Food inspection agency says it has no problems meeting U.S. standards

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says Canada’s food safety and sanitation measures meet with U.S. Department of Agriculture approval.

Recent media reports suggested the USDA was waiting for Canada to fix significant concerns after an audit of meat, poultry and egg inspection systems in Ontario and Quebec.

However, the CFIA said the audit was conducted in 2014, Canada received a draft version of the report in January 2015 and responded in May 2015.

“There are no outstanding issues, and there was never any impact on trade,” the agency said in a statement.

“Everything has been taken care of,” a spokesperson said March 3.

The final audit report, sent to CFIA in January, confirmed the two countries’ inspection systems are equivalent.

“All Canadian federally registered establishments permitted to export to the US can continue to export goods,” the statement said.

No product contamination was associated with any findings during the audit.

The final USDA report, which is available at www.usda.gov, identified three operational weaknesses related to government oversight, sanitation and microbiological testing. It notes that those findings were already being addressed when the audit concluded.

The CFIA said audits with trading partners occur regularly and help maintain confidence in each other’s food inspection systems.

Last year, CFIA posted audits of the European Union, including France, Ireland, Italy and Sweden, and Argentina. In turn, Canada was audited by China, Japan, Ukraine and Saudi Arabia.

Contact karen.briere@producer.com

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