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Australian and Canadian Food Agencies Sign Agreement to Share Food Safety Emergerncy Information

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to share information about food safety emergency issues that may pose a serious or unacceptable risk or threat to the health of consumers.

The Hon Rob Knowles, Chairman of the FSANZ Board and Robert Carberry, Vice-President of the CFIA, formalised the MOU at the Inaugural Food Safety Conference at the Gold Coast.

At the signing ceremony, Mr Knowles said this was a significant occasion for the two agencies. ‘Food safety is now an international issue. Food is no longer grown and consumed locally and a food product manufactured the other side of the world could be on the shelves of our supermarkets in a matter of weeks or even days.

‘A food emergency anywhere in the world can become a matter for concern here in Australia within hours. Food regulators around the world need to continue to work collaboratively to address these food safety issues and this agreement between FSANZ and CFIA is an example of this collaboration.

‘FSANZ recognises the importance of the global economy in the area of food and this is one of the reasons why we are developing agreements with other countries so that we can share interests, have a common purpose and build an infrastructure. Last year we signed a MOU with the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology to ensure ongoing collaboration in the important areas of food safety,’ Mr Knowles said.

Mr Carberry said that the MOU built on the already productive relationship between Canada and Australia on food safety matters. ‘This MOU will enable both CFIA and FSANZ to assist with protecting public health and safety by allowing us to share information at the earliest possible time when there is a food emergency that puts the health of consumers at risk. This is a plus for both countries.’

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