Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Food and Beverage Ontario Launches Taste Your Future Campaign To Bring Awareness To Job Opportunities

GUELPH, Ontario - March 23, 2016 Canada News Wire - Food and Beverage Ontario (FBO) today launched Taste Your Future, a new career awareness program focused on drawing attention to the abundance of jobs available within Ontario's food and beverage processing sector. With the launch of Taste Your Future, FBO aims to help meet Ontario's challenge to create 60,000 new jobs in the sector by the year 2020.
"I congratulate the industry on the launch of Taste Your Future and look forward to more Ontarians embarking on careers within the agri-food and beverage processing sector," said the Honourable Jeff Leal, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "Ontario is the ideal place for the industry to grow and thrive, with a robust population, colleges and universities training the future workforce, access to local and export markets and an entrepreneurial culture."
Research conducted by FBO shows that while awareness of the opportunities in the industry is low, Ontarians – particularly young people, their parents and newcomers – have an appetite to learn more.
The Taste Your Future multi-year campaign shares stories, videos and more outlining education and job opportunities to help people learn about the industry and find their place within it. For those who aren't familiar with the industry there is a quick, 10 question quiz to help you match interests with great career opportunities. All of this can be found at
"Canada's food and beverage processors drive our economy, connecting producers to consumers and touching the lives of all Canadians," said the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "The Government of Canada is pleased to support the food sector in a way that allows it to be a leader in job creation and innovation."
The food and beverage processing sector is the largest manufacturing employer in Ontario. More than 125,000 people currently work at more than 3,000 businesses across the province and the sector is growing. Jobs include marketers, accountants, engineers, scientists, butchers, electricians and more; the opportunities are as diverse as the food and beverage products the industry makes.
"We have employed young people in Ontario for more than 16 years and have grown and fostered these employees into senior positions, allowing them to move to different parts of the business, learning and training along the way," said Greg Taylor, co-founder of Steam Whistle Brewing and FBO member. "We brew beer, host events and tours, do marketing and sales. Our company is a small example of the exciting range of positions this sector has to offer and the strong relationship between the agri-food industry and tourism."
Two thirds of employers surveyed by FBO indicated difficulty finding qualified candidates. Employers are looking for candidates trained in food safety, business, agriculture, food science, as well as skilled trades and technology.
"We're looking forward to sharing information about the post-secondary opportunities in the food and beverage processing sector with parents and students trying to figure out what they want to study," said Linda Franklin, president of Colleges Ontario and a member of the committee working with FBO to develop and execute the Taste Your Future program. "Through this campaign, we're also working with employers to better identify the specific roles they are trying to fill so we can profile them on and find the students and future employees that are right for them."
There are 140 programs at 22 Ontario colleges and 24 programs at seven universities, including many with co-op and apprenticeship opportunities, designed specifically for those interested in pursuing careers in the sector. Programs range from less than one year to three to four year diploma and degree programs.
Taste Your Future is supported by Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.
Check out Taste Your Future and find your perfect role in the food and beverage sector:Web: 
Twitter: @TasteYourFuture
About Food and Beverage OntarioFood and Beverage Ontario is a not-for-profit, leadership organization advancing the interests of Ontario's food and beverage processors. FBO's focus is on the success, prosperity and growth of the food and beverage processing industry. For more information go to
SOURCE Food and Beverage Ontario

Friday, June 27, 2014

Canada's Food Tracking Needs Improvement: University of Guelph Study

GUELPH, Ontario - June 26, 2014 - University of Guelph News Release - Canada must improve its food tracing system if it is to be considered among the best in the world and realize economic benefits, according to a new study from the University of Guelph.
The study by researchers at U of G and the Global Food Traceability Center in Washington, D.C., analyzed the food tracking systems of several countries, including the United States and nations in Europe, South America and Asia. Systems in European countries ranked highest, while those of Canada and the U.S. were average, according to the study’s authors.
The report will be published in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. Lead author Prof. Sylvain Charlebois, College of Business and Economics, presented the findings at a conference in New Orleans on June 22.
He said the findings hold important lessons for the Canadian government, farmers, policy-makers and exporters.
“Canadian food safety is fairly secure, but improved traceability would enhance a range of areas, including animal welfare, organic sourcing, fair trade and food fraud,” he said.
“Strengthening our tracing systems would provide increased global trade options for Canadian farmers and producers, with fewer restrictions on exports from Canada.”
During food safety scares, an entire country’s particular product may be banned while investigators determine where the problem product originated, he said.
“One of the complications is tracing affected products internationally and domestically when there is an incidence of food-borne illness or animal or plant disease,” Charlebois said.
“The complexity of traceability involved in following food throughout a supply chain makes the process of product tracking slow and inefficient in times of crisis.”
Sales to China of Canadian beef and pork are still limited because of differing regulations and fears in China about the safety of Canadian beef. Charlebois said the success of the Canadian produce and agriculture industry depends on access to markets around the world.
“Globalization is why food traceability is so important. We are seeing foods shipped all over the world. The ability to track where these foods are from and have been is key to improving confidence in trading partners across different nations. This trend is expected to continue, and improved tracing will mitigate the need for regulations,” he said.
Graduate student Sanaz Haratifar, a co-author on the report, said a number of issues could prevent Canada from improving its food traceability.
“Population density and sound logistics help build better traceability systems. Canada has neither, so it will remain a challenge to do better, but some incremental commitments can be made,” she said.
Charlebois said Canada and the U.S. could take a number of steps to improve traceability.
“Increased activity from global trading of food items will lead to various benefits and complications across different countries. We need to look at what’s happening elsewhere, especially in Europe, so systems can be harmonized and standardized.”
The study is titled “Comparison of Global Food Traceability Regulations and Requirements.”

