Safe Food Canada unveils food safety education strategy
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December 1, 2015, Toronto, Ont – During its official launch event held recently, Safe Food Canada (SFC), a not-for-profit organization focussed on modernizing the way industry and regulatory professionals learn about food safety, featured a panel discussion addressing food safety in today’s complex global food system.
The panelists were Dr. Bruce Archibald, president of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Ted Bilyea, chair of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI), Michael Burrows, CEO of Maple Lodge Farms, and Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, professor at the University of Guelph’s Food Institute.
SFC announced its initial strategy and founding partnerships for what it deems as the most compelling issue in Canada’s food system: the modernization of food safety training and education.
“Because of rapidly changing consumer demands and with the Safe Food for Canadians Act, both the Canadian food industry and regulators are now at a tipping point and must shift to more consistent, competency-based food safety training,” said Brian Sterling, president and CEO of SFC. “Our mandate is to modernize the design and development of food safety and food protection training; we must bring together food professionals from industry and government and help them do that.”
“The CFIA recognizes the important role that Safe Food Canada can play in reinforcing Canada’s reputation as a world leader in food safety training by enhancing compliance with regulations and reducing duplicated efforts and training costs for all parties”, said Dr. Bruce Archibald, president at CFIA.
SFC recently completed an exploratory study of industry spending and return on investment on food safety training in Canada. The company expects to publish the results early in the new year. SFC is already seeking participants across North America to conduct a more comprehensive benchmark study in 2016 so that food companies can compare their performance to the rest of the industry and understand the relationship between excellence in food safety training and its financial payoffs.
As part of its work to bring uniformity and quality discipline into food safety training, SFC is collaborating with the International Food Protection Training Institute and other businesses to create a Publicly Available Specification (PAS) for training design and content. The eventual result will be a training quality standard so that more consistent and comprehensive education can be delivered to industry and regulatory professionals.
SFC also announced its first founding sponsors and contributing partners that will serve as the basis of an advisory council to the company. These leading organizations include, the Canadian Meat Council, the US Grocers Manufacturers Association Science & Education Foundation, Maple Leaf Foods, the University of Guelph’s Department of Food Science, and the World Bank’s Global Food Safety Partnership.
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