Possible presence of glass in PC brand sweet chipotle prepared mustard

It would be interesting to find out how the glass may have made its’ way into the food product. What was the root cause that led to the possible contamination?

CK Reviews

Loblaw Companies Limited has recalled one specific lot code of PC brand Sweet Chipotle Prepared Mustard from the marketplace due to the possible presence of glass.
Consumers should not consume the recalled product described below.
PC Sweet Chipotle Prepared Mustard, 180 ml, 2018, AL 120 60383 01392 9
Check to see if you have recalled product in your home. Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.
This recall was triggered by the company. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. 


Thou shalt not sell unsafe food’ underpins Canadian food safety regs if not smothered by bureaucrats

“Shifting to outcomes-based and transparent regulations aims to establish clear expectations regarding risk management outcomes to be achieved.”

That is how government-types captured the mindset of regulators in a discussion paper released in Dec. 2011 in advance of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s most extensive regulatory review in its 14-year history.

Barry Wilson of The Western Producer reports CFIA is promising more modern, industry-friendly rules, switching the emphasis from setting objectives and policing compliance to emphasizing prevention and allowing industry to reach the objectives without excessive regulatory direction. ?

“Modernized regulatory frameworks will improve consistency and reduce complexity in regulation and will enhance the ability of the CFIA and regulated parties to contribute to the safety of the food supply and the protection of the animal and plant resource bases.”


Brian Evans, Canada’s chief food safety officer and chief veterinarian, said change is necessary and the review is part of a government-wide demand for smarter regulations.

The underlying theme of the system will remain, “thou shalt not sell unsafe food.”

Much better.

One Health: chief vet now chief food safety dude too in Canada

Canada’s chief veterinary officer has been named to an expanded role as the country’s chief food safety officer.

Brian Evans (right, not exactly as shown), who’s been the country’s first and only chief vet since 2004 at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and has also served as the CFIA’s executive vice-president in Ottawa since 2007, was named to the additional post Tuesday by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Evans remains chief veterinary officer in his new post, which takes effect June 28.

Evans worked in private practice in Newfoundland and Ontario before being recruited to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada as a veterinary inspector in 1982, and went on to establish Canada’s regulatory standards for international trade in animal embryos.

By 1997, he was named director of AAFC’s animal health division, and became executive director of CFIA’s animal products directorate the following year.

As chief veterinary officer, Evans is also the government of Canada’s delegate to the 167-member country World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

I have often praised Evans’ public and professional work during Canada’s first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in 2003, and Evans (left, exactly as shown, from the Toronto Star) was the first Canadian government official to publicly admit the screw-ups surrounding the flow of information during the listeria outbreak of 2008 which killed 23 people.

“There’s been a lot of hard questions asked … in terms of how we can get information to the public in as timely a way as possible. I accept the criticism that there is a need for us to reflect and to do a much better job of informing (Canadians)."?

The move also strengthens the One Health approach to public health, recognizing that animals, food, ecology and humans are all connected in weird and wily ways that microorganisms seem to have figured out but that we humans are just starting to understand.

Best wishes for a dedicated public servant.

Canadian Association of Journalists still exists, says CFIA wins secrecy award

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has won the Canadian Association of Journalists’ Code of Silence Award for 2008 for its dizzying efforts to stop the public from learning details of fatal failures in food safety.

"The judges were sick with awe at the intestinal fortitude the Canadian Food Inspection Agency gatekeepers have shown," said CAJ President Mary Agnes Welch. "It was clear that the CFIA’s guard dogs found something they can really sink their teeth into."

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has delayed and extended, ad nauseam, requests related to the Listeria outbreak that killed 22 Canadians and triggered hundreds – perhaps thousands – of illnesses.

Requests filed for inspections records on the Toronto-area Maple Leaf plant at the centre of the outbreak took nine months to produce and communication records with the company are still embroiled in delays.

For one of the biggest public health issues to face Canada in recent years, details behind the cause of the outbreak, the apparent delay in warning Canadians and the agency’s handling of the aftermath remain filled with unanswered questions.

The ignominious Code of Silence Award, handed out Saturday night at the CAJ’s investigative journalism awards banquet, dishonours the country’s most secretive government, department or agency.

Can regulators regulate and promote? Safe food sells

I cringe when pompous professorial types begin sentences with, “Clearly …” 

It happens a lot

Over the years, I’ve repeatedly heard a variation of, “Clearly, government agencies can’t regulate and promote food at the same time.” I was on National Public Radio in Maryland a few weeks ago and the statement was repeated mantra-like by both the host and some activist dude.

Yesterday, it was Sylvain Charlebois, a business professor at the University of Regina, telling Canadian parliamentarians they should establish an independent food safety agency reporting directly to Parliament because the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is failing consumers because of its “dual mandate.”

