National Chemical Residue Monitoring Program and Chemistry Food Safety Oversight Program Annual Report 2015-2016

Summary

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is dedicated to safeguarding food, animals and plants, which enhances the health and well-being of Canada's people, environment and economy. The National Chemical Residue Monitoring Program (NCRMP) is an annual Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulatory surveillance program which verifies compliance in foods to Canadian standards and guidelines for chemical residues and contaminants. The data collected from the NCRMP along with other surveillance activities enables the CFIA to identify trends that may warrant additional control strategies to maintain or improve compliance.

The NCRMP is one of several valuable surveillance tools that the CFIA employs to help maintain the very high compliance observed year after year. The NCRMP is carried out in accordance with Codex Alimentarius principles and guidelines and is an important part of the CFIA food safety framework that monitors Canadian food for potential chemical hazards. This program provides data to support the Canadian food production system and the integrity of Canada's chemical residue control system. These systems are equivalent to those of our main trading partners like the United States and the European Union.

In the 2014/15 fiscal year (April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015), an initiative known as the Food Safety Oversight (FSO) Program was introduced to complement the NCRMP and to increase CFIA's oversight in the non-meat food sectors. By the 2015/16 fiscal year (April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016) the CFIA increased the sampling and testing of fresh fruit and vegetables. Some of these additional FSO program samples were collected at federally registered establishments/importers by inspectors in the same manner as the NCRMP samples. The majority of the FSO samples, however, were collected at retail by contracted samplers. Sampling of foods at both federally registered establishments and at retail offers additional information on the levels of residues and contaminants present in foods in the Canadian market place.

The CFIA communicates non-compliant results from surveillance activities like the NCRMP and the FSO Program to farmers, growers/producers, importers, and retailers to identify areas of concern and to promote the safe use of agricultural chemicals and practices. This ongoing effort ensures that safe and healthy food is continuously available to Canadians.

This report summarizes testing results from both the NCRMP and the FSO Program in food samples collected between April 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016 (hereafter referred to as 2015/16). Over 125000 tests for residues of veterinary drugs, pesticides, metals, and contaminants were performed on more than 14000 NCRMP and FSO monitoring samples and generated millions of results, which are summarized in Annex B of this report. Test results from samples taken as part of the NCRMP and FSO Program showed that the overwhelming majority of food on the market meets Canadian standards for food safety. The overall compliance rate was determined to be 95.7% which is consistent with past years.

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