Federal/Provincial/Territorial Pathogen Reduction Initiative
The Pathogen Reduction Initiative is a joint federal, provincial and territorial initiative aimed at decreasing the health risks and economic impact of food-borne pathogens in Canadian meat and poultry.
While pathogens, such as Listeria and Salmonella, are impossible to eliminate completely from food products, pathogen reduction programs in meat and poultry can complement and build on the progress Canada has already made toward improving the safety of our food system.
The main activities of this initiative will be to:
- assess current pathogen levels in Canadian meat and poultry
- establish pathogen reduction targets
- identify and implement strategies to monitor and reduce pathogen levels
The first task of the Pathogen Reduction Initiative will be to establish a national baseline of the four key pathogens in meat and poultry that have the greatest impact on public health and the economy.
The four pathogens and associated products are:
- Salmonella and Campylobacter in raw chicken
- E. coli O157:H7 in raw ground beef and trim
- Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat meats
The initiative has received an investment of $2.02 million under the Agricultural Flexibility (AgriFlexibility) Fund to help the Canadian Food Inspection Agency conduct a national baseline study on Salmonella and Campylobacter in broiler chickens. This study will begin in 2012.
The information collected will be used for two purposes:
- to develop pathogen reduction programs,
- to serve as benchmarks to measure the effectiveness of pathogen reduction controls.
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