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Food Safety Information Network to be established

April 9, 2015 - The Government of Canada recently announced an investment of $30.7 million for the establishment of the Food Safety Information Network (FSIN).

The FSIN will help connect federal and provincial food safety laboratories and regulators across the country. This new network will help rapidly identify, mobilize and coordinate laboratory surge capacity and capabilities during complex food safety incidents and emergencies; allow near-real time sharing, organization and analysis of food safety information across the country to inform more preventive and timely risk management decisions; and improve Canada's ability to effectively anticipate and detect routine foodborne threats.

The FSIN is a collaborative initiative developed by the federal government with the provinces and territories. Federal partners include the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). The FSIN will be implemented incrementally over five years, linking federal and provincial food safety establishments and accredited laboratories across the country. According to a Government of Canada news release, Canadian consumers will benefit from the new Network through:

  • Faster, more proactive food safety interventions;
  • More preventive food safety programs and inspections to better protect consumers;
  • Strengthened laboratory emergency response during food safety incidents and emergencies (which should speed-up recalls, for example); and
  • Improved guidance on reducing food safety risks.

The FSIN will standardize food safety testing and leverage existing laboratory capacity, as well enhance Canada's ability to provide evidence of the integrity of Canada's food supply to trading partners.