Tuesday, March 16, 2010

U.S. Forcing More Meat Inspections in Canada

(Vancouver Sun – Sarah Schmidt, Canwest News Service)

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is scrambling to maintain an increased presence at dozens of large meat-processing plants after auditors from the United States Department of Agriculture found inspections were too infrequent to meet U.S. food-safety standards, newly released internal records show.

News of ongoing resource problems at CFIA comes as public-health authorities are carrying out a high-profile listeriosis investigation involving tainted meat at a federally inspected Toronto processing plant operated by Siena Foods Ltd.

The ramped-up inspection cycle of at least one visit for every 12 hours of production was instituted last November so operators in Canada, including Siena Foods, could continue to export their products to the United States. These plants are also authorized to distribute their products across the country. Read more here.