Canadian Food Safety Alliance

Preventing E. coli at the Source

Research, Articles, Newsletters, & Links

The latest research demonstrates that preventative interventions on the farm in combination with interventions at the processing stage delivers the best protection from E. coli O157 contamination for consumers. Canada currently lacks any meaningful policies that impose on-farm preventative measures to protect produce and cattle from E. coli O157 contamination.

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Industrial filtration is the domain of facilities that require capture of dust particles in a production process. For example, manufacturers of over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceuticals who use encapsulation formulations require bag filters to trap the normal volume of dust produced in capsule and tablet form.
GHS is known as Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals in full. GHS Pictograms are essentially a compilation of guidelines intended to guarantee safety when dealing with hazardous materials.
If you own a restaurant or any establishment that makes and sells food, it's important that you know about HACCP. This acronym stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point, and it is a system that restaurants and other eating establishments must use to target potential food hazards for clients and customers. Just like GMP certification, which is another food safety certificate program, getting advice from a food safety consultant can help your establishment serve its customers better and avoid food-related problems.
If you are one of many manufacturers of packages, you may already have leak detection equipment in use in your facility. Product packaging is typically designed to provide an airtight enclosure around your products, but there are instances when your packaging equipment will fail. In some instances, this may be a one-off incident, but in other cases, it may affect many product packages in a row. Manufacturers of products must constantly be on the lookout for such incidents because of the many risks associated with leaking packaging. Leak detection equipment is used to identify these leaks before products reach consumers.
Knowing what the right food to buy is for a large event can be one of the most taxing and confusing tasks you will ever have to complete. Fortunately, there is a five-step process you can go through to figure out which catering service you need. You cannot serve caviar through a caterer if you only have enough money for a deli item. The formula no matter what type of event it is:
If you are starting a new restaurant, buying used kitchen equipment may be the most economical option. Certified commercial kitchen equipment will help you serve your customers at a fraction of the cost and without putting anyone in danger. What are some other benefits to buying secondhand equipment?

HALIFAX – Public health officials in Nova Scotia knew they were dealing with an outbreak of E. coli five days before they informed the public about it in early January, documents obtained by The Canadian Press show.

The first indication that staff were aware of the E. coli 0157 outbreak appears in two emails sent by the province’s chief medical officer to staff with the Health Department and district health authorities on Dec. 31, 2012.
In one of the emails, Dr. Robert Strang says the Health Department was in the process of gathering more information about the outbreak and officials would meet on Jan. 2 to assess it.

Notes from that day’s meeting, which were released under access-to-information legislation, show that Health Department officials knew there were dealing with seven confirmed cases of E. coli 0157 affecting people ranging in age from 18 to 83.

Those notes also show that six of those people reported eating at fast food restaurants and they showed symptoms of the bacterial infection from Dec. 23-26, 2012. Officials were also aware of an E. coli outbreak of the same strain in New Brunswick but decided to delay notifying the public, the notes show.

“There have been no media calls yet. Until we know what the link is, we will provide standardized messaging,” the notes say.

A case of E. coli infection has been connected to frozen beef burgers recalled by the Canadian division of Safeway grocery stores last week, Canadian health officials announced on Wednesday.

At least one patient in the Regina, Saskatchewan area has fallen ill with E. coli O157:H7 after eating a frozen burger under one of two brand names: Gourmet Meat Shoppe or Butcher’s Cut.

Health officials say the patient fell ill before Safeway issued its Feb. 19 recall and is now recovering.

The burgers were sold in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Ontario and Saskatchewan.

The known recalled products are the “Gourmet Meat Shoppe Big & Juicy Burger” and the “Gourmet Meat Shoppe Prime Rib Burger” sold in Safeway stores.

Affected products have a best-by date of August 14, 2013.

The recall resulted from an ongoing investigation by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency at the producer’s meat plant.


Chicken and ground beef are the riskiest meats, according to a new ranking released by the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, DC on Tuesday.

CSPI’s study, “Risky Meat: A Field Guide to Meat & Poultry Safety,” ranked 12 categories of meat and poultry based on their outbreak reports and the likelihood of hospitalizations associated with the pathogens most commonly reported in those foods over the past 12 years, from 1998 to 2010. In all, CSPI says they looked at 1,700 outbreaks and 33,000 illnesses and published the report to “inform stakeholders throughout the food chain of steps to minimize risks inherent in these foods.”

The group, which is vocal in advocating for tougher food safety standards, says they released the report to help consumers know which foods carry the greatest risks and to “help them take precautionary steps, such as safer handling and more thorough cooking.” CSPI also wants the industry to take note of its report when companies are designing their food safety plans. CSPI also hopes retail establishments will take note and take extra care to ensure the riskiest products are properly handled.

For its report, CSPI divided 12 categories of meat products into different risk categories by looking at total illnesses, but also by factoring in the severity of illnesses, and creating a pyramid image, based on this ranking.

OTTAWA, ONTARIO—(Marketwired – Jun 5, 2013) – Earlier today, following several months of interviews with a wide variety of government and non-government organizations and individuals, the Independent Expert Advisory Panel submitted our report to Minister Ritz. We are honoured to have been invited by the Governor General in Council to investigate the circumstances leading to the contamination event; evaluate the effectiveness of the responses of the major food safety system partners; and, perhaps most importantly, to provide to the Minister our recommendations for change.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those individuals and organizations who contributed to our work and this review and who demonstrated their commitment to enhancing the food safety system for the benefit of all Canadians.

As noted in our review, the food safety system is complex and many stakeholders have responsibilities to ensure the safety of the food we eat. We heard several times that food safety is not a competitive issue and we believe that to be true. The responsibility for food safety begins with the beef producer, followed by the processor, the retailer, and ultimately, the consumer. Each partner in the food safety system has crucial accountabilities and an important role to play to protect the health and safety of all consumers.