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Canada’s Chicken Industry – Delivering on Food Safety

Michael O'Shaughnessy

Canadian chicken farmers are leaders in food safety, with programming that meets exacting standards.

Canadian chicken farmers are experts when it comes to producing high-quality, fresh chicken, so it’s no surprise that they are also experts at ensuring that their chicken is as safe as possible for your family.

The chicken industry has a number of regulations in place to ensure that these high standards are upheld, but the reason we are able to have strong regulations in the first place is the system of supply management. Supply management makes tracking and record-keeping much easier, ensuring that regulations are enforced consistently.

The most important of our programs is our On-Farm Food Safety Assurance Program (OFFSAP), which outlines strict guidelines to maximize and maintain food safety at every stage of production.

The Chicken Farmers of Canada OFFSAP – called Safe, Safer, Safest follows strict biosecurity and food safety measures to protect animal health and, in turn, human health.

These measures apply across the nation, and regulate animal care, feed management, water testing, and more.  Every year farmers are audited to ensure that their operations live up to Canadians’ high expectations.

The program is mandatory – and strictly enforced – in every single province. The program has also received national and formal recognition from the federal government, and it was the first food safety program to do so.

To qualify for federal recognition, we had to assess our food safety practices against international principles and submit our food safety program to the CFIA for technical review. Once the food safety program was implemented, audited and assessed, the CFIA granted the recognition.

The CFIA will conduct ongoing maintenance reviews of the national industry organization’s food safety program to ensure it continues to meet the regulatory requirements.

So, what does this mean? It means that top-notch safety procedures and standardized safety systems are found on every Canadian chicken farm, from coast to coast, allowing Canadian chicken farmers to continue to produce a safe, high quality product for Canadian families.  It means that, when combined with the traceability, organization and rigorous enforcement that we can put into place under supply management, our program ensures that every time you buy chicken at the grocery store, you know that you’re feeding your family the best.

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