The food processing industry is the third largest manufacturing industry in Canada, employing 238,000 people in 2001. With increasing demands for convenience, there is an increasing space in the average consumer’s refrigerator dedicated to processed foods.
The much-publicized cases of foodborne illness have made the public well-aware of the risks associated with food and the need for food safety controls throughout the food supply. The food industry ensures the safety of their products with the maintenance of various food safety and quality assurance programs, which include traceability and recall programs in the event of an emergency.
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a widely-used, comprehensive food safety program. Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) establish and enforce regulations that govern the identity and safety of imported and locally-produced food products. The CFIA inspects food processing premises to ensure that mandated food safety protocols are in place.
New technologies have been modified or specifically developed for improving the safety of the food supply, such as irradiation. Prospective food processors and importers must navigate a complex maze of federal and provincial regulations, and may choose to adopt voluntary practices to improve the safety and quality of their product.
Date modified: 2012-07-18