The Ottawa (Carling) Laboratory
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for delivering federally mandated programs for food inspection, plant and animal health. 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 the development of 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, federal, provincial and international counterparts, as well as industry, in order to effectively carry out the CFIA's mandate.
The Ottawa (Carling) Laboratory
The Ottawa (Carling) Laboratory performs services relating to the safety and quality of food or food-related products across the food chain. These range from microbiology and chemistry services focusing on fertilizer, animal feed and food products, to innovative research in DNA-based techniques such as whole genome sequencing methods and software for understanding foodborne bacteria.
The laboratory also has expertise in the detection and characterization of food-borne illnesses, food adulteration, undeclared and declared food additives (e.g. MSG), irradiated foods, heavy metals, veterinary drugs and mycotoxins (toxins produced by fungi) in animal feeds, and heavy metals in fertilizers.
What we do
Food, feed, and fertilizer microbiology
- Detect and identify bacterial pathogens, including:
- Listeria monocytogenes
- E.coli O157:H7 (and other harmful strains)
- Staphlococcus aureus
- Detect and quantify adulteration and contamination.
- Determine additives such as sweeteners and preservatives in processed foods.
- Detect irradiated food products.
Feed and fertilizer chemistry
- Test for veterinary drugs in feeds.
- Test for mycotoxins.
- Detect and quantify heavy metals in feed and fertilizer.
Feed microscopy and bioanalysis
- Verify antibiotic guarantees and antibiotics residues in feeds.
- Examine feed and recycled food products by microscopic techniques.
Research and development
- Develop whole genome sequencing and bioinformatics tools for the food safety laboratories in the Agency.
- Develop DNA-based methods for the detection of anti-microbial resistance genes in foodborne pathogens.
All CFIA laboratories have demonstrated conformance to ISO/IEC 17025, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. The Standards Council of Canada evaluates our laboratories against this international standard, as a formal verification of the CFIA's capability to produce accurate and reliable results, within our accredited scope of testing. 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.
For further information
Ottawa (Carling) Laboratory
960 Carling Ave., bldg. 22
Ottawa, ON K1A 0Y9
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