The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has published a guidance document for the Pathogen Reduction Monitoring Program (PRMP) for Salmonella and Campylobacter in raw poultry, to which Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) license holders who are both slaughtering poultry and producing chicken parts are expected to begin implementing by April 1, 2023. PRMP results will support CIFA in developing Canadian food safety performance standards.

SFC license holders must identify and analyze the biological, chemical, and physical contamination hazards in their food operations, and prevent, eliminate, or reduce to an acceptable level the hazards identified by using control measures that are shown by evidence to be effective. PRMP provides a means to verify that overall control measures are effective in reducing Salmonella and Campylobacter contamination in raw poultry and poultry products to maximum pathogen limits described by CIFA.

The guidance document is based upon best practices from the following:

  • Canadian national and international microbiological baseline surveys
  • Canadian Salmonella Enteritidis initiatives led by Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Salmonella and Campylobacter Performance Standards Verification Testing developed by the United Stated Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA’s FSIS) for U.S. meat licensed operators
  • Canadian meat license holder test results performed as part of the domestic pathogen performance standards program implemented since 2017, and prior U.S. Export requirements.

PRMP verifies overall process controls, meaning that food products are not to be tested for the purpose of determining their suitability, but as a means to verify the effectiveness of control measures in preventing, eliminating, or reducing contamination in raw poultry and poultry products during slaughter, cutting, and grinding. Food business operators may use other sampling and testing procedures developed by provincial counterparts, industry associations, international partners, or academic bodies as long as they can achieve the same outcome as PRMP.