As a trusted player in the biotech industry for over two decades, Artron Laboratories understands the critical importance of food safety regulations. Our commitment to quality and reliability extends beyond our laboratory walls, reaching healthcare professionals and food distributors who rely on accurate diagnostic solutions. In this blog, we delve into the top 10 benefits of food safety regulations, emphasizing their impact on public health, industry compliance, and consumer trust.
1. Protecting consumers and public health
In 2009, there was a Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak, which prompted a recall of peanut butter products and affected 714 consumers and tragically, nine deaths . This incident highlights the critical role of food safety regulations in preventing widespread illness and protecting public health. Imagine if these regulations hadn’t been in place—thousands more could have been affected by tainted peanut butter.
By enforcing stringent standards, we safeguard consumers from foodborne illnesses caused by pathogens, contaminants, or improper handling. These regulations act as a shield against outbreaks that can affect entire communities. Imagine a world where every meal carries the risk of illness—food safety regulations prevent that nightmare.
2. Reducing foodborne illnesses
The impact of foodborne illnesses is far-reaching. Not only do they cause suffering for individuals, but they also strain healthcare systems. In 2021 and 2022, Canada faced a significant outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to frozen whole-kernel corn with 118 laboratory-confirmed cases .
Salmonella Enteritidis can cause abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and fever, which often last 4-7 days . However, in more severe cases, the infection can spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and other body sites, potentially fatal if not treated promptly with antibiotics .
By manufacturing and distributing food safety tests, Artron helps to minimize the occurrence of illnesses related to unsafe food consumption. Fewer hospitalizations mean healthier communities and more productive workforces.
3. Enhancing consumer confidence
When consumers see a product labeled with regulatory compliance, they feel assured. Trust is built on transparency and accountability. By adhering to food safety guidelines, businesses demonstrate their commitment to quality and consumer well-being.
4. Ensuring industry compliance
Food safety regulations level the playing field for businesses because they allow everyone to adhere to the same rules. This consistency ensures fair competition and prevents unscrupulous practices that could harm consumers or tarnish reputations.
5. Mitigating legal risks
Non-compliance with food safety regulations can lead to legal consequences—fines, recalls, or even criminal charges. By following guidelines meticulously, businesses protect themselves from legal pitfalls.
Talking about the peanut butter outbreak , the company, called Peanut Corporation of America, which knowingly shipped contaminated peanut butter products was eventually faced with criminal charges and filed for bankruptcy due to the financial burden of recalls, lawsuits, and legal fees .
This case underscores the severity of legal repercussions for non-compliance with food safety regulations.
6. Facilitating international trade
Global supply chains demand harmonized standards. For instance, the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) is a set of regulations that came into effect in January 2019 and applies to all food traded internationally and inter-provincially . The SFCR aims to improve food safety in Canada by introducing new requirements for food businesses, including preventive controls, traceability, and commodity-specific requirements .
The SFCR also includes provisions for trade, such as the recognition of foreign systems . This means that foreign food safety systems that are equivalent to Canada’s can be recognized, which helps facilitate trade between countries.
In summary, the SFCR is an example of how food safety regulations can facilitate international trade by creating a common language for trade partners worldwide and ensuring that food products meet the required safety standards.
7. Promoting innovation
Regulations drive innovation by setting benchmarks for improvement. Businesses invest in research and development to meet or exceed these standards. Health Canada recently proposed amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations to encourage businesses to bring safe and innovative products to market in Canada. The proposed amendments include:
- Creating a regulatory framework to enable continued use of Human Milk Fortifiers .
- Modernizing the regulations for microbiological safety criteria and methods of analysis for timelier and more efficient revisions to respond to advancing science and technology .
- Streamlining food additive rules .
- Establishing a new regulatory framework for foods supplemented to contain added ingredients like vitamins or caffeine to safely allow them on the Canadian market .
