Chicken Farmers Unite in Food Safety



    HALIFAX, Aug. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - Canadian chicken boards from coast to
coast signed a landmark agreement today, committing to the ongoing
implementation and maintenance of a national on-farm food safety program.
    The program, called Safe, Safer, Safest, has been in place for nearly a
decade and is practiced on Canadian chicken farms across the country. Today's
signing reaffirms the provincial chicken boards' commitment to the system,
which involves extensive record keeping, on-farm audits and certification
services for all Canadian chicken farmers.
    Safe, Safer, Safest guides chicken farmers on safe food production
practices, from cleaning the barn in preparation for the next flock through to
shipment of market-weight birds. It was developed in 1998 with support from
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and was the first national farmer
organization program to complete Phase 1 of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial
government's technical review process, led by the Canadian Food Inspection
Agency.
    "Our program was developed by farmers, for farmers," said CFC Chairman,
David Fuller. "Canada has high food safety standards and our program ensures
they are being met and exceeded."
    "Under Safe, Safer, Safest, top-notch safety practices and procedures
will be found on each Canadian farm. This will ensure that Canadian chicken
farmers continue to produce a safe and high quality product, as they have been
doing for generations," he added.
    Stringent record keeping is an important component of the on-farm food
safety program and allows Canadian chicken farmers to participate in quality
control, traceability, and disease control. The program is based on Hazard
Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles. HACCP is an
internationally recognized food safety system that identifies points in the
food production process where control measures should be in place. The CFIA
provides industry with scientific and technical advice on the application of
HACCP principles.
    The Memorandum of Understanding signed today and witnessed by the
Honourable Brooke Taylor, Nova Scotia Minister of Agriculture, outlines the
division of roles, responsibilities and authorities between the provincial
chicken boards and Chicken Farmers of Canada to reaffirm Canada's commitment
to deliver high quality chicken consumers can trust.
    "Being able to demonstrate the good production practices being followed
on farm proves to consumers and industry stakeholders that chicken is a
quality product," explains Fuller, "We are very proud of this program and what
it represents for consumers and farmers alike."




For further information:

For further information: Marty Brett, Senior Communications Officer,
(613) 566-5926


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