That wasn’t so clear to Ronald Doering (right) who served as the CFIA’s president from 1997 to 2002 and practically designed the agency. He called Charlebois’s proposal to "hive off food safety" to a body reporting to Parliament instead of to a minister, “silly.”

"The principle consensus all around was if you’re going to reorganize how you’re going to do food safety, animal heath and plant protection, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got accountability right. All parties agreed that we needed to have the agency report directly to a minister in the traditional way, and there could be no doubt that the minister the agency reported to would be accountable for its work."

Sure, CFIA has problems — like staff figuring out how to subscribe to FSnet. About 400 of them got deleted last week because of repeated error messages due to changes in e-mail addresses. About 250 figured out how to resubscribe; the other 150 decided to personally e-mail and demand I play secretary. Veterinarians with entitlement issues?

Back to the issue. I’ve always thought it’s easier to market safe food and never had much time for the armchair conspiracy theorists.

Doering also said it’s "simplistic" to argue the CFIA’s dual mandate presents a problem for consumers. Rather, he said Canadians are well-served by putting "the whole food chain in a single enforcement agency, so the CFIA is responsible for seeds, feed, fertilizers, all plant health, all animal health, all food, all commodities because they are all connected."

"The Canadian food, animal health and plant regulatory system is admired around the world. The idea we can export to a 100 countries food, animal or plants without inspection has to say something about the credibility of the regulatory agency."

CFIA says listeria silence was a mistake

During the waning days of the Canadian listeria outbreak, a Canadian academic-type sent me a love letter, which said,
“I did hear awkward remarks about your organisation from several microbiologists I know. Your comments in CB confirmed what I heard. I heard other comments you made recently on the listeria outbreak, appalling, very poor comments. Please refrain making further comments, at least publicly.  You are hurting our profession.”

I guess if your profession is kissing the ass of industry and the federal government while people die and pregnant women risk miscarriage, then yes, I’ve been harming your profession.

But now, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has taken to echoing the concerns – the “very poor comments” – that I have stated since the beginning of the listeria outbreak in Aug. 2008.

Robert Cribb of the Toronto Star wrote on Wednesday that,

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency could have done a far better job communicating with the public during this summer’s listeria outbreak, a top official at the federal agency concedes.

"There’s been a lot of hard questions asked … in terms of how we can get information to the public in as timely a way as possible," said Dr. Brian Evans, CFIA executive vice-president and chief veterinary officer of Canada. "I accept the criticism that there is a need for us to reflect and to do a much better job of informing (Canadians)."

Oh Brain Evans, where were you in August?

As I’ve written many times before, if Canadian cattle or chickens get sick, the public is told all about it. ??????If Canadian people get sick, not so much.

Cribb also writes that one CFIA initiative that will help in that regard is a newly formed advisory panel comprised of four prominent food safety experts. The panel will consult with the CFIA on best practices and possible changes to existing protocols.

That may help with listeria testing protocols but I can’t see how it will help with communications; especially since CFIA hasn’t announced who is on this advisory panel and what it is they will do. If you really want to do better, CFIA, don’t talk about it, do it. Oh, and clearly articulate your policy on when to go public about foodborne illness outbreaks. And warning labels.

My friend, Harshavardhan Thippareddi, a listeria expert and associate professor of food science at the University of Nebraska, was also quoted in the Star story, saying,

"While food safety should be the responsibility of individual companies, the regulatory agencies have the responsibility to verify that the food safety of the products produced is assured. Thus, the regulatory agency can, and I believe should, require companies to share any and all data that pertains to any safety issue, in this case listeria testing results."


Oh, and to the author of the love scribble, awkward doesn’t begin to describe things. Amy and Ben and others around me are saints. But at least I am willing to state my evidence-based opinion publicly, with my name attached.

E. coli O157:H7 outbreak links point to lettuce

Two local health units said today that lettuce – specifically Romaine lettuce –was the common factor in an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to food service operations in four southern Ontario towns that has sickened 130 people.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency responded by saying,

“Canadians are reminded that the best way to prevent foodborne illness is by handling their food safely. … Canadians can also refer to CFIA’s detailed four point plan to prevent E. coli in the home.”

All of the people got sick at restaurants or cafeterias – not in their homes. And contamination of lettuce and other fresh produce needs to be prevented on the farm – there is little consumers or food service can do when contaminated product arrives.

CFIA has new food safety advisory panel – doesn’t tell anybody

In the spirit of open and transparent communications, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has created a new food safety advisory panel – and not bothered to tell anybody, particularly the taxpayers that fund CFIA.

Amidst some stories about new listeria testing protocols for Canada, the Toronto Star and CBC noted there was, “a newly formed CFIA panel of experts advising the agency on food safety.”

So 11 years after being created, CFIA decided to get a panel of experts to advise on food safety, which, the agency declares, is it’s top priority.

There is no mention of this new science advisory panel on CFIA’s website.

Canadian food safety bureaucrats still aren’t that into you

If Canadian cattle or chickens get sick, the public is told all about it.

