Indigenous Food Safety and Security:
Community Adaptations in the Wake of Climate Pressures

As ecosystems try to adapt to climate volatility, so are Indigenous communities striving to become more food self-sufficient — both in reaction to and in anticipation of further climate pressures. This has led some communities to develop alternative food preservation and growing options, adaptations of their own that can help address limited financial resources or access to physical assets. This review presents evidence on six food safety case studies that arose from adaptation measures taken or planned to be taken to help ensure food security in Indigenous communities: 1) smokehouse construction considerations; 2) gardening and the use of tires as planters; 3) greywater use in crop irrigation; 4) traditional preservation techniques (specifically sun and wind drying); 5) treated timber and planter boxes; and 6) hydroponic growing systems. This review is meant to assist and guide individuals, Indigenous communities, and environmental health professionals such that healthy and sustainable food production, processing, and preservation techniques are ensured.

Read the review

Factsheets: Food Safety for Ethnic Food Preparation

Defined as food originating from the heritage and culture of ethnic groups outside of their respective countries, ethnic foods have been gaining popularity in Canada due to globalization, international travel, and increased availability and acceptance of novel cuisines. In our past needs assessments we uncovered a need for more information and resources on ethnic and specialty foods. To help public health inspectors become better informed about these new and unfamiliar foods, we developed two fact sheets: Ceviche: Food Safety Considerations and Pork Dinakdakan: Food Safety Considerations.

Webinar: Indigenous Food Safety and Security

Indigenous people have long relied on traditional foods, as they are nutritionally, culturally, and economically important to individuals and communities, and are an important aspect of food sovereignty. As the climate changes and as other environmental stressors begin to amplify, many Indigenous people and communities are pursuing ways to both strengthen their connections with local land and food systems and bolster their ability to produce and retain traditional foods. This webinar presents evidence on six unique food safety issues, based on adaptation measures taken or planned to be taken to help ensure food security.

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Public Health Agency releases Foodbook Report: an enhanced way to investigate and respond to foodborne illness outbreaks 

  • Foodbook is a population-based telephone survey that was conducted in all Canadian provinces and territories over a one-year period with a primary focus on describing what foods Canadians eat over a seven-day period to inform outbreak investigation and response in Canada. The data generated from this study is intended to enhance Canadian public health capacity to take timely and appropriate action in response to foodborne illness outbreaks.

Contribute to an inventory of environmental health programs or policies with a health equity focus

  • The BCCDC is looking for activities, programs, policies, tools, or training plans that incorporate health equity considerations into health protection or environmental health programs. Examples will be catalogued and analyzed for their potential to be scaled up, adopted, or adapted for use in other jurisdictions. Please contact Karen Rideout if you have an example to share.

US CDC Offers Free Food Recall Info Widget

  • The US CDC’s food safety website has a new tool that provides updated, at-a-glance information on food recalls from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Click within the widget for more information on each recall, including links to full recall notices on agency websites. Scroll through the widget to see information on older recalls. You can embed the free widget on your website to share food recall information. Just click on the widget’s embed button to get the code.

New Radon Video

  • In Canada, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, but the deaths associated with radon exposure are preventable. This video illustrates why radon is a problem, how people are exposed, and what public health professionals can do to reduce radon exposure and help prevent cancer.

NCCEH Healthy Built Environment Online Discussion Forum

  • The NCCEH and BCCDC have collaborated to pilot a pan-Canadian online HBE discussion forum for professionals, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. The forum is free to join and anyone with an interest in built environment-related issues is encouraged to participate. Visitors can read posts without signing in but those wishing to post to the forum will need to create an account. Visit the "Welcome to the Forum" section to get started!

Ready-to-Eat Meats: Assessing the Food Safety Risks


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