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Chicken farmers’ food safety plan moves ahead

A national on-farm food safety program for Canada’s chicken farmers took a step forward Tuesday as all the provinces’ chicken boards signed on for the program’s ongoing implementation.

“Under Safe, Safer, Safest, top-notch safety practices and procedures
will be found on each Canadian farm,” said Nova Scotia chicken farmer David Fuller, chairman of the Chicken Farmers of Canada, in a release.

“This will ensure that Canadian chicken
farmers continue to produce a safe and high quality product, as they have been

doing for generations.”

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, the CFC said.

The program 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 technical review process, led by the Canadian Food Inspection
Agency (CFIA).

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. CFIA
provides industry with scientific and technical advice on the application of
HACCP principles, CFC said.

The program has already been implemented in Ontario and the western provinces and remains to be rolled out in the eastern provinces, some of which are expected to reach implementation by the end of this year.

The memorandum of understanding that the provincial and national boards signed Tuesday in Halifax, witnessed by Nova Scotia Ag Minister Brooke Taylor, outlines the program’s
division of roles, responsibilities and authorities between the provincial
chicken boards and CFC.

The agreement is expected to move the program closer to recognition by CFIA as a national program and move it forward to a national system of third-party audits. Organizing such audits and ensuring farmers are up to date on program standards would be among the responsibilities of provincial chicken boards under this agreement.

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