The Canadian meat inspection program started in 1907. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), administers the legislation and the regulations governing the inspection of meat and meat by-products in Canada. Only meat products originating from plants registered with and inspected by the CFIA can be exported.
CFIA staff of 350 highly trained veterinary inspectors assisted by primary product inspectors must approve the design and the construction of the registered meat-food plants and enforce rigid inspection and sanitary standards in each facility.
It is mandatory that all animals brought to the plants be inspected by qualified inspectors prior to slaughter and during all stages of slaughter. Laboratory facilities are available for diagnostic purposes.
In addition tests are in use for the detection of residues. Residue testing is part of the in-plant testing and the Canadian program is recognized as one of the most stringent residue monitoring and control systems. In 1994, 165,000 samples of pork were taken to assess the residue levels for antibiotics such as sulfonamides, carbadox, dimetridazole, pentachlorophenol, chloramphenicol and Ivermectin as well as heavy metals, pesticides and hormones. Monitoring for over 20 years has shown that chemical and biological residues in excess of official tolerances are very rarely found.
The rigid inspections, tests and controls applied to meat in Canada ensures that only wholesome and disease free meat is sold to our Canadian and foreign customers. The finished products in cut or processed form carry a Canadian Government stamp certifying that the product has met all CFIA's standards. This inspection legend is recognized worldwide.