April 23, 2018

CFIA Releases Microbiological Monitoring Program 2011-2012

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has released its National Microbiological Monitoring Program 2011-2012 Annual Report. The report shows that more than 98% of foods sampled met Health Canada safety guidelines and standards.

Petri DishThe government tests a wide range of food for microbial hazards and extraneous material such as glass and metal objects. The testing covers red meat, poultry products, shell eggs, egg products, dairy products, and fresh and processed fruit and vegetable 3products. The Canadian government requires that all foods must comply with the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations, which determine criteria for safe food and place restrictions on the production, importation, sale, composition, and content of food.

The National Microbiological Monitoring Program samples and tests both raw and processed foods. Most testing is done on foods that are not further processed by the consumer and in raw foods that can cause illness if not properly cooked. The government assumes that consumers will handle food properly and cook thoroughly to destroy any bacteria that may be present in the food.

When food safety problems are found, they are assessed to determine the level of risk to consumers. Follow-up actions may include notifying the producer and/or importer, more inspections of the facility in question, or more sampling. A recall is initiated if the government finds the product poses a health risk and if the product is already in distribution.

In 2011/2012 there were 14,037 tests performed on 5,234 samples of domestic and imported food products. According to the press release, 98.7% of these samples met Health Canada safety guidelines and standards. In addition to product samples, the government also took environmental samples including wash water samples and surface swabs in food facilities. A total of 2,300 tests were performed on 1,878 environmental samples; 97.5% of those samples were compliant with government standards.

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