Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Global egg flaws revealed

A major release of information held by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency reveals a multitude of persistent food safety issues at two egg-processing plants run by Global Egg Corporation.

The company is owned by L.H. Gray & Son Ltd., one of Canada’s largest egg-production, egg-grading and egg-processing companies.

Inspectors’ reports, released under Access to Information, reveal that Global was repeatedly chastised for failures to adhere to its written food-safety programs, for gaps in those programs and for shoddy facilities and procedures.

For example, three times inspectors’ reports identified a leaking roof over pasteurizing equipment. The company pleaded for – and was granted - three months to get the winter-time leak fixed.

Several times pasteurizing equipment was shut down after black flecks, possibly from a rubber seal, were found in processed egg products.

When the equipment was taken apart, inspectors identified contamination on plates.

One time they identified Listeria monocytogenes in product that was supposed to have been pasteurized.

They found pasteurizer temperatures were not hot enough, but the exact temperatures identified have been censored out. The inspector wrote that the plant temperature recording program was not effective.

There is heavy censorship in a number of the inspection reports and several have been completely denied to whoever filed the request for access to the reports on Global's plants in Etobicoke and Elmira.

Once a release has been made, anyone is free to file for copies for free, which is how they were obtained for this report.

Several times inspectors said they noticed that staff were failing to remove dirty and leaking eggs, as required, from the line feeding eggs into plant equipment. 

For example, in one instance the inspector said six leakers were not removed during a 60-second check. Another time it was three dirty eggs and four leakers in 60 seconds.

There were a number of reports that staff were not properly clothed and had failed to wash their hands after going to the toilet.