CANADA – In a remarkable feat for food safety, a recently published interim report from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has revealed nearly 100 percent of food samples tested for microbial contaminants between April 2018 and March 2022 received a “satisfactory” rating.

This outstanding achievement showcases Canada’s commitment to ensuring the safety of its food supply and protecting consumers from potential health risks.

The CFIA’s meticulous investigations encompassed 18,811 food samples, focusing on targeted surveys to assess the presence of bacterial pathogens, indicator organisms, viruses, and parasites.

Among the commodities examined were raw and pasteurized cheese, non-cow dairy milk, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, plant-based foods, seafood, powdered infant formula and baby food, tahini, guacamole, fresh herb paste, raw shelled nuts, and ready-to-eat (RTE) sausages.

These food items were selected due to their popularity in Canadian households and their previous association with recalls and foodborne illness outbreaks.

To ensure comprehensive coverage, samples were collected from national retail chains and local or regional grocery stores in 11 major Canadian cities, including Halifax, Saint John, Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg.

The selection of consumer packages weighing at least 250 grams (g) for sampling was strategically based on the relative population of each province in comparison to the total population of Canada, guaranteeing a representative and comprehensive data pool.

Resounding success – 99.2 percent satisfactory

An overwhelming majority of the tested samples, 99.2 percent to be precise, were deemed “satisfactory.”

This astounding result reflects the effectiveness of the CFIA’s rigorous food safety measures and their commitment to safeguarding public health.

The remaining 0.8 percent were categorized as “investigative,” while a mere 0.06 percent were labeled as “unsatisfactory.” In such cases, CFIA promptly initiated appropriate follow-up activities, including the oversight of voluntary food recalls, to maintain the high standards of food safety.

While the interim report covers ongoing surveys, CFIA’s commitment to continuous improvement and consumer protection remains unwavering.

Upon conclusion of the surveys, final reports or scientific publications will be published by CFIA.

Leveraging the invaluable insights from this comprehensive research, the results will inform risk management decisions and support program design and redesign, further bolstering Canada’s exemplary food safety standards.

With the CFIA’s impressive track record and relentless pursuit of food safety excellence, Canadian consumers can rest assured that their health and well-being are prioritized at every step.

The nation’s commitment to upholding the highest food safety standards sets an inspiring example for the global community.

As Canada continues its journey towards ensuring the utmost safety in its food supply chain, it reinforces the significance of comprehensive testing, proactive measures, and strong regulatory oversight in protecting the health of its citizens.

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