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2019-07-17 Food Safety Testing Bulletin
One of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) top priorities 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 and microbiological hazards, undeclared allergens and gluten in the food supply helps CFIA identify food safety hazards and develop risk management strategies to minimize potential risks to Canadians.
When non-compliance is found, CFIA takes 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.
Each year, under the National Microbiological Monitoring Program (NMMP) and Food Safety Oversight Program (FSO), CFIA tests a broad range of domestic and imported food products in Canada for the presence of microbial hazards. This testing covers red meat and poultry products, shell eggs and egg products, dairy products, fish and seafood, fresh fruit and vegetables and processed fruit and vegetable products. Test results from foods tested under the NMMP and FSO during the 2017-18 fiscal year are summarized in the 2017-2018 NMMP and FSO Annual Report. The NMMP results indicated that 99.5% of all food products tested during this fiscal year were compliant with Canadian standards, with 99.6% of domestic products and 99.1% of imported products being compliant. The FSO results indicated that 99.9% of all food products tested during this fiscal year were compliant with Canadian standards, with 99% of domestic products, 99.8% of imported products and 100% of unknown origin products being compliant.
Each year, under the Children's Food Project (CFP), CFIA tests levels of chemical residues and contaminants in foods frequently consumed by, and targeted to, infants and children. In the 2014-2015 CFP, a total of 221 samples of infant foods were tested for pesticide residues, veterinary drug residues and aflatoxin M1 (in dairy based samples). Samples included infant cereals, infant formula, toddler snacks, yogurt, pureed fruits, pureed vegetables, juices, pureed fruit and vegetable combinations and pureed infant food containing meat. The CFP results indicated that the regulatory compliance rate for all infant food tested for pesticides and veterinary drug residues was 100% while it was 88% for dairy based samples tested for aflatoxins M1. CFIA conducted appropriate follow-up actions. It was determined that levels found in the CFP were considered safe for consumption. No product recalls were required.
Chemical Residue Reports
A targeted survey tested 875 samples of selected foods for food colour additives. Food colours were not detected in 67% of the samples tested. It was determined that the levels of food colours observed in this survey would not pose a human health concern. No product recalls were required.
A targeted survey analyzed 980 samples of beverages, condiments, soups, pickled vegetables, dried spices and mixes and oils for different food colour additives. Food colours were not detected in 85% of the samples tested. It was determined that the levels of food colours observed in this survey would not pose a human health concern. No product recalls were required.
A targeted survey tested 739 samples of cinnamon-containing foods and vanilla extracts for coumarin. Samples included cooking sauces, dried beverage mixes, cinnamon and vanilla oils and extracts, spice mixes and teas. Coumarin was detected in 63% of the samples tested. It was determined that the levels of coumarin observed in this survey would not pose a human health concern; therefore, no follow-up actions were required.
A complete list of the CFIA's food safety testing reports is available.
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