Monday, September 27, 2010

Food Inspectors Focused on Imports Before Report

(The Globe and Mail – Gloria Galloway)

The agency responsible for food safety in Canada says it started to improve surveillance of imported food even before an internal audit found two years ago that it was not doing a good job of monitoring what was coming into this country.

Cameron Prince, vice-president of operations at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, said Friday that his organization has taken a number of steps to enhance its imported food program.

Dedicated teams of food inspectors have been established to look for contraband items in the marketplace, Mr. Prince said. Others have been regularly redirected from their usual jobs at Canadian processing plants to conduct “border blitzes,” he said. [...]

There’s a better tracking system in place so the agency knows what food has arrived in Canada and where it has gone. And 538 new front-line inspectors have been hired since 2005 – though Mr. Prince could not say how many of them have been dedicated to watching the imports. Read more here.