Mississauga, Ont. – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has given a not-for-profit organization almost $1 million to help it advance food safety in Canada.
Safe Food Canada – The Learning Partnership is made up of leaders from Canada’s food industry, government regulatory bodies and academia. All members are dedicated to creating and coordinating food protection learning partnerships.
Through these partnerships, Safe Food Canada aims to develop and deliver a food protection learning framework so that all food businesses and regulatory authorities can ensure that learning and training that pertain to food protection will be consistent and certified.
The idea of a common competency-based learning system has been discussed for years now, says Dr. Michael Trevan, the chair of Safe Food Canada and the head of the Department of Food Science at the University of Manitoba. Financial support from government, he adds, will help pave the way for the food industry to step up and do the same.
Brian Sterling, who will take over as president and CEO for Safe Food Canada this summer, says Canada has been investing time and money for years on disparate food safety programs and initiatives. Across the country this has meant duplication and increased costs. Safe Food Canada, he explains, “will be a public-private partnership with the vision and means to become the focal point for creating a comprehensive, competency-based food protection learning system that will benefit all Canadians.”
Taking a closer look at food safety and corporate culture, a peer-reviewed article was published last year by the Royal Society for Public Health. In her article, co-author Lone Jespersen, who sits on the SFC Board of Directors and is director of Food Safety Strategy at Maple Leaf Foods, wrote the following:
“We have to become successful in reducing and ultimately eradicating food borne illness in the food supply and can only do so if we are able to effectively focus on the most critical food safety risks, at the right points in the supply chain, with the necessary level of technical and social rigour.”
Safe Food Canada also works with its U.S. counterpart, the International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI). Together, they forge a Canada-American collaboration to exchange best practices and frameworks that will harmoniously advance food protection and align with global standards.