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Supporting safe and healthy food systems through food safety, hygiene, and healthy eating resources.

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Risk Factors and Surveillance Systems for Foodborne Illness Outbreaks in Canada (University of Guelph Master of Public Health Program)

Topics: Food General, Canada 

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 functioncollaboratively. The efficiency of surveillance systems to produce...

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Review of Food Safety Interventions and Evaluation in Food Service Establishments

Topics: Food General, Canada 

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...

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Perceived and Potential Human Health Risks Associated with Consumption of Genetically Modified Animals (University of Guelph Master of Public Health Program)

Topics: Food General, Canada 

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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Food Deserts and Food Swamps: A Primer

Topics: Equity, Food General, Canada 

Our food environments, which include the food that is available to us in our day-to-day environments, is a determinant of what we eat as individuals. This document is intended for environmental public health professionals, including medical health officers and public health inspectors, as well as other public health professionals such as public health dietitians and health promoters, whose work...

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Food Issues: Notes from the Field

Topics: Food General, Canada 

Food Issues: Notes from the Field is a collection of food safety assessments the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has provided in response to inquiries made by Environmental Health Officers. Example assessments include safety concerns associated with kombucha tea, raw carob powder in raw foods, and unwashed bakery couche (linens). These opinions, created by food safety...

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Food Environments: An Introduction for Public Health Practice

Topics: Food General, Canada 

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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Nanotechnology: A Review of Exposure, Health Risks and Recent Regulatory Developments

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...

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Disinfectants and Sanitizers for Use on Food Contact Surfaces - revised

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...

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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...

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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-...

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Safe Preparation and Storage of Aboriginal Traditional/Country Foods

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...

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Does Eating Organic Food Reduce Pesticide Exposures and Health Risks?

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....

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Church/Community Suppers: What is the Evidence for Risk of Food-borne Illness?

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...

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Pepper Spray in the Indoor Environment and in the Vicinity of Food Products and Preparation Surfaces

Pepper spray is discharged during an attempted robbery of a jewellery store in a large urban mall.  The robbery site is located next to the mall’s food court.  For several days, mall patrons continue to report uncomfortable symptoms (e.g., burning sensation in their eyes and throat) when they enter the food court.  Public Health Inspectors (PHIs) are asked to respond to concerns about...

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Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning

Trigger for Investigation On June 18, 2010 a commercial harvester advised an inspection specialist at CFIA of four cases of suspect PSP-related illness that occurred June 17, 2010. CFIA began an investigation and trace-back and advised relevant public health authorities of illnesses to ensure follow-up of cases. You are the epidemiologist working at the local health authority where the cases...

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