Sept. 18, 2009 – Canada will invest $75 million in the country’s food safety system and act on all 57 recommendations made by Sheila Weatherhill in her Listeria investigation report.
Sept. 18, 2009 – The announcement was made by Minister of Agriculture Gerry Ritz and Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq.
The new investments will improve Canada’s ability to prevent, detect and respond to future foodborne illness outbreaks.
Among other improvements, the Government of Canada will:
- hire 166 new food safety staff with 70 focusing on ready-to-eat-meat facilities;
- provide 24/7 availability of health risk assessment teams to improve support to food safety investigations;
- improve coordination among federal and provincial departments and agencies;
- improve communications to vulnerable populations before and during a foodborne illness outbreak;
- improve tracking of potential foodborne illness outbreaks through a national surveillance system;
- mprove detection methods for Listeria monocytogenes and other hazards in food to reduce testing time and enable more rapid response during food safety investigations, as well as expanding the Government's ability to do additional Listeria testing; and
- initiate a third-party audit to make sure Canada's food inspection system has the right resources dedicated to the right priorities.
This investment builds on the Government of Canada’s 2008 commitment of $113 million for food safety.
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