Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program manual
Section D – Risk assessment and risk management

12. Heath Canada role in the CSSP

Health Canada is one of the federal departments responsible for establishing policies, regulations and standards related to the safety of food sold in Canada.

For the CSSP, Health Canada focuses on issues related to microbial pathogens, chemical contaminants and marine biotoxins.

Health Canada provides the following support for the CSSP:

  • scientific advice and additional analytical capacity for analyzing microbiological contaminants and chemical contaminants in food and clinical samples,
  • national reference services for Vibrio and viruses,
  • risk management advice including public communication. and
  • health risk assessments on food-related hazards to the CFIA.

The CFIA may request health risk assessments (HRA) on emerging food safety issues or during an outbreak investigation to inform risk management activities. In foodborne illness outbreaks, Health Canada uses the approach described in the Weight of Evidence: Factors to Consider for Appropriate and Timely Action in Foodborne Illness Outbreak Investigations.

The Health Canada HRA process follows the guidelines developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization (FAO/WHO) Codex Alimentarius Commission 14. FAO/WHO is responsible for developing international food standards and guidelines.

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