Monday, June 16, 2014

Canola Oil Helps Control Blood Glucose in People with Type 2 Diabetes

Human Trial Also Shows Protection Against Cardiovascular Disease
Study adds to existing evidence of canola oil health benefits, says Canola Council of Canada
WINNIPEG, ManitobaJune 16, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - Canola oil can help control blood glucose (blood sugar) in people with type 2 diabetes when included as part of a low-glycemic index (GI) diet, according to research presented at theJune 2014 American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions (abstract CT-SY24) and published in the peer-reviewed journal Diabetes Care. The study of Canadian adults with type 2 diabetes shows that adding canola oil to the diet is a simple way of helping control blood glucose and risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Diabetes affects about 3.3 million Canadians (9 percent) and 26 million Americans (8.3 percent).
In the multicenter, randomized controlled trial, 141 participants with type 2 diabetes who were taking drugs to control blood glucose were given either a test or control diet for three months. The test diet was low GI (minimizes fluctuations in blood glucose levels) and higher in fat, including bread made with canola oil (31 grams of oil per person per day). The control diet was healthy, low-fat and high-fiber, emphasizing whole wheat foods. Results showed that those who consumed the canola oil diet improved blood glucose control. Importantly, participants at increased risk for adverse effects from type 2 diabetes, such as those with high blood pressure, derived the greatest benefits.
"This study shows the advantage of using canola oil in type 2 diabetes to improve both blood cholesterol and blood glucose control by reducing the glycemic load (GI multiplied by the amount of carbohydrate in the diet), especially in those at highest risk of diabetes complications," says lead researcher David J.A. Jenkins, M.D., Ph.D., DSc., professor and Canada Research Chair in Nutrition and Metabolism, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto as well as director, Risk Factor Modification Center, St. Michael's Hospital. "These findings are timely since diabetes is expected to double in the next 20 years and means of preventing it and its complications are major concerns of governments and the general public."
Beyond its results, the "Effect of Lowering the Glycemic Load with Canola Oil on Glycemic Control and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Randomized Controlled Trial" is important because it's the first study to assess the combination of healthy fat consumption and a low-GI diet. The beneficial health effects of canola oil and its fat components (e.g., monounsaturated and omega-3 fats) have been independently shown in other studies.
In addition, even though study participants were being treated with drugs to control blood glucose and had low "bad" LDL cholesterol levels, canola oil consumption was associated with a significant, additional reduction in this type of cholesterol. This may translate into an extra 7 percent reduction in CVD events, Jenkins notes.
"The ability of canola oil to help control blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes adds to existing evidence of several health benefits, including CVD risk reduction," adds Shaunda Durance-Tod, M.Sc., R.D., CanolaInfo manager, Canola Council of Canada. "Further studies are now warranted on the effect of canola oil in a Mediterranean-type diet on glycemic control, blood fats and weight loss in type 2 diabetes."
The canola oil study was led by the University of Toronto in collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan,McMaster University and University of Ottawa. It was funded by the Government of Canada and Canola Council ofCanada.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Canadian Government issues "What We Heard Report" from parents and launches online labelling tools

