The CFIA operates a national microbiological monitoring program. The monitoring program includes the random selection and testing of samples for a wide variety of domestic and imported products. Sample tests are done every year to monitor the level of microbiological contamination in the food supply. Testing is done for a variety of high risk pathogens, including E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella and Shigella.
The CFIA inspects, samples and tests food products that have a potential for health risks. Samples are analyzed based on the food safety standards that have been established by Health Canada and various international organizations, such as the Codex Alimentarius Commission. When the CFIA finds foods and food ingredients that violate these standards, it takes corrective actions. Such actions may include the following:
- doing further inspections,
- issuing public notices, and
- recalling products that pose a health risk.
The information gained from this testing helps the CFIA to identify trends that helps it focus its activities on the areas of greatest risk in the Canadian food market. The information also helps the CFIA to:
- gauge the effectiveness of control policies and programs, and
- develop strategic plans to minimize potential health risks for consumers.
The information it gathers is used to determine the occurrence of contaminants in the food supply.
Microbiology reports - Targeted surveys
In the targeted surveys, the CFIA tests foods that are considered to have the greatest potential for health risks for a variety of pathogens. These surveys focus on areas not covered by the CFIA’s regular monitoring activities.
- Bacterial Pathogens and Generic E. coli in Tomatoes in the Canadian Market
- Bacterial Pathogens in Cantaloupes in the Canadian Market
- A report on the Verotoxigenic E. coli Risk Identification and Risk Management Workshop that took place on November 1 and 2, 2010, is available upon request.
- Health Canada
- News Release - Harper Government teams with Canadian researchers to bolster food safety system
- Standards Council of Canada - List of Accredited Laboratories
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