What kinds of programs do you have to ensure food safety on the farm?

Canadians are well served with the Raised by a Canadian Farmer On-Farm Food Safety Program (OFFSP). The OFFSP emphasizes animal health, cleanliness and safety throughout each step of the production cycle, and follows strict biosecurity measures to protect animal health and prevent flock infections from outside sources. These mandatory rules govern chicken farms from coast to coast and include top-notch requirements for biosecurity, disease prevention, feed and water management and testing, along with all the record keeping necessary to prove that farmers are adhering to the process.

The OFFSP has been received full recognition from the federal, provincial, and territorial (FPT) governments, and Chicken Farmers of Canada undergoes reviews by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and provincial governments every 20 months to ensure that the program maintains FPT standards.

In this program, antibiotic use is reported with every flock that is sent to processing and this is reviewed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Additionally, as part of the annual audit, auditors audit the antibiotic usage and ensure withdrawal times are adhered to.

On farm surveillance of resistance and use is coordinated by CIPARS – the Canadian Integrated Program for Antibiotic Resistance Surveillance of the Public Health Agency of Canada – and Chicken Farmers of Canada has been an active participant in this program.