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We produce evidence reviews based on our assessments of needs and gaps in evidence-based environmental health practice and policy. We also work with researchers and environmental public health students for reviews. These documents are peer-reviewed and the content is the responsibility of the authors.
This document was written for environmental public health practitioners (environmental health officers and public health inspectors), as well as other public health professionals whose work relates to healthy environments (e.g., medical health officers, public health dietitians, health promotion professionals). It introduces the concept of food environments, highlights some key evidence for the...
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Risk Factors and Surveillance Systems for Foodborne Illness Outbreaks in Canada (University of Guelph Master of Public Health Program)
Risk factors for foodborne illness in Canada span along the “farm-to-fork continuum.” Human risk factors include personal hygiene, cross-contamination, temperature control and unsafe food sources. Surveillance and food safety systems at the regional (or local), provincial/territorial, and federal levels are designed to...
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The public health and economic implications for foodborne illness in industrialized nations can be costly. Food service establishments (FSEs) are major settings for foodborne pathogen exposure in developed countries due to high consumption of food prepared outside homes. To reduce foodborne illness risks, many health authorities implement food safety interventions in FSEs in order to modify food...View Full Article
Perceived and Potential Human Health Risks Associated with Consumption of Genetically Modified Animals (University of Guelph Master of Public Health Program)
Numerous varieties of genetically modified (GM) crops have been approved in Canada, and processed foods containing GM ingredients can be found on grocery store shelves. In contrast, there are currently no GM animals or products derived from GM animals approved for human consumption in Canada. According to the principle of substantial equivalence, which is used to evaluate the safety of GM foods,...
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Health Canada has approved the sale of disinfectants for food premises which contain chlorine compounds (e.g., bleach), peroxide and peroxyacid mixtures, carboxylic acids, quaternary ammonium compounds, acid anionic, and iodine compounds for use on food-contact surfaces. Disinfectants for use in food premises must have a drug identification number (DIN) and meet criteria, including those...View Full Article
Nanotechnology is the creation of materials, devices, and systems by controlling matter at the nanometer scale (1-100 billionths of a meter). Potential exposures to engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) through contact with consumer products or air, water, and food sources are an emerging potential threat to human health. ENPs have unique properties and characteristics in addition to size, such as a...View Full Article
Impact of Home Preparation and Cooking Methods on Levels of Dioxin and Dioxin-Like Compounds in Foods
Human exposure to dioxins and dioxin-like compounds (DLCs) is primarily from ingestion of fish, meat, and dairy products. Based on studies where populations were exposed to much higher levels of DLCs than the general population would encounter, some DLCs have been classified as carcinogens/ probable carcinogens. However, uncertainty remains about the possible adverse health effects from low...View Full Article
Diet is an important source of pesticide exposure, particularly for children, but data are lacking on the amount of pesticides consumed in the diet relative to exposures from other sources. Available data suggest that organically-grown food contains fewer synthetic pesticide residues than conventionally-grown food, and that eating an organic diet can result in lower exposures to some pesticides....View Full Article
We estimate that 3% to 16% of food-borne outbreaks investigated by public health agencies are associated with community events including church suppers, fairs, potlucks, picnics, etc. However, there is likely under-reporting of individual cases of enteric illness and of small outbreaks related to these events. Poor food handling practices at home and at the site where the food is prepared or...View Full Article
Comparison of the prevalence of bacterial enteropathogens, potentially zoonotic bacteria and bacterial resistance to antimicrobials in organic and conventional poultry, swine and beef production
The prevalences of zoonotic and potentially zoonotic bacteria or bacteria resistant to antimicrobials in organic and conventional poultry, swine and beef production were compared using systematic review and meta-analysis methodology. Thirty-eight articles were included in the review. The prevalence of Campylobacter was higher in organic broiler chickens at slaughter, but no difference in...View Full Article
Aboriginal populations in Canada (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) have a diverse culture and live in a wide range of habitats. Traditionally, they obtained foods by harvesting, hunting, and fishing; referred to as traditional/country foods. Policy-makers and health professionals have recognized the importance and the benefit of traditional foods and efforts are made to encourage intake. Until...View Full Article