Audit finds sanitation problems at some Canadian meat, poultry plants

There’s nothing new here, but once again, the Americans say the Canadians sorta suck at food safety, and the Canadians say, politely, thanks, we’ve fixed that.

The Toronto Star reports tonight that an American audit concluded Canadian Food Inspection Agency documents often painted an inaccurate picture of the conditions at some of Canada’s meat and poultry plants where sanitation problems persisted.

The audit, which looked at 23 of the 455 establishments certified to export to the U.S. between Aug. 25 and Oct. 1, 2009, identified weaknesses particularly in the areas of sanitation, oversight and record keeping.

A review of manuals and procedures at the food inspection agency’s administrative offices found acceptable controls for sanitation, but auditors found a different story at some plants.

“The actual conditions of the establishment visits were often not entirely consistent with the corresponding documentation,” the report says.

Among the sanitation issues identified in the report were: not consistently identifying contaminated product and inconsistently verifying plants were taking adequate corrective actions to problems.

Agriculture Minister Gerry-listeria-is funny- Ritz, responded with a statement emailed to The Canadian Press on Monday, stating,

“This audit is from a year ago and in that time our government has invested an additional $75 million to improve food safety and are hiring 170 new inspectors.”