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The Establishment-based Risk Assessment model for feed mills

In a world of changing risks, innovation and new technologies, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is adapting to be more efficient and responsive. Risk-informed decision making is at the core of the agency's everyday work.

The CFIA has been evolving the way we manage risk to further support industry's ability to compete globally. We've been embracing technology to offer more efficient and responsive services.

The Establishment-based Risk Assessment Model for feed mills (ERA-Feed Mill) is a tool developed by the CFIA to evaluate commercial and on-farm feed mills based on the level of risk that the feed they distribute represents for the health of food animals in Canada. It also considers the risk the food products (such as milk, meat, egg) derived from these animals may represent to the consumers. The ERA-Feed Mill model uses establishment data and a mathematical algorithm to assess the feed safety risks of feed mills under CFIA's jurisdiction. It takes into consideration:

The ERA-Feed Mill model will be used, along with other factors, to inform where inspectors should spend more or less time and program planning to focus efforts on areas of highest risk.

How the Establishment-based Risk Assessment model for feed mills works

The ERA-Feed Mill model uses scientific data and establishment-specific information to evaluate a feed mill and determine its level of risk. How often an inspection occurs will be guided by the risk category in which a feed mill falls, as assigned by the ERA-Feed Mill model. Higher risk feed mills require more oversight while lower risk feed mills require less oversight.

Using collaboration and innovation

The ERA-Feed Mill model was developed by CFIA staff in collaboration with experts from academia, industry and other government departments. The development of this model also drew on the experience acquired while developing the ERA model for domestic food establishments and the ERA model for hatcheries.

The ERA-Feed Mill model has already garnered attention on the international stage. Scientific journals that publish the latest studies on risk analysis related to food and feed safety such as Food Control and the Journal of Food Protection have published articles detailing the development steps of the CFIA's ERA-Feed Mill model.


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