A C$13m cash injection to fund more inspectors, updating of manuals, speeding up regulatory approvals for new additives and the piloting of new technology are all measures that are being undertaken, said the Canadian Food Inspections Agency (CFIA).
The body’s interim report came in response to the independent investigation into of Canada’s food safety system published by Sheila Weatherill in July 2009. The hard-hitting analysis laid bare a raft of systemic failures in the country’s safety Canada’s food safety structure and set out 57 recommendations to tackle them.
Last year, the Canadian Government confirmed it would adopt all the proposals in the report and has now outlined its progress in meeting them.
Inspection, Listeria and additive approvals. The CFIA said it is on the way to providing the 260 inspectors required to ensure industry compliance in meat processing plants. In 2009, the Government provided funding for 70 new inspectors to augment the work of the 176 personnel, with a further 100 posts to be filled in 2010.
It confirmed that C$13m extra had been made available to boost inspection capacity.
Measures have also been taken to update Canada’s Listeria policy, with Health Canada expected to publish the final guidelines in the near future.
The health agency has also made progress in hastening the approval process for additives that can curb the growth of Listeria monocytogenes - in line with one of the Weatherill recommendations. A pre-market submission project from Health Canada is already reducing approval times and the agency is developing guidelines to help industry identify which food safety proposals best meet these. The guidance is expected to be made public by the end of this year.Source: Foodqualitynews.com