The U.S. and Canada tied for fourth in a recent food safety performance ranking report that looked at 17 of the 31 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Australia, Denmark, and the United Kingdom tied for first in the study. Italy, France, and Ireland fared poorly, ranking close to last.
The Food Safety Performance World Ranking, a joint project of Sylvain Charlebois, a professor at University of Regina’s business school and Chris Yost, a biology professor and the Canada Research Chair in Microbes, the Environment, and Food Safety, assessed for categories for the performance ranking: consumer affairs, biosecurity and trades, governance and recalls, and traceability and management.
The ranking system was designed as a mechanism for measuring the relative strengths and weaknesses of Canada’s food safety system.
Canada came in second for consumer affairs–which measures rates of inspections and audits, public health education programs and food labeling–but ranked last in traceability, right next to the U.S.
“Canada and the U.S. do not have well-established farm-to-fork traceability systems for any food product,” says the report, which adds that Canada is the only country to move down in traceability rankings compared to 2008, the last time the performance study was published. “While it does have a tracking system for its livestock industry, [it] is still developing a farm-to-fork traceability system.”