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Canada says food safety audit issues much ado about nothing

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) says there are no outstanding issues remaining over a recently released 2014 audit by U.S. officials of Canada’s meat, poultry, and egg inspection systems. CFIA also says Canada’s trade with the U.S. was never impacted.

Responding to reports that mostly originated with the Toronto Globe and Mail — often seen as the best source of news about the Canadian government — CFIA depicted the latest audit by the U.S. as routine,

CFIA_406x250“It is important to note that there was no product contamination associated with any of the U.S. findings, which have been addressed to the satisfaction of USDA authorities,”CFIA said in a statement today.

“Canada regularly audits, and is audited by, its trading partners, including the U.S.” it continued. “These routine audits help Canada and its trading partners maintain confidence in each other’s food safety inspection systems, It is expected that audits such as these will identify opportunities for improvement and we notify each other of any issue of concern.”

Since the U.S. audit, Canada’s food safety systems have undergone examinations by the European Union (EU), including France, Ireland, Italy, and Sweden, and Canada has conducted audits in China, Japan, Ukraine, and Saudi Arabia.

CFIA insists the U.S. audit found Canada’s meat, poultry and egg inspection systems equivalent to U.S. inspection systems and all federally registered establishments in Canada permited to export to the U.S. can continue to do so.

Canada received its draft version of the 2014 audit in January 2015 and responded in May 2015. Canada’s response was accepted by the U.S. and included in the final version published on the USDA website last month.

“Canadians can be assured that we have a strong and robust food safety inspection system, which is based on internationally accepted best practices that are supported by scientific evidence, solid surveillance programs and a commitment to continuous improvement, ” CFIA’s statement concluded.

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