The Saint-Hyacinthe 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 Saint-Hyacinthe Laboratory
The Saint-Hyacinthe Laboratory offers diagnostic services for the detection and identification of bacterial and viral pathogens and for the certification of live animals, embryos and semen for import, export and surveillance of swine diseases and retroviral diseases, and surveillance of Trichinella and transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. The Laboratory participates in the development and improvement of analytical methods and conducts technical audits of private laboratories. It is also home to the CFIA's National Reference Centre for Food Virology.
What we do
- Service and analytical support for food safety and animal health:
- detection, identification and characterization of bacterial and viral pathogens in foods
- development, improvement and validation of analytical methods
- certification of private laboratories for the analysis of indigenous swine diseases and retroviral diseases
- surveillance and control of animal diseases
- Scientific advice to inspection and program development.
- Regulatory research aimed at developing new tools, knowledge and tests to support the CFIA's programs and mandate.
Analysis and activities
Microbiology and food safety
- Detection and identification of bacteria and toxins responsible for food poisoning and microorganisms of public health significance.
- Technical audits conducted in co-operation with the Standards Council of Canada and the Bureau de la normalisation du Québec for the accreditation of private laboratories in conformance to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard.
- Detection and identification of foodborne viruses, such as noroviruses and hepatitis A.
- Development of methods and support for investigations during outbreaks as the CFIA's National Reference Centre for Food Virology.
- Research projects in genomics and proteomics.
- Certification of live animals, embryos and semen for import, export and animal disease surveillance.
- Surveillance of Trichinella and transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.
- Continuing education of veterinarians working in abattoirs and the creation/revision of compendia of diseases.
- Pathology and telepathology services to support the meat hygiene program and determine the issues surrounding the humane transport of animals.
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:
3400 Casavant Blvd West
Saint-Hyacinthe, QC J2S 8E3
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