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Statistics: Consumer food safety complaints

Consumers play an important role in the food safety system by reporting any food safety concerns to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The information you provide may help us ensure that unsafe products are removed from the marketplace and that other consumers are informed.

On average, the CFIA receives 2,225 reports of potential food safety concerns from consumers each year.

To find out more about the consumer's role in the food safety system, and where to report a food complaint, please consult the Food safety for consumers page.

Consumer food safety complaints

Consumer food safety complaints: April 2015 - March 2020. Description follows.
Description of graph – April 2015 – March 2020 Table
Consumer food safety complaints from April 1, 2015 – March 31, 2020
Apr 15 – Mar 16 Apr 16 – Mar 17 Apr 17 – Mar 18 Apr 18 – Mar 19 Apr 19 – Mar 20
Total complaints 2076 2039 2544 2389 2079

Consumer food safety complaints by hazard

Consumer food safety complaints by hazard: April 2015 - March 2020. Description follows.
Description of graph – April 2015 – March 2020 Table
Consumer food safety complaints by hazard from April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2020
Apr 15 – Mar 16 Apr 16 – Mar 17 Apr 17 – Mar 18 Apr 18 – Mar 19 Apr 19 – Mar 20
Allergen complaints 157 204 196 221 160
Chemical complaints 150 117 132 133 115
Extraneous material complaints 1187 1155 1516 1383 1291
Microbiological complaints 584 551 675 633 484
Other 47 45 59 56 54

Glossary

Allergen:
A food product may contain ingredients such as peanuts, milk or eggs that are not identified or are incorrectly identified on the label and that can cause adverse reactions in people who are allergic to the item.
Chemical:
A food product may contain chemical residues such as lead, mercury or pesticides that, at certain levels, can affect human health.
Extraneous material:
A food product may contain material from an outside source, such as metal, glass or hair. These are not necessarily a risk to human health.
Microbiological:
A food product may be contaminated by micro-organisms, such as bacteria, viruses or parasites, which have the potential to cause illness.
Other:
A food product may be of concern due to the presence of a hazard that does not fall within one of the above categories. Examples include non-permitted ingredients, nutrition concerns and potential tampering.
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