Inspection Verification Teams

The Harper Government will invest $16 million over the next three years to establish Inspection Verification Teams (IVTs) to oversee the performance of Canada’s entire food inspection system.

The goal is to ensure that Canadian families have confidence in our food safety system and that a consistent level of rigour is applied across the country. In addition, the IVTs allow the CFIA to look for ways to continually improve and strengthen Canada’s inspection system.

Existing front-line CFIA inspectors will continue to conduct specified daily tasks to verify that a plant's food safety requirements are being met. The IVTs will have a broader audit role that will include in-depth assessments of a plant's food safety controls and operations, as well as inspection activities. They will conduct unannounced spot checks in federally registered plants across the country, selected on the basis of risk and other factors. The aim of the IVTs is to verify that the overall food safety system is effective and that food safety rules and standards are consistently and rigorously followed and enforced. Any non-compliance identified during IVT assessments which could affect food safety will be dealt with immediately.

Based on a detailed risk analysis, IVTs will:

  • examine targeted areas of a company's preventative control plan to determine if they are adequate and are being implemented effectively;
  • examine CFIA inspection activities to determine if they are working and are being delivered as to program design and requirements;
  • identify and detail company specific findings and refer to CFIA regional management for follow-up; and
  • identify and trend systemic findings to be addressed at the national level.

The CFIA expects IVTs to be in place later this year.

Any non-compliance identified during IVT assessments which could affect food safety will be dealt with immediately. In addition, results of these targeted reviews will be compiled to identify trends, best practices and/or areas for improvement.