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Farmers Unite over Food Safety

by 5m Editor
13 August 2008, at 5:41p.m.

CANADA - Chicken boards from coast to coast signed a landmark agreement on 12 August, committing to the ongoing implementation and maintenance of a national on-farm food safety program.

The program, called Safe, Safer, Safest, has been in place for nearly a decade and is practiced on Canadian chicken farms across the country. Today's signing reaffirms the provincial chicken boards' commitment to the system, which involves extensive record keeping, on-farm audits and certification services for all Canadian chicken farmers.

Safe, Safer, Safest guides chicken farmers on safe food production practices, from cleaning the barn in preparation for the next flock through to shipment of market-weight birds. It was developed in 1998 with support from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and was the first national farmer organization program to complete Phase 1 of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial government's technical review process, led by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

"Our program was developed by farmers, for farmers," said CFC Chairman, David Fuller. "Canada has high food safety standards and our program ensures they are being met and exceeded."

"Under Safe, Safer, Safest, top-notch safety practices and procedures will be found on each Canadian farm. This will ensure that Canadian chicken farmers continue to produce a safe and high quality product, as they have been doing for generations," he added.

Stringent record keeping is an important component of the on-farm food safety program and allows Canadian chicken farmers to participate in quality control, traceability, and disease control. The program is based on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles. HACCP is an internationally recognized food safety system that identifies points in the food production process where control measures should be in place. The CFIA provides industry with scientific and technical advice on the application of HACCP principles.

The Memorandum of Understanding signed today and witnessed by the Honourable Brooke Taylor, Nova Scotia Minister of Agriculture, outlines the division of roles, responsibilities and authorities between the provincial chicken boards and Chicken Farmers of Canada to reaffirm Canada's commitment to deliver high quality chicken consumers can trust.

"Being able to demonstrate the good production practices being followed on farm proves to consumers and industry stakeholders that chicken is a quality product," explains Fuller, "We are very proud of this program and what it represents for consumers and farmers alike."

5m Editor