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Country Ribbon back in business


Fears that the price of chicken in Newfoundland and Labrador might skyrocket in the near future appear to be put to rest.

The Country Ribbon plant in St. John’s  regained its licence to operate Monday after losing it last week. — Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

Friday, Country Ribbon announced the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) suspended its licence to operate a meat plant due to issues with its food-safety management program.

However, the company was back in business by the end of the long weekend. The chicken producer announced on its website Monday afternoon CFIA reinstated the licence, with production set to resume today.

The company said it worked all weekend to complete required improvements to its hazard analysis and critical control points program.

“We want to express our thanks to our employees, customers, and the community for their ongoing support,” Country Ribbon said in the statement posted to its website.

A spokeswoman for the company told The Telegram that CEO Ian Pittman was tied up in meetings and preparation work Monday for the resumption of production the following day and not available for comment.

The company was scrambling to notify 325 workers about their upcoming schedules in light of Monday’s good news.

Last week, Pittman said the program at the centre of the licence issue requires continuous improvements. In this case, Pittman said the company failed to meet a recent deadline concerning written documentation of improvements related to increased monitoring, root-cause analysis and record keeping.

He did not expect the suspension would impact supply, noting all of its customers were fully supplied as of Friday.

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