Ask the Expert

If your facility is already registered with the CFIA, there will be little to no change.

If your facility is provincially inspected, you will be required to register your facility to ship food stuffs across provincial borders. CFIA inspectors also have substantially more authority to inspect any food production facility, even the ones that have traditionally been inspected by provincial authorities.


Although the regulations were to be published as a first draft in Gazette I in June of 2015, the industry is still awaiting further information.


Many foods do not require preservatives for manufacturing. They are used to extend the shelf-life of products, because there are few legal and natural alternatives. Food preservation is a complex issue that involves the moisture content, the amount of acid that is in a product, the amount of sugars and protein, and the typically occurring micro-organisms that are present everywhere. In some cases, preservatives are added because the chance of a food borne illness or death are greatly exaggerated when these foods are not properly treated.

In the last few years, however, many alternatives have become available to formulators that can substantially cut down the number of chemicals that are used. We have extensive experience with this. Give us a shout and let us help you clean up your ingredient declaration.


Compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act or FSMA does not have to be a costly process for most small businesses. The potential cost of a foodborne illness outbreak is considerably more expensive in the long run than having day to day best practices in place to assure safety. At FTC, we can help small to mid-sized companies put these standards and practices into place quickly and efficiently as well as provide manuals and training for the future.


The Food Service Modernization Act is the largest piece of legislation to affect the food industry in over 50 years. All companies will have to evaluate or reevaluate their risk programs in order to assure food supply safety. Small and mid-sized companies in particular will have to find tools and resources to help show how their products are safe in the marketplace. This is where a food science expert or food safety expert can be invaluable to a company. Depending on your location (US, Canada, EU) we can help outline the best way to tell your food safety story as it occurs in each facility and for each product.


Typically not. For public health reasons, local health authorities have laws in place to prevent you from selling home-made product to the public. You will be required to: rent a commercial kitchen for preparing your food product or have someone else make the product while you sell it.


Please give us a call for detailed information on food related start-ups. We can help you with the rules and regulations that are required to use your home kitchen as a starting point to create and sell your product. We’ve helped launch many products and can help with a variety of issues such as: food labeling, nutrition label requirements, food safety protocols, food safety regulations, organic certification and much more.


Non-traditional flavors and new products do very well in new package types. Pouches and cans can be equally safe as long as Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) are strictly followed and an additional process authority is used for each package combination and formulation. Depending on the type of pouch, graphics, materials used and color, the prices can vary. Other considerations are the amount of product to be packaged – large runs can lower the cost as well as the season during which it is ordered. Please contact FTC International for more information on packaging materials for your food product.


Celiac disease is an autoimmune response to the protein in gluten. Gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley. People with Celiac disease must eliminate these foods from their diets and it is especially important for food labels to accurately state whether there is gluten in the product. While it is best if a food product labeled gluten free is processed in a gluten free facility, it is not required by law. It is not possible to make the declaration “Made in a facility that also handles/processes wheat/gluten” on the same label. Please contact us for more information on getting your food product reviewed and labeled gluten free.


Certifications and licenses can be complicated or easy based on your geographic location. Your local health department should have the rules and regulations posted for your area. Give us a call to set up a local consultation to make the process more streamlined and avoid the hassle of trying to comply on your own.


Regulations require that all foods or beverages containing sulfites at concentrations above 10 PPM (Parts per Million) to be declared on the label. Please give us a call to get your wine or food product analyzed for sulfites and sulfite levels. We can help with nutritional labeling, information labels, declarations and reporting processes.


The FDA has developed FALCPA, which requires labeling of Major Allergens, which currently include: milk, egg, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts and soybeans. It also requires the type of tree nut (e.g., almonds, pecans, walnuts); the type of fish (e.g., bass, flounder, cod); and the type of Crustacean shellfish (e.g., crab, lobster, shrimp) to be declared.

Canadian law requires the declaration of the following allergens: “food allergen” means any protein from any of the following foods, or any modified protein, including any protein fraction, that is derived from any of the following foods: almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios or walnuts; (b) peanuts; (c) sesame seeds; (d) wheat or triticale; (e) eggs; (f) milk; (g) soybeans; (h) crustaceans; (i) shellfish; (j) fish; or (k) mustard seeds.

Allergens can occur in a number of products and ingredients that are used in processing. If you have any questions, give us a call or fill out our form to the right – we would be happy to assist you.


At this time the FDA permits irradiation only for reduction of pathogenic microorganism. While irradiation also decreases the concentration of spoilage organisms (and therefore increases shelf life), manufacturers will not make this as an FDA-approved claim. The main reason FDA has not been asked to approve the process for shelf life extension, is the cost the manufacturers would incur in floating a petition to FDA for this claim. The petition process may require years and could cost 100’s of thousand dollars. At the end of the day the FDA would only allow the same treatment limits as is currently used for pathogen reduction to be used for shelf life extension so it does not provide the petitioner any additional benefits.



The FDA has developed a protocol which sets boundaries for how much contaminate a recycled PET material can absorb and still qualify for recycling. The recycling company is responsible for submitting the data to prove their products are at safe levels. If you are concerned about your packaging potentially leaching contaminates into your product, give us a call to set up an analysis.


Biodegradable plastics are an interesting new area of food packaging. Polylactic acid (PLA) polymers are available in the marketplace as an alternative to tradition PET plastic packaging. They are considered more sustainable, but are also more expensive to use and recycle. For more information on the use of biodegradable plastics or bioplastics for the food industry, give us a call and we can go over the benefits of one over the other.