Strengthening Canada’s food safety
Jun. 13, 2013 – Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz recently received the report for the Independent Review of XL Foods Inc. Beef Recall and tabled it in the House of Commons.
“Canadian families need to have confidence in our food safety system, which is why our Government initiated this independent review,”said Minister Ritz. “We accept the panel’s recommendations and are taking concrete steps to to ensure that our system continues to provide safe food for Canadian families today and in the future.”
In response to the report, Minister Ritz announced that the Canadian Government will invest nearly $16 million over the next three years to establish Inspection Verification Teams (IVTs) to oversee the performance of Canada’s entire food inspection system. IVTs will conduct unannounced spot checks of plants across the country. The IVTs are meant to ensure that the overall food safety system is effective and that food safety rules and standards are consistently and thoroughly followed and enforced. The IVT concept will address several of the panel’s recommendations.
The Safe Food for Canadians Action Plan, aims to further improve the food safety system by strengthening food safety rules, more effective inspection, a renewed commitment to service and more information for consumers.
Additional recommendations have already been addressed through the CFIA’s recently announced enhancements to E. coli controls, which includes increased testing and documentation requirements of industry.
“Since this recall, our Government passed legislation to strengthen Canada’s food safety system which will improve inspections, strengthen food safety rules, and improve communication with Canadian consumers. Our Government will continue to improve our food safety system to ensure that it continues to provide safe food for all Canadians,” said Minister Ritz.
The CFIA, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada will work together to address all remaining recommendations of the expert advisory panel.