The Ottawa (Fallowfield) 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 (Fallowfield) Laboratory
The Ottawa (Fallowfield) Laboratory is the CFIA's largest laboratory facility serving the CFIA's three business lines (food, plant and animal health). The laboratory is located on 2000 acres of land in the Ottawa greenbelt, with a working farm, as well as unique bioinformatics and level 2 and 3 biocontainment facilities.
The laboratory has approximately 200 staff in addition to a number of visiting scientists, contract workers and students providing multi-disciplinary research, technology development and accredited diagnostic services to their clients.
The Ottawa (Fallowfield) Laboratory consists of three laboratories that share the facility's services. These labs are:
- Food Science Laboratory
- Ottawa Animal Health Laboratory
- Ottawa Plant Laboratory
What we do
Food Science Laboratory
- Research scientists in this laboratory work cooperatively with other food scientists in the Ontario laboratory network to help develop cutting-edge methodology to meet the CFIA's food testing challenges.
- This laboratory contains the Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) Centre, which supports national food safety and surveillance programs by identifying food-borne bacterial pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Shigella, Vibrio, and E.coli (O157:H7 and Non-O157).
Ottawa Plant Laboratory
The Ottawa Plant Laboratory houses a group of diagnostic and research labs that specialize in genotyping, botany, entomology, nematology, plant pathology and seed science.
- Diagnostic laboratories are responsible for diagnosing various plant pests, plants with novel traits, plant species, and seeds for meeting CFIA's domestic, import and export testing obligations under the CFIA's plant health program.
- Research laboratories are responsible for developing detection and identification techniques and technologies for plants pests, plant species, varieties and cultivars.
- Scientists and experts also provide scientific advice to support decision making, in addition to representing the agency on national and international panels.
Ottawa Animal Health Laboratory
The Ottawa Animal Health Laboratory is comprised of 7 diagnostic units supported by research scientists. Areas of work include; serodiagnostic, rabies, microbiology, transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, biocontainment Level-3, pathology and molecular diagnostic.
- Diagnostic activities to support CFIA animal health related programs such as domestic programs (surveillance, disease control, etc.), import and export, and artificial insemination.
- Development of new testing technologies or improving existing ones, used for diagnosis of animal diseases under the laboratory's responsibility.
- Research projects to collect scientific knowledge in support of the CFIA's regulatory decisions.
- Scientific advice to support decision making.
- Testing in support of the Advanced Meat Recovery Program, as part of the CFIA food safety business line.
- Participation in international groups representing the CFIA.
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 Laboratory Fallowfield
3851 Fallowfield Road
Ottawa, ON K2H 8P9
Learn about other CFIA laboratories.
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