On occasion, Health Canada may identify the need to make changes to the Lists of Permitted Food Additives in order to correct minor errors, to adjust wording in the interest of clarity, to ensure consistency in terminology, or to make changes that are required as a consequence of amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations (Regulations) or emerging scientific developments related to the effectiveness and/or safety of an approved food additive.
Health Canada’s Food Directorate received a request seeking approval for the use of sodium benzoate as a preservative used at a maximum level of 1,000 ppm in oyster-flavoured sauce. Oyster-flavoured sauce is regulated as an unstandardized fish product in Canada, and consequently, is not permitted to contain either benzoic acid or salts of benzoic acid due to the exception captured under subitem B.1(2) of Part 2 of the List of Permitted Preservatives.
The Food Directorate conducted an internal review of its files to understand the rationale behind the establishment of the exception, and found no scientific evidence, from a health and safety perspective, to soundly rationalize the establishment of the exception. In addition, emerging scientific developments have demonstrated the effective anti-microbiological activities of benzoic acid and its salts when used for the preservation of meat, poultry and fish products. Therefore, Health Canada has enabled the use of benzoic acid and its potassium and sodium salts described in the information document below by modifying Part 2 of the List of Permitted Preservatives, effective May 5 2020.
The purpose of this communication is to publically announce the Department’s decision in this regard and to provide the appropriate contact information for any inquiries or feedback on this modification.
To obtain an electronic copy of the Notice of Modification to the List of Permitted Preservatives to Enable the Use of Benzoic Acid and its Salts in Oyster-Flavoured Sauce – Reference Number: NOM/ADM-0147, please contact our publications office or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the words “hpfb BCS nom-adm-0147-eng” in the subject line of your e-mail.
Health Canada’s Food Directorate is committed to reviewing any new scientific information on the safety in use of any permitted food additive, including benzoic acid and its potassium and sodium salts. Anyone wishing to submit new scientific information on the use of these additives or to submit any inquiries on this modification may do so in writing, by regular mail or electronically. If you wish to contact the Food Directorate electronically, please use the words “Benzoic acid and its salts (NOM-0147)” in the subject line of your e-mail.
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