Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Food Safety: Stricter Standards for Canadian Meat

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.

Effective next week, FSIS will increase testing for Salmonella, Listeria Monocytogenes and E. coli O157:H7 and will require that shipments be held until testing is complete and products are confirmed negative for these pathogens.

In addition, Canadian meat and poultry products will receive increased levels of re-inspection by FSIS to confirm they are eligible to enter commerce when presented at the U.S. border.

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 AND IS FOR SALE, as a likely source of the multi-state outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to the Topps Meat Company. (It wasn’t for sale a/o last week.)

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.

Karyn Zoldan
karyn

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