Canada invests over $30 million in food safety
The Canadian government invests $30.7 million in the establishment of the Food Safety Information Network (FSIN). The FSIN is to help connect federal and provincial food safety laboratories and regulators across the country.
This new network will, according to the Canadian government, help rapidly identify, mobilize and coordinate laboratory surge capacity and capabilities during complex food safety incidents and emergencies; allow near-real time sharing, organisation and analysis of food safety information across the country to inform more preventive and timely risk management decisions; and improve Canada's ability to effectively anticipate and detect routine foodborne threats.
The FSIN is a collaborative initiative developed by the federal government with the provinces and territories. Federal partners include the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). The FSIN will be implemented incrementally over five years, linking federal and provincial food safety establishments and accredited laboratories across the country.
Canadian consumers are to benefit from the new network through:
- Faster, more proactive food safety interventions
- More preventive food safety programs and inspections to better protect consumers
- Strengthened laboratory emergency response during food safety incidents and emergencies (which should speed-up recalls, for example)
- Improved guidance on reducing food safety risks
Food safety the topical theme of this year's World Health Day
At the same time, food safety is also the topical theme of this year's World Health Day on 7 April. The day marks the founding of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1948. By choosing food safety as its main theme, the WHO wants to raise awareness of a public health issue of global relevance and invite food producers, policy-makers and the public to promote food safety.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is participating in workshops on food safety organised by the WHO office in Albania and by the Portuguese National Health Institute in Lisbon. Also, three EFSA scientists specialised in biological hazards, nutrition and genetically modified organisms are taking part in a WHO twitter chat on 7 April from 14:00 to 15:00 CET. Questions can be tweeted to @EFSA_EU using the hashtag #safefoodchat.
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