Food safety issues
by Kim Cooper
One of the areas that involves everyone is food safety. Let’s look at this in regards to food safety expectations from us as Canadian consumers.
We are all aware of various food contaminations, such as the recent Romaine lettuce issue in Canada and the United States. People ask how this type of contamination, or other areas which compromise our food quality, could have happened, especially in today’s world where food safety is such a high priority.
E. coli is only one of many causes for these type of food contaminations. It can get into food when someone touches it, when it goes through processing equipment, or at a farm, perhaps if it mixes with some other contaminated source such as water used to clean off a large amount of produce. But let’s start by stating without a doubt that food quality and food safety is of the highest concern for Canadian food companies. Each company has a strict quality assurance program for their food products whether they are shipped to consumers here in Canada or around the world.
All food and food products produced in Canada are regulated by a number of government agencies, including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada. Foods produced here for consumption or export, are subjected to a number of tests to ensure safety and health for consumers and customers. In fact, Canada’s food safety regulatory system is one of the most stringent in the world.
Our Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit also work in regards with various inspection and educational programs at our local restaurants, grocery stores, variety stores, as well as other retail, private and public institutions.
However, for those who believe we should be guaranteed 100% risk-free food from our Canadian food companies, it just will not happen. The bottom line is that nothing is 100% safe. There never was or never will be a lack of risks in anything in life. The food we eat. The water we drink. The air we breathe. Walking down the road. Driving our cars. Nothing is 100% risk-free.
Perhaps, in our ultra modern, highly technological, want it now society, we have an unrealistic and unreasonable attitude towards food safety.
I am not saying we should accept sub-standard food products. In no way should we. However, we cannot expect our food companies or even our governments guaranteeing us anything totally risk-free. That would be like asking an auto manufacturer for a 100% guarantee that the car I purchase from them will not be involved in an accident. It is just not a reasonable expectation.
Is our food industry perfect here in Canada? Can they deliver 100% risk-free products? No on both points. However, the Canadian agricultural industry, including all the food companies and our many farm producers, are dedicated to deliver the highest quality and safest food to Canadian consumers. I believe they do this better than anyone or anyplace else in the world.
Remember that here in Chatham-Kent ‘We Grow for the World’. Check out our community’s agriculture website at: wegrowfortheworld.com
Kim Cooper has been involved in the agribusiness sector for over 45 years. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow him on Twitter at ‘theAGguy’