local

Time running out for food safety changes

By Stefania Seccia

B.C.’s food processors only have a few months remaining to develop formal food safety and sanitation plans.
REUTERS

B.C.’s food processors only have a few months remaining to develop formal food safety and sanitation plans. REUTERS

B.C.’s food processors only have a few months remaining to develop formal food safety and sanitation plans as new regulations come into effect March 2016.

The Public Health Act’s food premises regulation was amended two years ago to require written food safety and sanitation plans from food processors — such as supermarkets and delis.

The plans are a set of written procedures that are expected to help prevent or reduce food safety hazards that can cause food poisoning.

About 550,000 people suffer from foodborne illnesses every year in B.C.

Health authorities inspect such facilities routinely and will be in charge of approving the plans by the March deadline.

The province announced a $1 million investment to help processors boost safety and prevent foodborne illnesses from spreading through proper food handling.

And the BC Centre for Disease Control for Public Health has launched a project to help processors develop the plans.

While plans will differ according to each processors, but include how to properly cook, cool and reheat foods, ensure food handlers don’t spread pathogens, source food from suppliers that comply with regulations, prevent cross-contamination, and safely use leftovers.

For more information, visit bccdcfoundation.org.