CALGARY, Alberta – The Canadian government recently announced plans to expand the country's network of food safety surveillance sites.

FoodNet Canada currently comprises sites in the region of Waterloo, Ontario and Frasier Region, British Columbia. A third site in Calgary and Central Alberta will come online in January 2014. The sites collect detailed information about foodborne illness outbreaks and conduct traceback investigations to determine the origin of foodborne illness outbreaks. The government believes the addition of a third site will take into account a greater proportion of Canadians, improve food safety surveillance and maintain a safe food supply.

The expansion comes as the government launches its Healthy and Safe Food for Canadians Framework, a plan for how the government is working to minimize food safety risks, keep unsafe food products from entering the food supply chain and inform Canadians about healthy and safe food choices.

"Healthy, safe and accessible food is vitally important to Canadians," said Pat Vanderkooy, a registered dietitian with Dietitians of Canada. "Protecting the health of Canadians requires the Government's commitment to regulating what's allowed in our food, how it's labeled, as well as monitoring and reporting on the safety of the food supply."