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The CFIA invests in food safety research and technology

May 20, 2021   Maryam Farag

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced funding to three companies to solve challenges faced by the Agency and benefit businesses.

  • $150,000 to Precision Biomonitoring, in Guelph, Ontario, to develop a handheld device to detect bacterial foodborne hazards.
  • $100,000 to Shaddari Inc., in Montreal, Quebec, to develop a computer model that could support vaccine matching technologies for FMD in Canada.
  • $150,000 to HPP West Coast Facility, in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, to develop a high-pressure processing (HPP) technology that could safely control plant pests that are regulated and/or of quarantine significance in Canada to support industry in exporting products to international markets.

Through the Innovative Solutions Canada Program, the CFIA has launched several challenges to improve food safety, including:

  • A challenge to develop a handheld device that detects food borne pathogens throughout the farm-to-fork continuum.
  • A challenge to develop a system that uses artificial intelligence to help specialists determine which vaccination strain would be most successful at preventing and controlling field outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in livestock (cattle, sheep and swine).
  • A challenge to develop a phytosanitary treatment for the control of quarantine plant pests that could destroy forests or food crops.

“Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a very serious disease of livestock that has the potential for significant economic impact on the agricultural industry,” said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister, Agriculture and Agri-Food.“Although FMD is not currently found in Canada, it is extremely important to be prepared for it. Through the Innovative Solutions Canada program, the Government of Canada is funding this project to support a response to FMD by the Canadian agriculture industry and protect the health of animals. This new computer model has the potential to allow the CFIA to access technologies that could support mitigation measures for FMD in Canada and around the globe.”

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