New questions raised about meat inspection procedures in Canada

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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Food inspectors are reportedly raising fresh questions about gaps between Canadian and U.S. food safety regimes.
Plants that package meat for the Canadian market are inspected just once a week, while those that ship to the U.S. must be checked daily.
The United States insists that inspectors maintain a daily presence in the plants if the meat is destined for American markets.
But Bob Kingston, head of the Agriculture Union, says Canadian plants must be "under inspection," which he says is taken to mean once a week.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says although there are some differences in the inspection procedures of each country, the meat inspection systems are equally effective in producing safe food.
The revelation about the gap between U.S. and Canadian meat inspection comes as the CFIA tries to contain a new listeriosis contamination.
The Listeria bacteria was discovered last week in two types of meat packaged under the Siena brand that were distributed in Alberta and Ontario.
There have been an unusually high number of listeriosis cases in Ontario this year, with 14 so far versus an annual total of about 40.
An outbreak of the same bacteria at a Toronto meat packing plant in 2008 killed 22 people and a report into that tragedy released last July found that a shortage of CFIA inspection staff created a lack of oversight that allowed the bacteria to go undetected. (Globe and Mail)

Organizations: Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Agriculture Union, Globe and Mail

Geographic location: United States, Canada, Ontario Alberta Toronto

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Recent comments

  • Ed
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Perhaps Canadian meat regulators should look into a made in Canada company, Vacci Test. Vacci Test has proven in the U.S.A. to be 50 times more accurate in testing for e-coli and listeria and in same shift time (ie. 8 hours or less). Of course, because it is a Canadian compony out of Calgary, Canada will be the last to get on board while the rest of the world benefits. Check out the website www.vaccitest.com

  • Andrew
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Because the people in charge of Canada care more about America, Americans, and Money more than their own people. Surprise surprise.

  • Agnes
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Many inspection agencies do not have the ability to shut down factories that are repeat offenders (repeatedly failing inspection tests), so until more strict closure policies are put in place there will be more factories producing poisonous meat (and other products).

    The world dependence on meat has created these mass factory farms, and mass butchering and packaging factories. Not only are the animals mistreated, the employees are equally exploited. There are a couple companies that control production of meat (and other products), and they hire illegal foreign workers. The foreign workers are then arrested/deported for working illegally however, the companies are never reprimanded for their actions.

    Consumers can take control! Stop supporting an industry that is trying to kill you, and keep you uninformed.

  • Ed
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    Perhaps Canadian meat regulators should look into a made in Canada company, Vacci Test. Vacci Test has proven in the U.S.A. to be 50 times more accurate in testing for e-coli and listeria and in same shift time (ie. 8 hours or less). Of course, because it is a Canadian compony out of Calgary, Canada will be the last to get on board while the rest of the world benefits. Check out the website www.vaccitest.com

  • Andrew
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    Because the people in charge of Canada care more about America, Americans, and Money more than their own people. Surprise surprise.

  • Agnes
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    Many inspection agencies do not have the ability to shut down factories that are repeat offenders (repeatedly failing inspection tests), so until more strict closure policies are put in place there will be more factories producing poisonous meat (and other products).

    The world dependence on meat has created these mass factory farms, and mass butchering and packaging factories. Not only are the animals mistreated, the employees are equally exploited. There are a couple companies that control production of meat (and other products), and they hire illegal foreign workers. The foreign workers are then arrested/deported for working illegally however, the companies are never reprimanded for their actions.

    Consumers can take control! Stop supporting an industry that is trying to kill you, and keep you uninformed.