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New guidelines streamline biosafety requirements for labs


Ottawa, ON The first edition of the Canadian Biosafety Standards and Guidelines (CBSG) has been issued jointly by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

The CBSG details the biosafety requirements for the safe handling and storing of human and certain animal pathogens and toxins. It provides clear guidance on how facilities must comply with regulations, reducing the potential for misinterpretation of safety requirements. While enhancing the safe and secure management of pathogens, it will also reduce time and costs for laboratories, streamline the import permit process, reduce paperwork and improve service delivery.

The two agencies say that the CBSG is intended to streamline various biosafety practices into a single set of standards and guidelines regulated by both PHAC and the CFIA. It combines and updates the following documents:

  • Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines 3rd Edition, 2004 (PHAC)
  • Containment Standards for Veterinary Facilities 1st Edition, 1996 (CFIA)
  • Containment Standards for Laboratories, Animal Facilities and Post Mortem Rooms Handling Prion Disease Agents, 2005 (CFIA)