Ottawa sending special team of food inspectors to troubled meat plant
Rona Ambrose, Health Minister, is sending a special team to check the work of nearly 40 Canadian Food Inspection Agency inspectors at a meat processing plant in Alberta.
“I’m going to send them in to make sure everything is fine,” Ambrose said during interview Thursday, after NDP MP Laurin Liu told Canadians are at risk because of improper E. coli evaluation.
CTV News first reported Wednesday on government documents that show meat contaminated with E. coli bacteria from the plant in Brooks.
That was two years later the government shut down the plant – formerly operated by XL Foods – after at least 18 people were sickened by meat containing the bacteria.
The documents also wrote health concerns, including employees standing in “two to three inches of pooling blood and contaminated water,” lack of running water in the bathroom sinks, and unflushed toilets with fecal matter.
JBS Foods, the Brazilian company that now possesses the plant, said any problems indicated in the inspections have been resolved.
Ambrose also said Thursday that “corrective action” was taken to deal with issues “that happened in 2014 and before” and that “there are no outstanding issues.”
Part of the ranking was based on the number of cases of illnesses from food-borne bacterias per 100,000 people. Although Canada received a “superior” rating overall for E. coli, it was rated only “moderate”.
Canada was one of seven countries that upgraded on the food-borne pathogens metric between 2010 and 2014, according to the ranking.