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Archived - CFIA releases National Microbiological Monitoring Program 2011-2012 Annual Report

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Vast majority of food tested met Health Canada safety standards

October 10, 2014 – Ottawa, ON - Canadian Food Inspection Agency

As part of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) annual testing of various food products, a report released today shows that more than 98 per cent of a wide variety of food samples tested met Health Canada safety guidelines and standards.

Every year, the CFIA's National Microbiological Monitoring Program (NMMP) tests a wide range of foods for multiple hazards, including microbial hazards and extraneous material such as glass and metal objects. The testing carried out under the NMMP covers red meat and poultry products, shell eggs and egg products, dairy products, and fresh and processed fruit and vegetable products.

When potential food safety concerns are detected they are assessed to determine the level of risk posed to consumers and the appropriate follow-up action. These actions may include notifying the producer or importer, additional inspections, or further directed sampling. If Health Canada determines that a product poses a health risk to consumers, a product recall is initiated if the product is already in distribution or is removed from the food chain before reaching market.

This and other studies are part of the CFIA's national microbiological monitoring program which samples and tests a wide variety of domestic and imported products for high risk pathogens, including E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella and Shigella. This information helps the CFIA identify trends, so it can it focus its activities on the areas of greatest risk in the Canadian food market.

Quick Facts

  • In 2011/2012 there were 14,307 tests performed on 5,234 samples of domestic and imported food products. 98.7 percent of these samples met Health Canada safety guidelines and standards.
  • The NMMP also collected wash water samples and surface swabs within various food production environments. These environmental samples are used to verify that food products are produced under sanitary conditions.
  • During 2011/2012, a total of 2,300 tests were performed on 1,878 environmental samples, 97.5 per cent of these samples were compliant.

Related Products

National Microbiological Monitoring Program 2011-2012 Executive Summary

Associated Links

Chemical Residues / Microbiology Targeted Surveys


Michael Bolkenius
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Health

Media Relations
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

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