2019-04-17 Food Safety Testing Bulletin

April 2019
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 and microbiological hazards, undeclared allergens 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.

Annual Reports

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

Each year, under the National Chemical Residue Monitoring Program (NCRMP) and Chemistry Food Safety Oversight Program (FSO), the CFIA monitors various domestic and imported food products in Canada for the presence of chemical residues and contaminants. Tests for veterinary drugs, pesticides, metals, and contaminants were performed on samples of dairy products, eggs, honey, meat products, fresh fruit and vegetables, processed products and maple products. Results from foods tested under the NCRMP and FSO during the 2015-16 fiscal year are summarized in the 2015-2016 NCRMP and FSO Annual Report. These results indicated that 95.7% of all food products tested during this fiscal year were compliant with Canadian regulations and limits.

Chemical Residue Reports

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Dioxins and Dioxin-Like Compounds in Selected Foods (2012-2014)

Selected foods were sampled in a targeted survey looking at the presence and levels of dioxins and dioxin-like compounds. These compounds are chemical contaminants found in the environment. Samples included vegetable oils and fats, dairy-containing foods, dairy butter/lard, cheese, meal replacements, protein supplements and infant formulas. A total of 1,096 samples were analyzed and levels of dioxins and/or dioxin-like compounds were detected in 98 per cent of the samples. Health Canada determined that the levels observed were not considered harmful to consumers and were safe for consumption; therefore, no product recalls were required.

Microbiology Reports

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Bacterial Pathogens in a Variety of Refrigerated, Multi-Ingredient, Ready-to-Eat Processed Foods (2013-2018)

A targeted survey on bacterial pathogens in a variety of refrigerated, multi-ingredient, ready-to-eat processed foods analyzed 4,851 samples for generic Escherichia coli (E. coli), Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes) and Salmonella species (spp.). Additionally, of the 4,851 samples, 3,282 samples were analyzed for Bacillus cereus (B. cereus), Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). No C. perfringens, Salmonella spp. and generic E. coli were found in any of the samples. B. cereus was found in two samples, S. aureus was found in one sample and L. monocytogenes was found in five samples. The CFIA conducted appropriate follow-up activities such as facility inspections and additional sampling. Three of the L. monocytogenes positive samples resulted in recalls of the affected products. No illnesses were reported in association with any of the positive samples.

Bacterial Pathogens in Dried Herbs and Dried Teas (2014-2018)

A targeted survey analyzed 2,680 samples of dried herbs and 1,178 samples of dried teas for bacterial pathogens. All samples were tested for generic Escherichia coli (E. coli), Salmonella species (spp.), Bacillus cereus (B. cereus) and Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens). Additionally, 1,773 samples of dried herbs and all samples of dried teas were analyzed for Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). B. cereus was found in seven samples, S. aureus was found in one sample, Salmonella spp. was found in two samples and E. coli was found in two samples. The CFIA conducted appropriate follow-up activities such as facility inspections and additional sampling. The Salmonella positive samples resulted in product recalls as did one of the positive generic E. coli samples. No illnesses were reported in association with any of the positive samples.

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

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