David Thurton of CBC reports that Walmart Canada and its district loss prevention manager were fined $20,000 each after pleading guilty Monday to 10 charges of selling contaminated food following the May 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire.
The retailer has also agreed to donate $130,000 to the Red Cross.
The retail giant and Darren Kenyon pleaded guilty in Fort McMurray provincial court.
“Unfortunately, during the confusion of the unprecedented 2016 wildfire crisis in Alberta, we didn’t adequately carry out an order from Alberta Health to dispose of certain food items in the Fort Mac store prior to reopening,” Walmart said Monday in a statement attributed to Rob Nicol, the company’s vice-president of corporate affairs.
“For this, we sincerely apologize to our customers and Alberta Health. Food safety and the safety of our customers is our top priority. We have learned from this experience and will be better able to respond in future crises to support the community. As part of our commitment, Walmart has recently made a donation to the Red Cross to support ongoing disaster preparedness, relief and recovery operations.”
Walmart and Kenyon admitted to displaying, storing and selling food that was not fit for human consumption after the wildfire.
The food included pickles, beef jerky, spices, pretzels, mints, stuffing mixes, vinegar, salad dressings, corn starch and yeast.
Wednesday’s ruling reverses a lower court decision that held Barbara Pellow responsible for only $15,400 in damages caused by the Oct. 10 blaze that consumed 32 units at ClearView Apartments.
The woman’s boyfriend, Khek Chanthalavong, had been using a blowtorch to remove fur from the squirrel on a wooden deck. Owners of the complex claimed cooking a squirrel on the deck violated her rental agreement.
Even though her boyfriend caused the fire, Pellow is still liable under a lease agreement for what justices described as a “fur-burning escapade.”
“Because defendant signed the lease agreement, she is presumed to have read and understood its contents,” the three-judge panel wrote.
Dozens of people at ClearView Apartments in Holland Township lost everything in the fire. Insurance carrier Travelers Indemnity Co. paid out more than $2 million to repair the damage.
The boyfriend left the torch on the deck and went into the apartment. When he returned 15 minutes later, he discovered the fire.
Don’t fire the messenger. Improve and enforce the message.
A Country Springs Hotel line cook claims he was wrongly terminated for “sanitation reasons” after dozens of people were sickened at a banquet at the Waukesha, Wis., hotel last week, adding,
"I’m the fall guy. I’m the scapegoat. There’s been no proof that I was responsible for bringing a virus to work."
The cook told WTMJ he was getting over the flu and wasn’t feeling 100 per cent the day he helped prepare the food for the banquet but he doesn’t think he should have lost his job.
"The managers, they knew I was ill, they knew there were other people that were ill. They didn’t send me home Sunday and Monday. They sent me home Tuesday. Sunday and Monday they needed me really bad. Tuesday it was not a busy day.”
The Wisconsin Food Code says kitchen employees must report if they have flu like symptoms. The Country Springs manager told Today’s TMJ4 that’s why they "fired one employee for failure to comply with the reporting requirement policies."