2014-2015 Departmental Performance Report
The Honourable Jane Philpott, PC, MP, Minister of Health
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) 2014–15 Departmental Performance Report clearly demonstrates the Government's commitment to the health and safety of Canadians. Canadian families can continue to have confidence that our food safety system remains one of the very best in the world. Canada is proud to have one of the strongest food safety systems in the world, ranking number one (along with Ireland) in a 2014 Conference Board of Canada report that compared 17 countries.
Under the Health Portfolio, and the Healthy and Safe Food for Canadians Framework, the CFIA's already strong working relationship with Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada underpins a modern, coordinated approach to food safety. The three pillars of this framework are:
- Prevention; and
The CFIA continued to increase its communications with consumers. Through its promotion activities, in partnership with industry, consumers, and federal, provincial, and municipal organizations, the CFIA protects Canadians from preventable health risks. During 2014–15, the CFIA:
- Published approximately 1,000 food recalls and allergy/allergen alerts through its Facebook and Twitter accounts to inform Canadians about food safety;
- Sent e-mail alerts to more than 50,000 subscribers; and
- Held extensive engagement sessions with consumers and stakeholders on modernizing the way food is labelled, and published a “What We Heard” report in collaboration with Health Canada.
The CFIA also continued its consultations with Canadian businesses, big and small. In 2013 and 2014, the Agency held extensive consultations with industry and other stakeholders on its proposed new food framework.
In May 2015, the CFIA began further consultations with micro and small businesses to find out more about the types of tools, guidance resources and support that would assist these businesses in producing food that is safe and compliant with federal regulations.
In February 2015, the Agricultural Growth Act received Royal Assent. The Act gives inspectors stronger tools to enforce regulations and deter anyone who puts Canada's plant and animal resource base at risk.
The CFIA has a well-planned emergency preparedness and response capacity. However, threat environments continue to evolve, requiring the regular updating of plans and responses so that the Agency can maintain a minimum of essential business functions during emergencies. Work progressed on the development of a Strategic Emergency Management Framework, which includes the management of plant and animal health – the first links in the food chain.
The CFIA moved forward on the Canadian Food Safety Information Network, an initiative that involves collaboration with provincial partners to improve the Agency's ability to anticipate, detect, and respond to food-borne threats and hazards.
The CFIA's surveillance and response systems were put to the test and proved strong in 2014–15.
In February 2015 in Alberta, a cow was identified as having bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The CFIA not only responded to the specific situation, it continued to engage partners and stakeholders to review Canada's BSE programming and communicate the Canadian long-term approach to BSE disease control.
The CFIA faced two avian influenza outbreaks in 2015 – one in British Columbia and one in Ontario – and responded vigorously in collaboration with the poultry industry and the provinces to facilitate a coordinated approach and to prevent the spread of the virus.
Food Safety was the theme for the World Health Organization's (WHO) World Health Day on April 7, 2015. For the CFIA, every day is food safety day. This Agency remains committed to the health and safety of Canadian families and continues to work hard to protect the food we produce and eat.
The Honourable Jane Philpott, PC, MP
Minister of Health
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