Farmscape for November 3, 2008
The University of Manitoba is
recommending a streamlining of Canada's food safety system and
a greater coordination between the various levels of government.
A series of deadly food borne
illness outbreaks has rocked the confidence of consumers in Canada's
food safety system.
Dr. Rick Holley, a professor
of food safety and food microbiology with the University
of Manitoba, believes we need to
re-examine the comprehensives of the food borne illness surveillance system
Clip-Dr. Rick Holley-University of Manitoba
The food inspection system in Canada
is operated at three levels of government and two sets of regulations and
there needs to some coordination of food inspection activity in Canada at
the federal level, at the provincial level and at the regional municipality
Some cities have their own
health departments or environment departments that look after surveillance
at food service and retail.
Some provinces have
environment departments that do inspection of food plants but those are
only provincial plants.
Then we have the federal
government, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, that
has its own set of regulations that are directed toward inspection of federally
registered plants that export product from provinces and from the country.
We need to better coordinate
and exchange information both in the inspection system to establish
standardized training protocols and we also need to exchange information on
food borne illness surveillance among the three levels of government that
are involved in monitoring the health of Canadians.
Dr. Holley suggests the system is not
proactive and is not directed toward the prevention of food borne illness
He hopes, with public interest
and pressure, we'll be able to find the resources to address the
deficiencies in Canada's
food borne illness surveillance system and bring the food inspection system
to a standard that will afford the level of protection Canadians demand.
Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.