Health Canada released its guidance document The Use of Probiotic Microorganisms in Food on April 22, 2009. This document provides guidance on the use of health claims for probiotics, as well as guidance on the safety, quality (stability), and labelling requirements for foods containing probiotic microorganisms.
To assist industry in the application of this guidance document, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has updated Chapter 8, Health Claims , in the Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising (Guide) to reflect Health Canada’s new guidance on probiotics. The updated Guide also includes a list of probiotic claims that are considered acceptable on food, without the need for further substantiation by the manufacturer or importer, along with conditions for their use.
It is the responsibility of all manufacturers and importers to ensure that their products comply with all relevant Canadian legislation. Labels, advertisements and web sites are expected to be in compliance with this new guidance on probiotics within 6 months of the date of publication of this letter. Products which do not meet the requirements at that time may be subject to enforcement action by the CFIA. However, immediate correction is expected in the case of food products containing probiotics that are represented for therapeutic use (i.e. carrying drug claims) of the label, advertisement or web site, wherever such a claim appears.