On 27th November 2020 the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced the implementation of the Canadian Food Safety Information Network (CFSIN) with the aim to strengthen rapid response to food safety issues in the country.
The vision and objectives of CFSIN were formed following a 2008 outbreak of listeriosis that tragically claimed the lives of 22 Canadians. Following the outbreak, the Government of Canada appointed an independent investigator, who recommended the establishment of an integrated FPT network to better respond to future food safety emergencies.
The network will create a shared food safety data repository, analytical tools to identify emerging issues, and provide a platform for partners to share information and resources securely and quickly during food safety incidents and emergencies.
This will mean that food safety partners can use digital tools to respond in a more coordinated way across provincial and territorial borders, to predict and respond to food-borne illness incidents.
It will allow the sharing of data, expertise, analysis, scientific techniques and rapid alerts and communication through the following functions:
- Laboratory mapping – Online geographical mapping of partner laboratories to identify their capacity and capabilities
- Scanning and Intelligence – Tools to identify and analyze local or global food safety issues, track new scientific findings, and perform innovative capture of food safety concerns found on social media, or other open sources
- Collaboration – A secure online environment for network partners to collaborate and communicate through news postings, shared scientific research, data, and working groups
- Food safety event management – Tools to manage food-borne illness outbreaks across provinces and jurisdictions
- Early warning – Predictive analytics of food safety data from all partners to better predict food safety issues before they happen
- Alerting – Automated or manually triggered food safety alerts and warnings distributed to partners
The effort is in line with similar efforts in EU (IMSOC system).