Risk assessment and risk management at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA): a perspective on the monitoring of foods for chemical residues

Drug Test Anal. 2012 Aug:4 Suppl 1:50-8. doi: 10.1002/dta.1352.


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) uses 'Ranked Risk Assessment' (RRA) to prioritize chemical hazards for inclusion in monitoring programmes or method development projects based on their relative risk. The relative risk is calculated for a chemical by scoring toxicity and exposure in the 'risk model scoring system' of the Risk Priority Compound List (RPCL). The relative ranking and the risk management options are maintained and updated in the RPCL. The ranking may be refined by the data generated by the sampling and testing programs. The two principal sampling and testing programmes are the National Chemical Residue Monitoring Program (NCRMP) and the Food Safety Action Plan (FSAP). The NCRMP sampling plans focus on the analysis of federally registered products (dairy, eggs, honey, meat and poultry, fresh and processed fruit and vegetable commodities, and maple syrup) for residues of veterinary drugs, pesticides, environmental contaminants, mycotoxins, and metals. The NCRMP is complemented by the Food Safety Action Plan (FSAP) targeted surveys. These surveys focus on emerging chemical hazards associated with specific foods or geographical regions for which applicable maximum residue limits (MRLs) are not set. The data from the NCRMP and FSAP also influence the risk management (follow-up) options. Follow-up actions vary according to the magnitude of the health risk, all with the objective of preventing any repeat occurrence to minimize consumer exposure to a product representing a potential risk to human health.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Canada
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Food Inspection / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Food Inspection / methods*
  • Hazardous Substances / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Risk Assessment / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Management / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Risk Management / methods*


  • Hazardous Substances