Fruits and Vegetables
Under the Food Safety Monitoring (FSM) Program, program staff collects samples of Ontario fruit and vegetables and processed fruit and vegetable products throughout the year. To verify compliance with Health Canada standards, samples are submitted to an accredited laboratory for foodborne pathogen, chemical residue and other contaminant testing. Microbial non-compliance is reported to the producer, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care (MOHLTC) and the local health unit where the sample was collected. Follow up may include a resample, educational material and/or an advisory visit by an OMAFRA Risk Management Specialist and/or other government agency staff. If warranted, product detention or recall may result from the findings. Chemical non-compliance of Ontario produce is reported to the producer and followed up by Ministry staff.
Program staff prepare and disseminate educational material for fruit and vegetable products regarding requirements legislated by Regulation 119/11 of the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001. This regulation includes packaging, labeling and quality standards as well as requirements for signs and advertisements at the retail level. Program staff may investigate and/or assist in the resolution of disputes which may arise regarding quality, labelling or food safety issues. When necessary, compliance and enforcement action may be taken.
The program has also developed educational material including a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Guidebook and periodically sponsors educational workshops for the industry.
Peter van Weerden
For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300