My fingerprints arrived in Ottawa (that’s in Canada) about a month ago for a travel-related security check. I know this because they signed when they received the package by courier.
I checked on the status of the paperwork a week ago and was told, in doublespeak, by writing,
“Given the information sent, the application has not reached our system at this time. Due to our quality control process, this does not mean that they are not in the building.”
Maybe all Canadian government-types go to the same communication classes, because a couple of days ago, Health Canada issued a press release about updates to its listeria control policy.
Health Canada has completed its update of the 2004 policy on Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-to-Eat (RTE) foods, in view of enhancing the control of Listeria in high-risk foods. The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to stakeholders regarding verification and control, as well as regulatory oversight and compliance activities of RTE foods with respect to their potential to support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes.
The Canadian "Policy on Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods" (hereafter referred to as the Listeria policy) is based on Good Manufacturing Practices1 (GMPs) and the principles of HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point). This policy was developed using a health risk assessment (HRA) approach and uses as its foundation a combination of inspection, environmental sampling and end-product testing to verify control of Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat (RTE) foods. Focus is given to environmental verification and control, especially in post-lethality areas, as applicable. This policy applies to RTE food sold in Canada, produced both domestically and imported. The present policy revises and replaces the Policy on Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods dated October 4, 2004.
How this will mean fewer sick and dead people, like the 23 who died in the 2008 Maple Leaf listeria mess, is not addressed. However the Health Canada types did say, “There is an increased focus on outreach with the federal/provincial/territorial community to increase awareness of the risks of foodborne listeriosis and to provide guidance on how to reduce the risks of acquiring listeriosis to personnel in institutions where high-risk people may be exposed.”
How this outreach will be conducted and evaluated is not discussed. No mention of labels or public availability of testing data. But read it yourself and decide.
But when I tried to read the original I had to submit a request, and received the following:
“Thank you for contacting Health Canada. Your message has been received. We will get back to you as soon as possible.”
The document eventually arrived.