As we are into a new year, let’s talk about food safety expectations from you as a Canadian consumer.
We are all aware of the various food scares from other areas of the world, which send many of their food products into our country. The recent Romaine lettuce issue in the U.S. is a good example. Here in Canada, we also have had a number of food issues over the years.
Many people ask how any type of food contamination could happen, especially in today’s world, where food safety is a high priority. Let’s start by stating that food quality and food safety is of the highest concern for our Canadian food companies and our Canadian government. Our food companies have strict quality assurance programs 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 an ever-increasing number of tests, in order 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 per cent risk-free food from our Canadian food companies, it just will not happen. The bottom line is that nothing is 100 per cent safe. There never has been or never will be a lack of risk in any area of our life. The food we eat. The water we drink. The air we breathe. Walking down the road. Driving our cars. Nothing is 100 per cent risk-free.
Perhaps, in our ultra modern and highly technological 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 per cent 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 per cent risk-free products? No on both points.
However, the Canadian agricultural industry, including all the food companies and our 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.
— Think about this – There is one guarantee in life – we all will die some day. Make sure you have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in order to prepare for eternity – do it today.
Just some food for thought.
Remember that here in Chatham-Kent ‘We Grow for the World’. Check out our community’s agriculture website at: www.wegrowfortheworld.com
Kim Cooper has been involved in the agribusiness sector for over 45 years. He can be reached at: [email protected] You can also follow him on Twitter at ‘theAGguy’