2016-05-06 Food Safety Testing Bulletin

May 2016
four images featuring food

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) priority is to protect consumers by safeguarding Canada's food supply. The Agency verifies that industry is meeting federal food safety requirements and conducts sampling and testing to detect food safety risks.

Monitoring the levels of chemical hazards, microbiological hazards, undeclared allergens, sulphites and gluten in the food supply helps the CFIA identify food safety hazards and develop risk management strategies to minimize potential risks to Canadians.

When non-compliance is found, the CFIA does not hesitate to take appropriate action. These actions may include notifying the manufacturer or importer, requesting a corrective action, additional inspections, conducting further directed sampling or product seizure and/or recall.

Allergen Reports

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2012-2013 Undeclared Allergens and Gluten in Domestic and Imported Products

A targeted survey analysed 594 domestic and 586 imported prepackaged products for undeclared soy, egg, milk, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, sesame and gluten. The majority of the samples were analyzed for more than one undeclared allergen and/or gluten. Overall, 3.9 per cent of domestic samples and 8.5 per cent of imported samples collected were positive for undeclared allergens or gluten. All positive results were followed up by CFIA.

2012-2013 Sulphites in Fruits and Vegetable-Based Products

A targeted survey analysed 492 fruit and vegetable based products, including jams, spreads, juices, and fruit filled snack foods for the presence of undeclared sulphites. Of the nine samples that contained undeclared sulphites (1.8 per cent), five were fruit spreads, one was a vegetable based product, two were separate samples of the same fruit filled cake and one was a fruit juice based salad dressing. The use of sulphites is not permitted on the rind or flesh of any fruit or vegetable, with the exception of grapes, in Canada. Positive results were followed up by the CFIA.

2013-2014 Peanut in Snack Foods with a Peanut-Free Claim

A targeted survey analysed 989 samples for the presence of peanut. Samples targeted in this survey included prepackaged snack foods (chocolate, cookies, and snack bars) that had a peanut-free claim on the label. None of the samples were positive for peanut. Follow-up actions were not deemed necessary given that none of the samples were positive for peanut.

Microbiology Reports

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2011-2013 Cyclospora cayetanensis and Cryptosporidium spp. in Fresh Produce

A targeted survey analysed 1,590 samples of fresh produce for Cyclospora and 1,788 samples for Cryptosporidium. Samples included herbs, berries, mushrooms and green onions. Of the samples analyzed for Cyclospora, none were positive for the parasite. Of the samples analyzed for Cryptosporidium, eight samples were positive. In this case, because of the perishable nature of the products and the time elapsed between sample pick up and analysis, the fresh product was no longer available on the market when the parasite was detected. There were no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of the products found to be positive for Cryptosporidium. This information is used to inform CFIA's food safety programs and inspection activities.

A complete list of the CFIA's food safety testing reports is available.


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