Canadian Food Inspection Agency Challenge June 25, 2020 The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is looking for a field-deployable or handheld device that detects food borne pathogens. Think you can solve this challenge? Compete for funding to prove your feasibility and develop a solution! This challenge is open until July 28, 2020. Problem statement The CFIA is mandated to protect the health of Canadians by safeguarding food safety in the farm-to-fork continuum, including the protection of animal and plant health. While the CFIA is the regulatory body that enforces acts and regulations aimed at reducing the risks of food borne diseases, the food producers and processors are ultimately responsible for the safety of their products. Canadian producers employ the latest food safety programs and technologies available in reducing the risks or food borne pathogens; however, contaminated food continues to reach the Canadian public despite all the efforts by industry and the CFIA. This results in a number of recalls and outbreaks that cost the health care system and producers millions of dollars each year. Further, the Government of Canada estimates that there are about 4 million cases of foodborne illness in Canada every year, leading to 11,500 hospitalizations and 240 deaths. To evaluate the safety of food products analysts are required to conduct extensive testing that often take days to obtain a final test result. Having field deployable, rapid, sensitive, and specific testing methodologies would enable industry stakeholders to better protect Canadians, provide a safe food supply, and meet international standards for exports. With such devices, the food industry can increase the number of pathogen tests and can better prevent the presence of contaminated products from reaching the market place. Click here to see the full challenge.