Is it safe to buy food products online?

by | May 7, 2023 | Food and Recipes

As more of us are turning to the convenience of online shopping for purchases small and large, one question on many people’s minds is: Is it safe to buy food products online?

The short answer is, yes, mostly.

Canada has one of the safest food systems in the world. The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) apply to all food that is imported, exported or inter-provincially traded.

Most Canadian retailers or manufacturers selling directly to consumers have to abide by those rules. So, if you order food products directly from a retailer, this food likely falls under the SFCR and must meet requirements for safety.

If you’re shopping online for spices or other exotic ingredients not readily available at your local grocer, you’ll want to use a degree of caution.

If you’re not sure about a vendor, do a little research to find out if they’re based in Canada and/or are members of any recognized industry associations. If in doubt, err on the side of caution and stick to trusted suppliers.

You should be aware that some foreign goods are restricted from entering the country. For instance, pork products from abroad have the potential to spread diseases like African swine fever. While not dangerous to humans, it’s lethal for pigs. If it’s introduced to Canada, it could have significant impacts on our farmers and the economy.

If you suspect someone selling food products online is not in compliance, contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

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