Agriculture

Food Permits - Questions & Answers

Since August 2009, health officers with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD) have been enforcing the Food and Food Handling Establishment Regulation under The Public Health Act in non-federally registered food processing and distribution facilities. In general, MAFRD is responsible for food safety from farms to the back door of retail outlets. Public health inspectors with Manitoba Health continue to enforce the Food and Food Handling Establishment Regulation in the food service and food retail establishments, including farmers markets.  

Q1. Who needs to be a provincially-permitted food processing plant?

Anyone who commercially manufactures, processes or packages food for human consumption, and is not federally-registered or permitted by another jurisdiction is required to have a provincial permit.

Q2. What does federally-registered mean?

Manufacturers who produce food products listed under the Canada Agriculture Products Act, the Fish Inspection Act and the Meat Inspection Act that are to be traded internationally or inter-provincially, must be registered by The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Manufacturers can also apply for registration by CFIA for intra-provincial trade.

Q3. What is a non-federally registered product?

A non-federally registered food product is any food that is not manufactured in a federally-registered establishment. These foods may be traded intra-provincially, inter-provincially, or exported. This sector covers a wide range of products including infant foods, alcoholic beverages, bakery products and cereal products.

Q4. How do I get a provincial permit?

  • First, contact your local health officer or the manager – Inspection and Auditing Service at the CVO/Food Safety Knowledge Centre.
  • Review ‘The Guideline for the Design, Construction and Reconstruction of a Food Processing Establishment’ (PDF 70KB).
  • Prior to commencing construction/renovation or conversion, the owner/operator must submit a completed registration form (PDF 55KB) to the local health officer for review.
  • The registration form must be accompanied with a clear and complete detailed drawing/plan, preferably to scale, with the required information and any other facts that may be pertinent to the review of the proposal. Required information includes:
    • the layout plan showing food preparation, processing, storage, service areas, number and type of plumbing fixtures and washrooms;    
    • a listing of all equipment and where it is to be located;    
    • a comprehensive list of food processed, packaged, handled, distributed or sold at the establishment.  
  • The registration form must be accompanied by a site plan which includes the boundaries delineating the area under inspection control, the location of all buildings on the premise, access roadways, fences and ancillary structures and separation distance from other industrial, commercial, municipal and residential structures.
  • The registration form must also include a schedule indicating the projected dates for commencement and completion of: construction and/or reconstruction of the structure, interior finishing, equipment installation, and the expected opening date.
  • The plans will be reviewed by the health officer to ensure regulatory requirements can be met.
  • Upon completion of the review, the health officer will advise that construction of the food processing establishment can proceed as proposed or notify the owner/operator of any non-compliance issues or concerns with the proposal that must be addressed.
    • Note: If there is to be a change in construction plans from what was originally submitted, before or during construction or renovation, it is the owner/operator’s responsibility to contact the health officer prior to making the changes and provide a new design plan for review showing the proposed changes.
  • It is the responsibility of the owner/operator to keep the health officer informed about when the food processing establishment is expected to be ready for inspection and give at least five working days notice for a permitting inspection.
  • A permit will only be issued after an inspection has been carried out and all construction is complete and regulatory requirements are met.
    • Note: For construction, renovation or conversion of food processing establishments within the City of Winnipeg, all plans and specifications must also be submitted to the city’s One Stop Plan Approval located at Unit 31 – 30 Fort Street.
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