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Canada and Ireland Top World Food Safety Ratings

November 26, 2014

seafoodA new report ranks Canada and Ireland as the top two nations for food safety performance. The UK rated fourth out of the 17 countries included in the research undertaken by The Conference Board of Canada’s Centre for Food in collaboration with the University of Guelph.

The report is structured around three main areas of food safety: risk assessment, risk management and risk communication. These were divided into ten sub-categories including food-borne illness rates, food traceability, national food safety response capacity and public trust. Not surprisingly, the 2013 horse-meat scandal formed a major part of the research. Co-author Professor Sylvain Charlebois believes traceability is a vital element of any good food safety system. “I would argue traceability is the most powerful tool when it comes to managing risks across supply chains, and as governments cut inspection capacity, more and more industries will have to make themselves accountable to the public, and industry will have to make industry accountable to itself,” he said.

Of the 17 nations studied, Germany, Italy and Belgium made up the bottom three, while Sweden had the highest incidence of food borne illness per 100,000 of the population.

Whilst agreeing that standards are generally high, the report calls for more funding to be allocated for future food safety data collection and that a food safety summit be held for nations “to find consensus on common robust food safety performance measurements, drawing on metrics from this study, among others.”

You can read the full report here (free registration is required).