Information to help shape changes to food labelling in the future
OTTAWA, Ontario June 10, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - Today, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, released the What We Heard report on food labelling (hyperlink to the Health Canada website), which summarizes feedback from parents and consumers who participated in recent consultations to improve food labels.
While many Canadians reported they find the information on current food labels useful, respondents also made a range of suggestions, such as improving the serving size information in the Nutrition Facts Table, and increasing education and awareness of food labelling for consumers and industry.
"Our Government will ensure Canadian parents have the information they need to better understand and use food labels to make healthier food choices. We will continue to listen to Canadians and take action to improve food labels." Rona Ambrose Minister of Health
Today, the Minister also introduced an interactive tool on food labelling for consumers, which provides easy-to-understand and relevant information on how to read a food label, and announced a new labelling tool for industry, which provides clear guidance on labelling rules.
In the coming months, the Government will look at ways of improving food labels based on what was heard from parents, consumers and industry.
Quick Facts
  • In the recent Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada promised to improve and modernize Canada's food labelling system and consult with Canadian parents on how to improve the way nutritional information is presented on food labels.
  • Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have a joint responsibility for food labelling in Canada.
  • The What We Heard report incorporates feedback received during CFIA and Health Canada's roundtables, focus groups and online consultations that took place between June 2013 and April 2014.
  • Canada is a world leader in the field of nutrition labelling and was one of the first countries to require mandatory nutrition labelling on pre-packaged foods.

Associated Links

Monday, May 19, 2014

Health Canada Approves Use of Saccharin in Some Foods, Offering Benefits for Weight Loss and Diabetes Control

ATLANTA, Georgia. May 19, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - Canadian consumers can now enjoy the benefits of sugar-free chewing gum, desserts, and other consumer products sweetened with the zero calorie sweetener saccharin. On April 24, 2014, Health Canada, the regulatory body in charge of approving food ingredients and improving the lives of Canadians, approved the use of saccharin and its salts in several food categories. Canadians looking to reduce calories or those with diabetes monitoring blood sugar will soon be able to find saccharin on the label of some foods in Canada.
After a thorough review of the scientific evidence indicating no safety concerns, Health Canada approved the use of saccharin, calcium saccharin, potassium saccharin and sodium saccharin as an ingredient, adding the low-calorie sweetener and its salts to its List of Permitted Sweeteners in the following food categories: breath freshener products; unstandardized canned fruit; chewing gum; unstandardized frozen desserts; toppings; topping mixes; unstandardized alcoholic liqueurs; unstandardized, non-alcoholic beverages; and unstandardized fruit spreads.
"The Council and its members are excited about the approval of saccharin and its salts for several uses in Canada," stated Haley Stevens, Ph.D., President of the Calorie Control Council. "Low-calorie sweeteners, including saccharin, have been shown to be safe for decades by regulatory and government agencies around the world, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Saccharin provides the sweet taste consumers desire, without the extra calories. Low-calorie sweeteners, along with proper diet and exercise, can be used as tools to assist in weight loss and management."
For additional information about the benefits and safety of saccharin, please visit
About the Calorie Control Council
The Calorie Control Council, established in 1966, is an international association representing the low- and reduced-calorie food and beverage industry. Today it represents manufacturers and suppliers of low- and reduced-calorie foods and beverages, including manufacturers and suppliers of more than two dozen different alternative sweeteners, fibers and other low-calorie, dietary ingredients. For helpful tips on weight loss and controlling calories, along with tools and truths on healthy eating and exercise for life, visit the Council's main website at or the Council's blog at

Friday, May 16, 2014

Barbecue Food Safety

OTTAWA, Ontario May 16, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - Health Canada - Information Update - 
It's been a long winter but barbecue season is finally here! As you head out to the grill, remember that eating undercooked meat or foods that have come into contact with raw meat can result in food poisoning (also known as foodborne illness) caused by bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter. Symptoms can include severe stomach cramps, vomiting, fever and diarrhea.
It is estimated that approximately 1 in 8 people will get sick from foodborne illness every year in Canada. Many of these cases could be prevented by following proper food handling and preparation techniques.
What you should do
You can help lower your risk of foodborne illness by handling and cooking raw meat carefully. Here are some important safety tips to follow:
  • Raw meat should always be stored in a refrigerator or cooler at 4ºC (40ºF) or below.
  • If you are storing raw meat in a cooler, make sure that it is packed with ice and that it stays out of direct sunlight. Avoid opening the cooler too often.
  • Ensure that packaged meats are well sealed and are placed at the bottom of your refrigerator or cooler, so their juices don't come in contact with other food products, thus avoiding cross-contamination.
  • Remember to wash your hands, cutting boards, countertops, knives and other utensils carefully with soap and warm water before and after handling raw meat or other raw foods. This helps avoid cross-contamination and prevents the spread of foodborne illness.
  • Colour alone is not a reliable indicator that meat is safe to eat. Meat may turn brown before dangerous bacteria that may be present, are killed. Use a digital food thermometer to be sure your meat has reached a safe internal temperature.
  • To check the temperature of meat that you are cooking on the barbecue, take it off the grill and insert a digital food thermometer through the thickest part of the meat.
  • If you are cooking a beef hamburger, take the patty from the grill and insert a digital food thermometer through its side, all the way to the middle.
  • If you are cooking more than one patty, or several pieces of meat, be sure to check the temperature of each piece.
  • Use clean utensils and plates when removing cooked meats from the grill.
  • Remember to wash the thermometer in hot, soapy water between every temperature reading (including between every piece of meat or patty checked).
  • Always remember to keep hot food hot until it is ready to serve.
Follow this guide to make sure that the food you are cooking has reached a safe internal temperature.
Beef, veal and lamb (pieces and whole cuts)
  • Medium-rare
  • Medium
  • Well done

