Canada’s Food Safety Performance

Food Safety ConceptA recent report by the Conference Board of Canada, in collaboration with the University of Guelph’s Food Institute, found that Canada’s food safety system was ranked the best in the world, as the country tied for first place with Ireland in comparison with 15 other countries. Individuals who have had food safety training know that this particular standing emphasizes Canada’s victory in various areas regarding food safety. These include Canada’s ability to effectively respond to emergencies, and its capability to communicate such emergencies with the public. The results featured in this report were determined by examining three particular areas of food safety in each country, including assessment, management and communication. Read on to find out more about how Canada’s food safety system remains efficient.

Safe Food for Canadians Act

Anyone who has undergone extensive food quality training knows that the Safe Food for Canadians Act was passed in 2012 in an attempt to further protect Canadians from consuming potentially harmful food. The Act combines the authorities of the Fish Inspection Act, the Canada Agricultural Products Act, the Meat Inspection Act, and the food provisions of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act. The Safe Food for Canadians Act is responsible for ensuring:

  • Food is as safe as possible for Canadians
  • Unsafe practices are targeted
  • Tougher penalties for activities that put the health and safety of Canadians at risk are implemented
  • Better control over imports is provided
  • A more consistent inspection regime across all food commodities
  • Food traceability is strengthened

The Government of Canada holds food safety at a very high priority, and this Act was introduced to help manage and control modern risks to food safety. One way the Canadian Government ensures food safety is by controlling items that are imported into the country, read on to learn more about how imported goods are controlled.

Controlling Imports

Professionals with HACCP certification understand exactly how food recalls work to prevent or stop harmful food products from spreading illness to Canadian citizens, or contaminating Canada’s agriculture. However, what many people may not know is that food, plant and animal products that are brought back into Canada from other countries sometimes have the potential to cause a lot of harm in many ways, including the spread of food-borne illness.

In order to have better control over what travellers are bringing into the country, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency requires any items relating to plants, food, animals or their by-products be declared before an individual enters Canada. Once declared, an officer has the right to further inquire, examine or seize the items a traveller might be carrying which violate import laws. Of course, item limitations vary by their origins, so it’s important for travellers to read and understand their limits before attempting to cross Canadian boarders.

Do you know of any other ways that Canada ensures the quality of its food safety system?