food recall
(Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

After several frozen food products were recalled due to increased risk of salmonella contamination, the Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued new guidelines in July for food manufacturers.

The new measures apply to the manufacture and production of chicken nuggets, cutlettes, chicken burgers, and popcorn chicken, but they do not apply to chicken breasts, filets, or tenders, the CFIA says.

Facilities that manufacture such products must review their processes and implement one of four control measures by April 1, 2019:

  • A cooking process as part of the product manufacture that is proven to reduce salmonella germs by 10,000,000 times (a 7-log reduction)
  • A testing program for raw chicken mixtures to demonstrate that they have no detectable salmonella
  • A hold-and-test program for finished frozen raw breaded chicken products
  • A process/combination of processes that has been validated to reduce salmonella germs by 100 times, and a sampling program for raw chicken mixture

New measures won’t be enough, experts say

Rick Holley, a food safety expert who studied salmonella in the 1990s, told CBC News that while the new requirements are promising to see, it will take more than that to fix the issue.

While the regulations will address issues at the processing level, Holley says salmonella can and should be eliminated from food products entirely.

“We just don’t have the kind of control we need to have to keep [salmonella] away from the food system … Initiatives associated with food-borne illness and food safety have been, I think, put on the back burner by the government,” he told CBC. “The issues associated with food safety, I think, are a time bomb waiting to explode.”

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