The Canadian government has made an investment of CA$30.7 million (US$24.6 million) for the establishment of the Food Safety Information Network (FSIN).

The FSIN will help connect federal and provincial food safety laboratories and regulators across the country. This new network is hoped to help rapidly identify, mobilize and coordinate laboratory surge capacity and capabilities during complex food safety incidents and emergencies; allow near-real time sharing, organization and analysis of food safety information across the country to inform more preventive and timely risk management decisions; and improve Canada's ability to effectively anticipate and detect routine foodborne threats.

The FSIN is a collaborative initiative developed by the federal government with the provinces and territories. Federal partners include the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). The FSIN will be implemented incrementally over five years, linking federal and provincial food safety establishments and accredited laboratories across the country.

Canadian consumers are expected to benefit from the new network through:

  • Faster, more proactive food safety interventions;
  • More preventive food safety programs and inspections to better protect consumers;
  • Strengthened laboratory emergency response during food safety incidents and emergencies (which should speed-up recalls, for example); and
  • Improved guidance on reducing food safety risks.

"Our government is committed to ensuring that Canadian families have confidence in the food they buy and eat,” said Rona Ambrose, Canadian minister of health. “Everyone has a role to play in food safety. We are committed to working with all partners to ensure Canadians have access to healthy and safe food. Today's announcement of the Food Safety Information Network means better protection for the health and safety of Canadian families."