Canada Invests $75 Million More in Food Safety
The agriculture and health ministers announced Friday the addition of 166 new food safety staffers, 24/7 availability of health risk assessment teams, and improved tracking of food illnesses through a national surveillance system.
Canada's government is investing $75 million more in food safety measures, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced Friday. They said the government will implement all 57 recommendations made by an independent investigator recently, including hiring 166 new food safety staffers, making health risk assessment teams available 24/7 to support food safety investigations, and improving the tracking of foodborne illnesses through a national surveillance system.
"The government of Canada's highest priority is the safety of Canadians," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "We are making significant investments to hire more inspectors, update technologies and protocols, and improve communications so that Canadians have the information they need to protect their families." Ritz and Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq also said the government will commission a third-party audit to ensure Canada's food inspection system has the right resources dedicated to the right priorities.
This investment builds on a $113 million commitment to food safety in 2008 that has changed Canada's Listeria management strategy, including making environmental testing and reporting mandatory in plants manufacturing ready-to-eat meat products.