Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket, Ontario, last week ordered the Creation Foods Company in Woodbridge, Ontario, to pay a fine of $25,000 Canadian ($19,334 US) for selling falsely labeled, non-kosher cheddar cheese to two summer camps for Orthodox Jewish children in 2015, in violation of the Food and Drugs Act, according to a press release of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Section B.01.049 of the Food and Drug Regulations states that “no person shall use, in labeling, packaging, advertising or selling, a food that does not meet the requirements of the kashrut applicable to it, the word ‘kosher’ or any letters of the Hebrew alphabet or any other word, expression, depiction, sign, symbol, mark, device or other representation that indicates or that is likely to create an impression that the food is kosher.
Section 31(1) of the Canadian Food and Drugs Act states that “every person who contravenes any provision of this Act or the regulations, as it relates to food, is guilty of an offence and liable […] on conviction by indictment, to a fine not exceeding $250,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both.”
A CFIA investigation determined that the company sold a non-kosher food product to two Jewish youth camps, by means of a forged kosher certificate. The cheese sold to both camps did not meet the requirements of kashrut.
According to CFIA, “this is the first case in Canada brought before a provincial court related to the misrepresentation of a kosher food product.”
“The fine is significant and may lead to improved future compliance under this statute. This case, and the conviction, reinforces the CFIA’s commitment to food safety, and demonstrates how the Agency takes issues related to food fraud seriously. Investigation and legal action will be taken, when warranted,” the press release concludes.