  • 63°C (145°F)
  • 71°C (160°F)
  • 77°C (170°F)
Pork (pieces and whole cuts)
  • 71°C (160°F)
Poultry (e.g., chicken, turkey, duck)
  • Pieces
  • Whole

  • 74°C (165°F)
  • 85°C (185°F)
Ground meat and meat mixtures
(e.g., burgers, sausages, meatballs, meatloaf, casseroles)
  • Beef, veal, lamb and pork
  • Poultry

  • 71°C (160°F)
  • 74°C (165°F)
Egg dishes
  • 74°C (165°F)
(e.g., hot dogs, stuffing, leftovers)
  • 74°C (165°F)
For more information
Stay connected with Health Canada, and receive the latest advisories and product recalls using social media tools.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Enjoying Leftover Food Safely

OTTAWA, Ontario April 15, 2014 /Canada NewsWire/ - Many Canadians enjoy eating leftovers from family dinners and from dining out as a time-saving and budget-friendly meal. Still, leftovers need to be properly handled to help reduce the risk of foodborne illness. It's estimated that there are approximately 4 million cases of food-related illnesses in Canadaevery year. Many of these illnesses could be prevented by following proper food handling and preparation techniques.
Here are some tips to help make sure your leftovers are safe to eat:
Handling leftovers
  • Wash your hands before and after handling leftovers. Wash all utensils, dishes and work surfaces with hot soapy water.
  • Keep foods out of the danger zone, between 4°C (40°F) and 60°C (140°F), to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Throw away any cooked food left in the danger zone for more than two hours.
  • Never rely on your nose, eyes or taste buds to judge the safety of food. You cannot tell if food is contaminated by its look, smell or taste. When in doubt, throw it out!
Cooling leftovers
  • Refrigerate or freeze all leftovers within two hours to minimize the chance of bacteria growing.
  • Refrigerate all hot leftovers promptly in uncovered, shallow containers so they cool quickly.
  • Very hot items can first be cooled at room temperature and then refrigerated once the steaming stops.
  • Leave the lid off or wrap loosely until the food is cooled to refrigeration temperature.
Storing leftovers
  • Always use a clean container or leak-proof plastic bag to store leftovers.
  • Meat from large cooked birds should be cut, deboned and stored refrigerated or frozen for safety.
  • Keep different types of leftovers separate to prevent cross contamination.
  • Don't overstock the refrigerator - allow cool air to circulate freely.
  • Eat refrigerated leftovers within 2 to 4 days, or freeze them for later use. The recommended refrigeration times may vary slightly, depending on the food: follow these guidelines to be safe.
  • Label the leftovers so you can identify the contents and include the date, to make sure they aren't stored too long.
Defrosting leftovers
  • Thaw frozen leftovers in the refrigerator or using the "defrost" setting on your microwave. Make sure leftovers are completely defrosted before reheating.
  • Consume or cook the leftovers immediately after they have thawed.
Reheating leftovers
  • When reheating leftovers, cook to a safe internal temperature of 74ºC (165ºF).
  • Use a digital food thermometer to check the internal temperature.
  • Bring gravies, soups and sauces to a full, rolling boil and stir during the process.
  • Discard uneaten leftovers after they have been reheated - don't reheat leftovers more than once.
Reheating in a microwave
  • Use only containers or plastic wrap designed for use in the microwave.
  • Loosen the lid or wrap to allow steam to escape.
  • Stop the microwave midway through reheating and stir the food so that the heat is evenly distributed.
  • Rotate the plate several times during cooking if your microwave does not have a rotating tray.
For more information:
Government of Canada
Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education's Be Food Safe
Stay connected with Health Canada, and receive the latest advisories and product recalls using social media tools.