Making A Statement About Canadian Meat Safety

US - Below is a statement published by the United States Department of Agriculture by Dr. Richard Raymond. It regards increased testing and re-inspection of imported meat and poultry products from Canada
calendar icon 5 November 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has instituted additional import requirements for meat and poultry products from Canada.

"FSIS will also immediately begin an audit of the Canadian food safety system that will focus on Ranchers Beef, Ltd. and will include other similar establishments that export beef to the U.S. Based on information provided by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), FSIS had previously identified this Canadian plant, which has ceased operations, as a likely source of the multi-state outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to the Topps Meat Company. As the result of that recall investigation, FSIS delisted Ranchers Beef, Ltd., Canadian establishment number 630, on October 20, 2007. No product from that firm has been eligible to enter into the U.S. since that date.

"The audit and stepped up actions at the border are being conducted because of concerns about testing practices at Ranchers Beef, Ltd. that were discovered as part of the ongoing investigation.

"FSIS will review the preliminary findings of this audit to determine whether there is need to continue these additional interim requirements. The FSIS team for this audit will include top officials from the Office of International Affairs and the Office of Program Evaluation, Enforcement and Review.

"These measures are being taken to further ensure the equivalency of the system already in place. We continue to work together with our food safety partners both domestically and internationally to ensure imported meat and poultry products are produced under systems at least equivalent to those in the United States.

"Yesterday FSIS Administrator Alfred Almanza and an additional senior FSIS food safety official met with their counterparts at the CFIA to inform them of increased testing and re-inspection requirements."

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