Government of Canada
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From farmers and industry to government and consumers . . .
Everyone plays a role in keeping our food safe

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Today’s consumers enjoy a wide range of food from across Canada and around the world. Alongside our locally grown food, we’re also serving up more exotic fruits and vegetables year-round—everything from guavas and mangoes to artichokes and okra. And more than ever we’re looking for convenient, ready-to-eat foods.

But with this great range of choice comes new challenges for food safety. Whether food is produced in Canada or abroad, fresh or ready-to-eat, we all have a role to play to make the food we eat safe.

  • Farmers strive to raise animals and grow crops that are healthy and free of disease.
  • Industry follows strict rules for handling, manufacturing and processing food. They also make sure that any unsafe foods are quickly removed from the marketplace.
  • Governments set standards and enforce food regulations for farmers and industry.
  • Consumers stay informed, and follow safe food-handling practices

Know who to contact.

If you think a food product is unsafe, contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency at 1-800-442-2342 or visit

For issues related to quality, contact the store or manufacturer.

Keep food safe in your home

Follow these four easy lessons to keep harmful bacteria out of your kitchen.

clean (image - handwashing)

Clean: wash hands and surfaces often

Bacteria can easily spread throughout the kitchen. Before and after preparing each type of food, wash hands, cutting boards, knives and countertops with warm soapy water.

separate (image - cutting board)

Separate: don’t cross-contaminate

Harmful bacteria are spread through cross-contamination. Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood - and their juices - separate from foods that won’t be cooked.

cook (image - digital food thermometer)

Cook: cook to safe temperature

Improper heating of food could mean that harmful bacteria can survive and make you sick. Prepare foods quickly, cook them well, and serve them immediately.

chill (image - leftovers in the refrigerator)

Chill: refrigerate promptly

Bacteria grow fastest at room temperature, so keep food cold to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Put leftovers in the refrigerator within two hours of eating.

For more information, visit the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education -

Internal Cooking Temperatures

You can’t tell by looking: use a digital food thermometer to be sure!

To order a cooking temperatures magnet, call 1 800 O-Canada (1-800-622-6232) TTY: 1-800-926-9105

Visit to sign up for food recalls and allergy alerts.