Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Meat audit fingers Canadian issues

Audits by United States inspectors continue to reveal shortcomings at Canadian meat-packing plants.

The Globe and Mail reports that the most recent round of audits identified significant food safety and sanitation shortcomings and said Canadians have a deadline of mid-March to shape up.

The auditors tour some Canadian plants every year, always accompanied by senior officials from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. They are checking whether the Canadian plants are meeting Canadian standards.

When the tours are over, the two teams usually compare notes and agree on what’s been found lacking.

The CFIA responded to the Globe and Mail saying it’s aware of the issues and that the problems are being rectified. 

It says Canadian consumers were not at risk from the deficiencies identified.

This is what the CFIA has been saying about the U.S. audits for at least 40 years. It was in the 1970s that, while I was reporting for the Waterloo Region Record, I became the first Canadian reporter to learn about the U.S. audits.

The Burns plant in Kitchener was found to be in abysmal shape, actually crumbling to pieces, some of them falling into meat-processing lines. The CFIA apparently did nothing until the American inspectors came through.

And, oh yes, the CFIA promised the situation would be rectified. Same story as now.