23 sick from salmonella in headcheese and massive recall because of undercooking; Canadian agriculture minister states obvious, there’s problems in meat inspection

Canadian Agriculture Minister and would-be comedian Gerry Ritz on Thursday told Postmedia News that last week’s massive recall of all Brandt ready-to-eat deli meats exposes gaps in Canada’s meat inspection system, stating,

"I’m concerned that the paperwork that Brandt had was less than strenuous, I’ll call it. We are in there looking through some of that. We’re looking at different protocols, at having them reporting in different ways. At the end of the day, we’ll have a better plant."

Sarah Schmidt, following up on her Postmedia story yesterday about the delay in detecting problems at the Brandt Meats Toronto-area plant, said the Canadian Food Inspection Agency – which reports to the Canadian Parliament through the Minister of Agriculture – only checked out the Brandt plant after pressure from public health types.

As in, we got a bunch of sick people, it came from this plant, maybe you should look harder, do we have to do your job as well?

Ritz was further quoted as saying,

"It takes a combination of work between CFIA, public health and the industry of record. I think everyone learns from every one of things. We always do that ‘lessons-learned’ aspect of it. Having said that, we always strive to do better and I think in this case, certainly it could always be worse and we try to make a better system as we move forward."

Minister, by worse, do you mean when 23 people die from listeria in Canada in 2008?

Ritz also said, "we hiring people as fast we can."

Inspectors? Scientists? PR hacks? How’s the quality control on those fast hires?

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of barfblog.com, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, barfblog.com retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 dpowell29@gmail.com 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time