Food safety is a multidisciplinary field aimed at providing consumers with a high-quality food product, free of contaminants. It focuses on the analytical and toxicological aspects, in addition to risk analysis and management. Food safety has become increasingly important due to the globalization of the food supply chain and increased international trade. The estimated cost to the Canadian economy of food borne illnesses and related deaths is estimated at $12 to $14 billion per year. The food borne pathogens, Clostridium botulinum, Campylobacter, Cyclospora, E. coli 0157:H7, Listeria, C. perfringens, Salmonella, and Toxoplasma, represent major microbial risks to food safety in Canada.
The McGill Food Safety and Quality Program (FSQP) aims to be the foremost Canadian centre for education, knowledge and specialized advice relating to food safety and quality.
The FSQP aims to:
- Provide knowledge, training and expertise in the production and regulation of safe food, free from harmful pathogens or chemical and physical toxicants;
- Serve as a leader in the identification and testing of new food and feed bioactive compounds with health and wellness benefits;
- Develop a multidisciplinary network of experts to foster strong food safety and quality research, and provide a venue for researchers, industry and government in which to collaborate;
- Provide specialized facilities and expertise, including regulatory aspects, at McGill University to support the food industry.
- Education and training
- Research and testing
- Independent scientific advice
- Networking of industry, government and university personnel
THE IAN AND JAYNE MUNRO CHAIR IN FOOD SAFETY
Inaugurated in 2011, the Ian and Jayne Munro Chair in Food Safety will ensure that the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (FAES) continues to play a pivotal role in food safety research. Led by the Chair-holder, the FSQP will undertake collaborative research with industry and government, offer undergraduate and graduate programs, and provide independent, third-party expertise for the Canadian food industry, in order to address the complex scientific, legal and policy issues of global food safety.
The first Chair is Dr. Lawrence D. Goodridge, a native of Hamilton, Ontario, who is internationally renowned for his research on detecting foodborne and waterborne pathogens. He has also conducted major research in the areas of the development of biocontrol methods to reduce the presence of pathogens in food. He will join and take the lead of the program in August 2013. Dr. Goodridge will direct the research, education and outreach that is the mission of the FSQP.
Non-Thesis M.Sc. Program in Food Safety
This 45-credit program is offered to candidates who seek further specialization in the area of food safety but do not wish to pursue independent research. These credits are obtained through a combination of graduate level courses. The residence time for M. Sc degree (non-thesis) is three academic terms.