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ARCHIVED - Lessons Learned: Public Health Agency of Canada's Response to the 2008 Listeriosis Outbreak

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December 2008

Release of the Lessons Learned Report on the 2008 Listeriosis Outbreak

2008 Listeriosis Outbreak: Lesson Learned Report

The Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency each released their Lessons Learned Report today, following a thorough review of the steps taken during last year’s tragic listeriosis outbreak.  The purpose of this review was to identify gaps and develop solutions to improve the Government of Canada’s response to outbreaks and to ensure Canadians are provided with the highest levels of food safety protection now and in the future.  

The reports are detailed and frank assessments of what worked well and what did not work, and reflect the Government’s commitment to a robust and effective food safety system.

Despite the fact that Canada has one of the best food safety systems in the world, and that outbreaks like the one in the summer of 2008 are extremely rare, it was clear that further improvements were needed.

This Government has been taking action to make these improvements.

The Prime Minister appointed an independent investigator to look into the reasons behind the outbreak and how to reduce the likelihood of this happening again.  She will be reporting in July.

The Public Health Agency of Canada works closely with Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and provincial and territorial ministries of health to support food safety in Canada.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is already using its Lessons Learned Report to guide its planning and decision-making to strengthen the Agency’s ability to respond to future outbreaks.

The Lessons Learned reports will inform the work of both the independent investigator and the Agricultural Subcommittee on Food Safety. We look forward to their future recommendations as we continue to improve food safety in this country.

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