The Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education (the Partnership) is a national association of public and private organizations committed to educating Canadians about the ease and importance of food safety and safe food handling practices at home.
In order to help Canadians enjoy their food safely, the Partnership offers a variety of programs including FightBac!, Be Food Safe Canada and Ask Mrs. Cookwell.
Foodborne illness, also known as “food poisoning”, happens when a person gets sick from eating food that has been contaminated with harmful bacteria, parasites or viruses, also known as ‘microbes’ and ‘pathogens’.
Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada estimate that 4 million episodes of domestically acquired foodborne illness occur each year in Canada (1.6 million episodes from 30 known pathogens and 2.4 million episodes from unspecified agents). This means that approximately 1 in 8 Canadians experience an episode of domestically acquired foodborne illness each year.
Older adults, young children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to severe bouts of foodborne illness.
Understanding and executing the 4 basic safe food handling steps – clean, separate, cook and chill – can have a significant impact on the occurrences of foodborne illness in Canada.