2016-02-26 Food Safety Testing Bulletin

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) priority 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 hazards, microbiological hazards, undeclared allergens, sulphites and gluten in the food supply helps the CFIA identify food safety hazards and develop risk management strategies to minimize potential risks to Canadians.

When non-compliance is found, the CFIA does not hesitate to take 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.

Allergen Reports

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Sulphites in Imported Fresh Fruit (2012-2013)

A targeted survey testing 219 imported fruit products found that sulphites were present in the rind of 68 per cent of samples and in the flesh of seven per cent of samples. Imported fresh fruit tested for this survey include: custard apple, longan, lychee and rambutan. The use of sulphites is not permitted on the rind or flesh of any fruit or vegetable, with the exception of grapes, in Canada. Positive results were followed up by the CFIA.

Chemical Residue Reports

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Acrylamide in Selected Foods (2011-2013)

A targeted survey testing 2,284 selected food products found that acrylamide was present in 87 per cent of products analysed. Acrylamide is a chemical produced for a variety of uses such as water treatment, and the production of glue, paper and cosmetics. It may also be formed naturally, but unintentionally, in high carbohydrate foods which are cooked or processed at high temperatures (e.g., fried, baked, toasted, grilled and roasted). Health Canada found that the levels of acrylamide found in this survey do not pose a risk to human health.

Microbiology Reports

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Bacterial Pathogens in Sprouts and Sprout Seeds (2011-2012)

A targeted survey tested 419 samples of sprout seeds and 264 samples of spouts for E. coli O157 and Salmonella. E. coli O157 was not detected in any of the samples while Salmonella was detected in one sample. The positive Salmonella result triggered appropriate follow-up procedures, including the recall of the affected product.

A complete list of the CFIA's food safety testing reports is available.


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