Federal/provincial/territorial Pathogen Reduction Initiative
The Pathogen Reduction Initiative is a joint federal, provincial and territorial initiative aimed at decreasing the health risks and economic impact of food-borne pathogens in Canadian meat and poultry.
While pathogens, such as Listeria and Salmonella, are difficult to eliminate completely from food products, pathogen reduction programs in meat and poultry can complement and build on the progress Canada has already made toward improving the safety of our food system.
The main activities of this initiative are to:
- assess current pathogen levels in Canadian meat and poultry
- establish pathogen reduction targets
- identify and implement strategies to monitor and reduce pathogen levels
The Pathogen Reduction Initiative will establish a national baseline for the four key pathogens in meat and poultry that have the greatest impact on public health and the economy.
The four pathogens and associated products are:
- Salmonella and Campylobacter in raw poultry
- E. coli O157:H7 and non-O157 E. coli in beef
- Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat meats
The information collected is used for two purposes:
- to develop pathogen reduction programs,
- to serve as benchmarks to measure the effectiveness of pathogen reduction controls.
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