Jenna de Jong (CA)

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City of Toronto launches controversial food safety pilot program

The City of Toronto recently launched a pilot program that allows individuals to anonymously report suspected cases of food poisoning to Toronto Public Health. The program, which Toronto has dubbed “GastroBusters”, allows residents to anonymously report the details of their illness online or by telephone. Opponents of the GastroBuster program have pointed out that the … Continue reading

New procedural rules for Canada Agricultural Review Tribunal reflect competing needs of flexibility and predictability in administrative proceedings

New rules have come into force for the Canadian Agricultural Review Tribunal (the “Tribunal”). In Canada, certain decisions affecting the food industry have been delegated to quasi-judicial administrative tribunals. Administrative tribunals have been created for the purpose because they facilitate the appointment of decision-makers with expertise in the subject area, and they facilitate more informal … Continue reading

New export requirements for Canadian fish processors and brokers

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recently announced that it is in the process of modifying the procedure for certifying compliance with the Fish Inspection Regulations. This step is the latest phase of a two-year plan originally identified by the CFIA in 2012. These changes will affect export certification and export eligibility lists. Like meat and poultry, Canada carefully regulates … Continue reading

Health Canada proposes lowering the maximum acceptable concentration of industrial chemical in drinking water

Health Canada is conducting a consultation on a report recently released by the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water (“CDW”) in July 2014 (the “Report”) that proposes lowering the maximum acceptable concentration (“MAC”) in water of a chemical, commonly used in dry-cleaning, grain fumigation and other industrial applications. The Report recommends lowering the MAC for tetrachloroethylene … Continue reading

“No-wash” poultry labelling: coming soon to a chicken near you?

According to Health Canada, more than 4 million Canadians suffer from food poisoning every year. While most cases are minor with no permanent ill effects, serous outbreaks can lead to recalls, as well as the spectre of civil liability in the form of class action lawsuits. Research recently published by the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency … Continue reading

New Canadian regulations for labeling mechanically tenderized beef come into force in August

The Government of Canada recently published amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations, which will create new labelling requirements for mechanically tenderized beef. Mechanically tenderized beef (MTB), a defined term under the new regulations, is uncooked, solid cut beef that is prepared by piercing the meat to tenderize it or by injecting the meat (e.g. with a marinade).  Under … Continue reading

Horse meat safe for human consumption? United States may continue to export horses to Canada for slaughter following defeat of Bill C-571

A private member’s bill to restrict slaughter of horses to animals raised for human consumption has been defeated following its second reading on May 14, 2014 in Canada’s Parliament.  (Private member bills frequently do not become law in Canada.) Bill C-571 would have amended the Meat Inspection Act and Safe Food for Canadians Act to prohibit the transport of … Continue reading

Health Canada announces intention to strengthen veterinary oversight of antimicrobial use in food animals.

On April 10, 2014, Health Canada notified stakeholders that the Veterinary Drugs Directorate would be working in collaboration with the Canadian Animal Health Institute and other stakeholders, including provincial/territorial authorities, the pharmaceutical industry, veterinarians and food animal producers to address concerns relating to antimicrobial resistance. As part of the initiative, Health Canada identified two key … Continue reading

Health Canada permits new use for food preservative and new permitted source for enzyme

Health Canada recently announced a new permitted use for tocopherols, a food preservative,  and will now permit lipase from Mucor javanicus to be used in cheese flavouring and butter flavouring preparations. Tocopherols had previously been approved for use as a preservative in unstandardized foods but excluding meat and meat by-products, fish and poultry meat and poultry meat … Continue reading

Canada continues to expand livestock traceability systems: New national pig identification and traceability program

On July 1, 2014, amendments to the Health of Animals Regulations will come into force, extending livestock traceability requirements to domestic pigs farmed for food production[1]. The new regulations will allow for a formal agreement with a third-party administrator to create and sustain a database containing up-to-date information regarding the identification, movement and location of … Continue reading

Producers’ safety tools expanded by the launch of the Reference Database for Hazard Identification

The Reference Database Hazard Identification On February 7, 2014, the Canadian Minister of Health announced the launch of the Reference Database for Hazard Identification (“RDHI”). The RDHI is a tool created to assist the food industry in developing food safety control plans, such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (“HACCP”) plans, and to comply with … Continue reading

Food safety issues to watch in Canada in 2014

Two reports released at the end of 2013 have raised concerns over Canada’s food safety system and will require action by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (“CFIA“) in 2014. In December 2013, the United States Food Safety and Inspection Service released the results of its mostrecent audit of Canada’s food safety system. Canada’s food safety system … Continue reading