Category: Food Safety

Ontario Farm and Food Sectors Team Up to Tackle Sustainability

The media firestorm caused by Earls Kitchen + Bar’s  pursuit of the “Certified Humane” standard has quickly become a cautionary tale for both the farm and food industry. It’s a situation a coalition of Ontario farm organizations are hoping to avoid by working with the food and beverage sector to help clarify and streamline sustainability initiatives. Earlier… Read more »

Food Safety is More Robust with Beefed-Up Support

Guess how many people are entrusted to answer more than 1,500 queries a year from veterinarians across Canada asking case-specific, time-sensitive questions about withdrawal times for extra-label use veterinary drugs? 2 22, or 222? If you guessed two, you’re correct — and perhaps astounded. Just two veterinarians — one at the Western College of Veterinary… Read more »

Let’s Put Food Cost in Context: Canadians Get a Sweet Deal

If you believe the headlines this week, Canadians will soon not be able to afford to eat. Fruit and vegetables will be beyond an ordinary person’s capacity to pay and consumers wanting to chomp down on a piece of meat will have to order horse, bison or ostrich because beef and pork will break their… Read more »

Tattoos or GMOs? Scenes From the ‘Natural Foods’ Section

The “Natural Foods” section of any grocery store is a truly fascinating place. Here you find clusters of people intently reading fine print ingredient labels and sorting through the growing number of label claims fighting for space on product packaging. There’s a little something for everyone – from non-GMO verified, gluten-free, organic and dairy free… Read more »

TWORA — Bacon Hazards(?), Corn Harvest & More — Oct 29

So eating processed meat can cause cancer? Dr. Joe Schwarcz of McGill University, host of “The Dr. Joe Show” and author of numerous books interpreting scientific information for the general public, joins RealAg’s Kelvin Heppner on this week’s TWORA podcast to explain the World Health Organization’s report linking processed and red meats to cancer. Elsewhere, corn yields have… Read more »

Pre-Harvest and Storage Decisions Critical for Keeping Grain Export Ready: Cereals Canada

Cereals Canada is reminding producers and the grain industry to take steps to keep unwanted products and material out of Canadian grain. The group, which represents stakeholders from the wheat, barley and oat supply chains, has launched the “Keep it Clean — Cereals” campaign, building off similar messaging from the Canola Council of Canada. “There is a growing… Read more »

Ag Ministers Hopeful RCMP Will Find “Scoundrels” Involved in Food Terrorism

On May 21, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency warned consumers of a possible food tampering situation where needles and nails appeared to be showing up in potatoes, primarily in our Atlantic provinces. And this week, the growing concern of food and farm tampering was on the agenda, as federal, provincial and territorial agriculture ministers converged… Read more »

British Columbia Now Considered Free of Avian Influenza

Canada has officially notified the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) that British Columbia is now considered free of avian influenza. On June 3, B.C. successfully completed three months of surveillance following eradication of the disease. Related: Third Oxford County Farm Presumed Infected with H5 Avian Influenza; Within 2nd Quarantine Zone Avian Influenza Threat Forces… Read more »

Better Beef Traceability Translates to Bigger Profits in Practice and On Paper

If you’re keeping tabs on Ontario’s beef industry this Local Food Week, you’ve seen how a company’s profile can grow when it markets its brand effectively, promotes itself tirelessly, and stands on values instead of gimmicks. A prime example is VG Meats, which seems to be popping up everywhere. VG stands for Van Gronigen, a… Read more »

The Consumer is Dead. Long Live the Consumer!

“It’s what the consumer demands.” Whether it be new products on store shelves, changes to government regulation, or new on-farm protocols, this has become the trumping selling point for whatever it is that needs selling. “The Consumer” is demanding oversight. “The Consumer” wants a more sustainable product. “The customer (read: consumer)” is always right. But… Read more »

Trimble Buys Food Traceability Software Company

Trimble has bought HarvestMark, a food traceability and quality inspection company. HarvestMark collects information on food movement and sales, with an eye to food safety tracking and supply chain management. The acquisition of HarvestMark “further enhances” Trimble’s position in agriculture and transportation and logistics within the food supply chain, the company says. The addition of… Read more »

Union Undermining Confidence in Food Safety System, Warns CFIA President

The head of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is accusing the union that represents food inspectors of “unnecessarily undermining Canadians’ confidence in their food safety system.” The Agriculture Union issued a news release this week saying cost-cutting within the CFIA is creating an inspector shortage that is putting Canadians’ health at risk. As an example, the union says… Read more »

Beef Market Update: Tight Supply Support, Consumer Buying Power and Rational Responses to BSE

While many ranchers and producers visibly cringed at the announced positive BSE case found in northern Alberta earlier this month, the cattle markets barely seemed to bat an eye. Why was that? A rather under the weather Anne Wasko, of Gateway Livestock, joins Real Agriculture’s Shaun Haney on this latest Beef Market Update to talk… Read more »

It’s Time to Bury the Shoot, Shovel and Shut Up Mentality

Last week’s announcement of a new BSE case in Canada involving a cow born in 2009 has many in the beef industry nervously watching cattle prices and fearing border closures. This is a very natural reaction based on what transpired in May 2003 —the American border closure bankrupted many and financially crippled still more ranchers… Read more »

Farmers Cautioned About Risk of Mycotoxins and Allergens Showing Up in Food

A spokesperson for Canada’s baking industry suggests grain farmers will face increased scrutiny unless further mitigation practices to prevent the presence of mycotoxins and allergens in grain are implemented. “There are issues about mycotoxins and adventious presence (of allergens) that producers need to become engaged on,” said Paul Hetherington, CEO of the Baking Association of Canada,… Read more »