2016-04-08 Food Safety Testing Bulletin

April 2016
four images featuring food

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.

Chemical Residue Reports

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Mercury in Selected Foods (2011-2013)

A targeted survey testing 958 selected food products found that low levels of mercury were present in 42 per cent of samples. Products sampled included juices, dried tea, high fructose corn syrup, and other sweeteners. Mercury is a metal that can enter the environment through both natural sources such as soil, and human activities such as mining. Health Canada found that the low levels of mercury found in this survey do not pose a risk to human health.

Pesticides and Metals in Inter-Provincially Traded Fresh Fruits (2011-2012)

A targeted survey testing 435 samples of fresh fruit found that 96.6 per cent were compliant with minimum residue limits for pesticides. 434 fresh fruit samples were analyzed for arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead. In general, the results for all four metals were similar to those reported in the 2010-2012 National Chemical Residue Monitoring Program. There were a total of 15 violative samples in this survey. All violations were assessed and appropriate follow up actions taken.

Microbiology Reports

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Microbiological Quality and Safety of Bottled Drinking Water (2011-2012)

A targeted survey tested 843 samples of bottled water for bacterial, viral, and parasitic microorganisms such as Cryptosporidium. One sample was found to exceed Health Canada's standard for total coliforms, a group of harmless bacteria used as an indicator of microbiological quality. Human Rotavirus and Norovirus were detected in one and two samples, respectively. No outbreaks associated with these products were reported during this survey.

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


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