Thursday, March 17, 2016

CFIA union renews complaints

There are staff shortages in food inspection says Bob Kingston, president of the Agriculture Union representing food inspectors working for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The union commissioned a survey by Abacus Data and learned that 70 per cent of inspectors working in meat-packing plants say that there are worrisome food safety issues. Half of the inspectors at other plants have similar concerns.

Kingston is raising the concerns as the agency, which has been transferred from the agriculture to the health department, is preparing to revamp its services.

The last revamp resulted in more onus being placed on companies to have food-safety protocols in place and to gather data to document compliance.

The upcoming revamp may include logging the data electronically.

Kingston says the Harper government cut food-inspection budgets by $56 million. 

The Liberals made a campaign promise to increase the budget by $80 million over four years.

If money could buy food safety, we should have had it long ago. It takes consistent discipline and a corporate culture of quality and compliance.