Temporary website updates are in progress to fix technical issues. For assistance, visit our Contact Us page.

The Calgary Laboratory

The Calgary Laboratory is located on Treaty 7 territory and respects the history, languages, traditions and cultures of the nations on whose traditional land we reside: the Niitsitapi from the Blackfoot Confederacy, which includes Siksika, Piikani and Kainaiwa; the Îyârhe Nakoda of the Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley Nations; and the Dene of the Tsuut'ina Nation; as well as the Métis Nation Region III.

About the Canadian Food Inspection Agency

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is a science-based regulator with a mandate to safeguard the food supply, protect the health of plants and animals, and support market access. The Agency relies on high-quality, timely and relevant science as the basis of its program design and regulatory decision-making. Scientific activities inform the Agency's understanding of risks, provide evidence for developing mitigation measures, and confirm the effectiveness of these measures.

CFIA scientific activities include laboratory testing, research, surveillance, test method development, risk assessments and expert scientific advice. Agency scientists maintain strong partnerships with universities, industry, and federal, provincial and international counterparts to effectively carry out the CFIA's mandate.

Photograph - Calgary Laboratory building entrance

The Calgary Laboratory focuses on testing food, fertilizers and animal feeds for microbial contaminants and chemical residues. The laboratory is involved in research to develop faster and more sensitive tests for food-borne pathogens and chemical contaminants. The highly trained staff test submitted samples for low concentrations of contaminants using cutting-edge methods, such as DNA-based technology and sophisticated instruments to identify chemical residues by their molecular mass.

What we do

Diagnostic testing

  • Surveys of food to identify specific contaminants.
  • Annual food safety monitoring programs.
  • Food-borne illness outbreak investigations.
  • Consumer food safety complaints.
  • Import/export of food products.
  • Testing of food, feed, and fertilizer samples bound for legal proceedings.

Support services

  • Consult and advise operational and inspection staff at the CFIA.
  • Applied research for emerging issues in food safety and the development of fast and sensitive diagnostic assays.

Pesticide residues

  • Analysis of fruit, vegetables, fertilizers and animal feeds for over 500 pesticide residues.

Environmental contaminants

  • Analysis of animal-based foods, fertilizers and animal feeds for various persistent organic pollutants (substances that are toxic and accumulate in the environment and animals). Some of the substances tested for include dioxins, furans, PCBs and PAHs.

Research and development

  • Develop and implement new analytical chemistry methods for food safety testing.

Microbiology

  • Analysis of food products and related samples for detection of disease-causing and risk-indicating micro-organisms.
  • Test for bacterial toxin genes and for the ability of food to support bacterial growth.
  • Accredited for performing national food testing methods including for E. coli O157:H7 and Campylobacter bacteria.

Other biological testing

  • Analysis of cooked and raw meats to confirm species identification.

Quality management

All CFIA laboratories are accredited in accordance with the International Standard ISO/IEC 17025, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) provides accreditation for routine testing, test method development and non-routine testing, as identified on the laboratory's Scope of Accreditation on the SCC website. Accreditation formally verifies the CFIA's competence to produce accurate and reliable results. The results are supported by the development, validation and implementation of scientific methods, conducted by highly qualified personnel, using reliable products, services, and equipment, in a quality controlled environment. Participation in international proficiency testing programs further demonstrates that our testing is comparable to laboratories across Canada and around the world.

Physical address

Calgary Laboratory
3650 36th Street NW
Calgary, AB
T2L 2L1

More information

Learn about other CFIA laboratories.