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Canada Scores Low on U.S. Food Safety Audit

6 FEB 2014

This week, the AAPS blog reveals the results of an American audit of Canadian food processing plants. The audit comes after the largest beef recall in Canadian history – the Alberta XL Foods E. coli contamination crisis – which revealed the need for more stringent adherence to safety standards. According to the blog post, Canada Scores Low on U.S. Food Safety Audit,

Inspectors with the U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) visited two red-meat slaughter houses, four meat-processing plants, an egg processing plant, five government offices including Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) headquarters, and two private laboratories between Oct. 22 and Nov. 9, 2012.  In the end, FSIS deemed the facilities “adequate,” the lowest possible rating it could issue in order for Canada to continue exporting meats south of the border.  In the end, FSIS deemed the facilities “adequate,” the lowest possible rating it could issue in order for Canada to continue exporting meats south of the border. 

The less than stellar rating is just high enough to allow Canadian meats into the U.S. During their site visits, the auditors found evidence of sanitation non-compliances and instances of inhumane animal treatment. The CFIA responded immediately by instituting corrective measures and implementing long-term strategies for improvement. The agency reminds the public that there are always issues with audits, and that they are seizing upon the opportunity to raise the bar for food safety. In a written statement, health minister Mona Ambrose drew attention to newly added inspectors and tougher penalties for transgressions, assuring consumers that “our government is committed to ensuring that Canadians have confidence in the food they buy.”