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Evaluation of the Meat Programs


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) Evaluation Directorate is responsible for evaluating the relevance and performance of Agency programs, policies and initiatives. This effort supports informed decision-making and enhances performance and accountability.

The Evaluation Directorate is accountable to the CFIA's Performance Measurement and Evaluation Committee, chaired by the President. All evaluations must be reported to the Performance Measurement and Evaluation Committee and must be conducted in accordance with the Treasury Board's Policy on ResultsFootnote 1. Evaluation projects are selected during an annual Agency planning process, and then reflected in the Agency's Evaluation Plan, which is approved by the Performance Measurement and Evaluation Committee.


The Evaluation of the Meat Programs covered all four program components; the domestically produced and distributed products, imported products, exported products, and recalls. The Meat Programs comprise a major part of the CFIA's activities, with an annual budget that ranged from $207 million in 2010-11 to $301 million in 2014-15, and from 30-36 per cent of the Agency's overall expenditures.

Evaluation Overview

This evaluation focused on the operation of the Meat Programs over the five-year period from 2009-14 (the "study period"), with some data included from 2014-15. Data collection methods included:

Key Findings

Picture - Key Findings. Description follows.
Description for Diagram - Key Findings

The diagram describes the five evaluation findings and six recommendations.
In the center of the diagram is a large circle and the text inside is as follows:


  1. For those Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans marked by inspectors as unacceptable, the CFIA should clarify which ones represent serious issues.
  2. To improve meat program efficiency, there should be less emphasis on carcass by carcass inspection in slaughter inspections done by the CFIA.
  3. In import inspections, organoleptic (sensory) inspections should be reduced or eliminated.
  4. The CFIA should coordinate its performance measurement reporting for its meat programs to provide comprehensive results reporting.
  5. The CFIA should increase the degree to which Compliance Verification System (CVS) tasks are based on risk, including the historical compliance record.
  6. The CFIA should examine opportunities to provide increased flexibility in the delivery of Daily Shift Inspection Presence requirements.

Surrounding the large recommendation circle are five smaller circles. Each of these circles describes a key finding. The five key findings are as follows:

  • The Meat Programs are ensuring the safety of domestic, imported and exported meat products to a very high degree.
  • Possible improvements include a more risk-based approach to inspections - targeting inspection resources to areas of highest risk.
  • All components of the program were found to be effective. However, significant components of the meat inspection system are insufficiently risk based.
  • The CFIA appears to have the resources required to complete the currently required meat inspection tasks.
  • The roles of CFIA, other federal partners, industry, and the provinces in delivering the Meat Programs are clearly laid out, accepted, and appropriate.
Picture - Bar Graph. Description follows.
Description for Diagram - Bar Graph

The diagram is a bar chart. It compares "meat" and "other food" based on "illness source" and "inspection costs".

Title of bar chart is: "The cost of meat inspection is high relative to its health burden".

On the left of the bar chart is a vertical line with the following percentage labels, from top to bottom:

  • 100%
  • 80%
  • 60%
  • 40%
  • 20%
  • 0%

To the right of the percentage labels is a bar with the label "Illness Source" below it. The bottom part of the bar represents "Meat 26%". The remaining of the bar represents "Other Food 74%".

To the right there is a second bar with the label "Inspection Costs" below it.

The bottom part of the bar is represents "Meat 61%". The remaining of the bar represents "Other Food 39%".

Picture - Pie Chart. Description follows.
Description for Diagram – Pie Chart

The diagram is a pie chart. It displays the distribution of CFIA's 2012 budget across "Plant", "Animal", "Food-Non Meat", and "Food-Meat".

On top of the bar chart is the following title: "In 2012, the meat program expenditures comprised 31% of the CFIA's total budget (Millions $)".

The pie chart is divided into four sections. The section representing "Food-Meat" is detached from the rest of the circle. The following text is inside: "Food-Meat $241.97". Continuing clockwise, the next section represents "Food-Non Meat $205.52". Following that, the next section represents "Animal $221.97". Last section represents "Plant $112.63".

Complete Report

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