On March 27, 2023, Health Canada updated the “Policy on Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-to-Eat Foods”. This new policy will come into effect on October 1, 2023. Until then, the 2011 Listeria policy will remain in effect.
Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen. It causes an estimated 134 hospitalizations annually in Canada. Meat and poultry products are the most common sources of listeria outbreaks, followed by produce and dairy products, however, they can occur in just about any other food category. Listeria infections can result in severe diseases, especially among vulnerable populations. Foodborne outbreaks of listeriosis have mostly been linked to ready-to-eat (RTE) foods that are not normally further prepared before consumption.
This policy relates to the application, implementation, and verification of control measures for L. monocytogenes in RTA foods. Under this policy, RTE should be produced under conditions that will minimize or prevent the introduction and/or growth of L. monocytogenes. This can be accomplished by:
The best way to be compliant with the new policy is to have a food safety program in place that meets GAP, GMP, and HACCP requirements. If you need support with food safety program development click here. Once you have a food safety program in place that you are confident will meet the updated policy requirements, it is recommended your facility be audited against GAP, GMP, and HACCP requirements by an independent auditor.
For more information about this, or any other food safety and quality matters, please get in touch with dicentra.