If Canadian people get sick, not so much.

That’s what I wrote in Dec. 2006 in a piece called, Sorry, bureaucrats just aren’t that into you.

I’ve said the same thing for the past month as the listeria in Canadian cold-cuts outbreak became public. The latest figures show at least 18 dead and 60 confirmed or suspected ill.

The several-week delay in telling Canadians about listeria in Maple Leaf cold-cuts, coupled with the self-congratulatory and exceedingly false statements about the superiority of Canadian disease surveillance is just another episode in the arrogant and dysfunctional father-knows-best approach to providing health advice practiced by various Canadian authorities.

Dr. Phil would say the relationship between officials at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Canadian public is like a couple headed for divorce: they don’t speak unless forced to, and when asked, it’s denial, deceit and deception.

Rob Cribb of the Toronto Star reports today that a major review of Canada’s food recall system three years ago identified serious problems that experts say continue to threaten public safety.

“Spotty inspections across the country, delays in warning the public about tainted food and a lack of follow-up to prevent repeat outbreaks are documented in the government report, obtained through access to information legislation.

The 2005 Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) review predicts concerns that have emerged from the current Maple Leaf listeria outbreak that has claimed 18 lives.

"There is no clear policy on when a recall requires public warning," the report states.

Timely public disclosure of food risks re-emerged as an issue last month when it took three weeks for officials to warn the public of tainted Maple Leaf meat. …

In the aftermath of the outbreak, public health officials and politicians were quick to reassure Canadians that the country has one of the best food safety systems in the world. But behind the scenes, the review documents a history of serious internal concerns: "Most findings in this report have previously been identified by the various parties involved in food recalls."

The CFIA audit paints a picture of a sometimes-chaotic system where turf wars can impact the public’s need to know about food warnings. …

Doug Powell, a Canadian food safety expert working at Kansas State University, said any warnings officials received from the review appear to have been ignored. "It’s contentment with mediocrity. The bureaucrats don’t seem to care very much. They all talk a good game, but they never think it will happen to them, so they just go on."

I can imagine Dr. Phil asking in his Texas drawl "How’s that working out for ya’ll?"

The most frustrating part is that CFIA is staffed with individuals who are excellent public advocates and spokespeople. On issues relating to mad cow disease or avian influenza, CFIA goes out of its way to communicate with Canadians, perhaps fearing that any crisis of confidence will reduce sales and impact Canadian farms.???

Yet when it comes to the 11 to 13 million foodborne illnesses in Canada each and every year, CFIA has adopted a policy of don’t ask, don’t tell. ???Maybe Dr. Phil can get the public and CFIA into a relationship based on open communication, trust, and respect, but I doubt it. Time to move on.

Headline hysteria: Food inspection ‘disaster’ looms

The phone rang about 5 a.m. New Zealand time.

The reporter started in about how she had some document, and a guy got fired and would I review it.

I said, e-mail it, I don’t want to wake my wife, bye.

Last week, it was reported that an employee with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency was fired after sharing a document that supposedly outlines changes to food inspection and labeling in Canada.

This reporter had an exclusive copy of the document and was seeking so-called expert opinion on its contents.

This is what I e-mailed the reporter (I rarely use capitals or proper grammar in e-mail messages)

I’ve reviewed the document; not sure what the big deal is
government will always being looking to save money, as they should; any proposed change would have to be measured against the potential impact to public health

the underlying principle is: Industry has a responsibility to produce safe food — from farm to fork. Government is there to verify and enforce.

there are specifics to consider with each summary point — for example, would eliminating funding for BSE testing encourage less testing?

but based on these summaries, it’s difficult to say much; and as the (Ottawa) Citizen story says, there’s no surprises here; the agency has been moving in this direction for years

In a subsequent message, I said,

sorry i couldn’t have added more, but the real issue seems to be the termination of this person’s appointment
CFIA does lots of insufficient food safety things, but they aren’t covered in that document

The story that appeared Saturday was typically Canadian – long on speculation, short on substance. 

One source, described as “a leading Canadian academic specializing in food risk management” spoke only on the condition of anonymity. What’s the point of having tenure if academics won’t go on the public record? Maybe the unknown academic was embarrassed by his or her comments.

"Reducing food safety controls at this time could be disastrous if there is an outbreak of a new food-borne disease.”

The document contained summary points about shuffling responsibilities – it said nothing about reducing food safety controls. For those who think government is in control when it comes to food safety, spend some time in the food safety world, not just when it’s fashionable.

After paragraphs of baseless speculation, my e-mail message was turned into a quote:

Douglas Powell, scientific director of the International Food Safety Network at Kansas State University, said, "Industry has a responsibility to produce safe food, from farm to fork. Government is there to verify and enforce."

But the best part is what isn’t in the story, A reporter from a national television news outlet called Ben for comment, and subsequently told Ben they had killed the story: not enough substance.