CFIA charges processor with food safety violations

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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PITT MEADOWS, British Columbia – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency charged a British Columbia-based meat processor with 11 Food and Drugs act violations on allegations the company sold beef that tested positive for E. coli, according to local news reports.

Pitt Meadows Meats allegedly failed to notify the CFIA and sold tainted beef to restaurants and supermarkets. CTV British Columbia reported that the charges stem from September 2010 when an inspector at the company alerted company officials that the foodborne pathogen had been detected. CFIA claims that tainted beef was distributed to 11 restaurants and supermarkets before the inspector, Daniel Land, filed a complaint. The company denied any wrongdoing, and labeled Land as a disgruntled former employee. Pitt Meadows said it failed to notify the agency about the tainted sample on suspicions that Land contaminated the sample.

“We apologize to our customers and consumers for not initiating a full recall sooner and for not contacting CFIA sooner,” the company said in a written statement. “We regret any impact and concern that this had on our customers and products and take responsibility for this lapse in judgment. However, we believed and continue to believe that our former employee was not following procedure with our test sample and that our food products are safe.

“When CFIA shut our production down as a result of this, they initiated at least 900 samples of frozen and fresh products and we are happy to report that not [one] of those samples was reported as positive. This is further proof that our products are safe and our production procedures withstood the ultimate scrutiny.”

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