These changes are designed to provide greater clarity and predictability for businesses, allowing them to bring food products to market in a timely manner. This impact would in turn provide people in Canada with greater, faster access to safe and innovative food products .
In this way, the regulations are driving innovation by setting benchmarks for improvement. Businesses are incentivized to invest in research and development to meet or exceed these standards, leading to the emergence of cutting-edge food solutions.
8. Empowering consumers with information
Clear labeling is essential for informed choices. Food safety regulations require accurate labeling—of ingredients—the crucial details for consumers and healthcare professionals advising patients with allergies.
Additionally, food safety regulations require that all pre-packaged foods must have a nutrition facts table that provides information on the amount of calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients in the product. This helps consumers make informed decisions about their diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
9. Strengthening supply chain resilience
A robust supply chain is essential during crises—natural disasters or pandemics like COVID-19 . Food safety regulations ensure that supply chains remain resilient even in challenging times.
HACCP is a food safety management system that helps identify and control potential hazards in the food production process . By implementing HACCP, food manufacturers can ensure that their products are safe for consumption, which can help prevent foodborne illnesses and reduce the risk of product recalls. This, in turn, can help maintain consumer confidence in the brand and reduce the impact of any supply chain disruptions.
10. Building a sustainable future
Sustainable practices are integral to our planet’s well-being. Food safety regulations encourage responsible sourcing, waste reduction, and eco-friendly packaging choices. The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) require food businesses to implement preventive controls to minimize the risk of contamination and reduce food waste , which in turn can help conserve natural resources. In addition, the SFCR also requires companies to use packaging materials that are safe for consumers and the environment, which can reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainability .
Overall, food safety regulations have a significant impact on the food industry and its consumers. These regulations are designed to protect consumers and public health, reduce foodborne illnesses, enhance consumer confidence, ensure industry compliance, mitigate legal risks, facilitate international trade, promote innovation, empower consumers with information, strengthen supply chain resilience, and build a sustainable future.
By enforcing these regulations, the food industry can ensure that their products are safe for consumption and that they meet the highest standards of quality. This not only benefits the industry but also the consumers who can trust that the food they consume is safe and healthy.
With the implementation of these regulations, we can look forward to a future where food safety is a top priority and where everyone can enjoy safe and healthy food with confidence.
If you have any questions related to food safety, feel free to contact us or leave a comment below. We will get in touch with you shortly.
 Investigation Information for Outbreak of Salmonella typhimurium infections, 2008–2009 | Salmonella CDC. (n.d.). https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/2009/peanut-butter-2008-2009.html
 Public Health Agency of Canada. (2023, March 7). Public Health Notice: Outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to frozen whole kernel corn. Canada.ca. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/public-health-notices/2021/outbreak-salmonella-infections.html
 Salmonella infection – Symptoms & causes – Mayo Clinic. (2022, April 29). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/salmonella/symptoms-causes/syc-20355329
 Wikipedia contributors. (2023). Peanut Corporation of America. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peanut_Corporation_of_America
 Government of Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency. (2023, April 27). Understanding the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: A handbook for food businesses. https://inspection.canada.ca/food-safety-for-industry/toolkit-for-food-businesses/sfcr-handbook-for-food-businesses/eng/1481560206153/1481560532540?chap=0
 Health Canada. (2023, July 10). Forward Regulatory Plan 2022-2024: Regulations Amending the Food and Drug Regulations (Modernize food regulations to enable innovative and safe foods for Canadians). Canada.ca. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/corporate/about-health-canada/legislation-guidelines/acts-regulations/forward-regulatory-plan/plan/modernize-food-regulations-innovative-safe-foods.html
 Westoll, N. (2022, June 24). Canadian manufacturer working to meet demand for COVID tests | CityNews Toronto. CityNews Toronto. https://toronto.citynews.ca/2022/01/06/covid-canada-rapid-antigen-tests-artron/
 What is HACCP? (n.d.). Canadian Institute of Food Safety. https://www.foodsafety.ca/haccp-programs/what-is-haccp