At the Maple Leaf plant behind the listeria outbreak, a single federal inspector was relegated to auditing company paperwork and had to deal with several other plants, a CFIA manager and an union official revealed, contradicting the impression that officials had left last week that full-time watchdogs were on-site.According to a Dr. Richard Arsenault a manager from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Under the new rules, instead of heading to the plant floor to inspect with their own eyes, inspectors are sent to the office to confirm that the meat packer has performed the required tests and the results are satisfactory, said the union official.
"We don't swab for listeria any more. The industry does all that themselves," he said. "They just document all this stuff. We read their reports. If their reports say they do everything fine, then they do everything fine."
The federal rules require only that inspectors perform three or four random tests annually at a plant, the rest of the time, inspectors rely on the company, which is required to do at least one test a month for each type of product.Well that's an understatement.
"It's like in aviation, we can't look under each jet engine of an airline, but we can make sure the maintenance service works," he said.
"We expect the companies to be responsible and not just go through the motions to placate the inspectors."
"All I can say is that with the new system that has been set up, there's always an adjustment phase," Dr. Arsenault said, when asked about Mr. Kingston's criticism.
Meanwhile our Prime Minister has said that the massive Maple Leaf meat recall highlights the need for Ottawa to overhaul its meat-inspection regime and has rejected any suggestions that the federal government is not doing enough.
This is one time that I agree with you Mr. Harper, your government has done too much.
Harper's free enterprise ideology has put our food supply in jeopardy and he has not been forthright in coming forward with the details of his new rules and it's implementation.
Harper's government bears direct responsibility for this outbreak of Listeria and the deaths of up to 12 Canadians.
Reference: Globe & Mail here.