We all have high expectations for food safety, especially when it comes to our families. Fortunately, Canada regularly tops lists of the safest food supplies around the world. This is in part because of government regulations, food production innovations and safety programs that protect public health.
Our food supply is also very diverse. Domestically, we produce a wide array of foods, including grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, eggs and dairy, among others. But we can’t just rely on domestic production — Canada needs to import food as well. Our geography and climate mean we can’t grow crops year-round and some of our favourite foods just can’t be grown here.
Government regulations for food safety include strict rules for both domestically grown food as well as imports. These regulations help protect us from preventable food safety hazards and help effectively manage food safety emergencies.
The Food and Drugs Act is one example. Others include the Safe Food for Canadians Act and the Health of Animals Act, both of which are being reviewed and updated to provide even greater protection. One component of the Health of Animals Act being expanded is animal identification and traceability. This means animals can be tracked from birth to processing for food or other purposes, like shearing for their fibres (wool, alpaca or mohair for example).
The new regulations on animal identification and traceability will require even more livestock groups to meet requirements for identifying all individual animals and their movement. Pigs already use a full traceability system and goats and other livestock groups will soon be included. This means all goat producers in Canada, regardless of the farm size or the type of goats they raise — meat, dairy or fibre — will be required to follow the new regulations. Goat producers can find more information about the coming regulations by contacting the Canadian National Goat Federation at www.cangoats.com.