Government of Canada

Government of Canada

June 17, 2014 08:57 ET

Harper Government Further Strengthens Food Safety Oversight

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency implements new Inspection Verification Teams

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - June 17, 2014) - Office of the Minister of Health

Note to editors: An image is included with this press release on Marketwire's website.

Today, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, announced the implementation of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) Inspection Verification Teams to oversee the performance of Canada's food safety system.

Starting this month, six teams of three inspection verification officers will begin conducting targeted verifications at federally registered food establishments such as slaughter and meat production facilities. The verifications will focus on areas critical to the inspection and production of safe food, such as plant sanitation and the effectiveness of a company's response to food recalls. An additional four teams will be operational by the fall.

As announced in June 2013, the Government of Canada has committed $16 million over three years to establish the Inspection Verification Teams. Their activities are over and above regular inspections conducted every day in facilities across Canada. Existing front-line CFIA inspectors will continue to conduct specified daily tasks to verify that food safety requirements are being met while the Inspection Verification Teams have a broader oversight role.

Quick Facts

  • Results of these targeted verifications will be compiled to identify trends, best practices and areas for improvement.
  • The Inspection Verification Teams will initially be conducting verifications in federally registered meat plants but will eventually include all federally registered food establishments.
  • A total of 30 verification officers will be deployed across Canada by this fall.
  • Economic Action Plan 2014 is delivering nearly $400M to strengthen Canada's healthy and safe food system. This includes, enhancing food inspection programs and hiring more inspectors.
  • Since 2006, there has been a net increase of over 750 inspectors, and Economic Action Plan 2014 commits to hiring even more inspectors.

Quotes

"Canada already has one of the best food safety systems in the world. These new specialized teams will provide reassurance to consumers by making sure that a consistent level of thoroughness is applied in inspections of federally registered establishments across the country. Investments such as these are producing real results that are keeping Canadian families safe."

- Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health

"Canadians need to have confidence in the food they buy and eat. We are pleased to see that the Government continues to take action to protect consumers."

- Bruce Cran, Consumers' Association of Canada

Associated Links

Inspection Verification Teams

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Contact Information

  • Michael Bolkenius
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Health
    613-957-0200

    Media Relations
    Health Canada
    613-957-2983

    Media Relations
    Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    613-773-6600