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Number of new food inspectors: 57 – Number assigned to meat plant inspection: 0

Despite promises, feds still focused on checking paperwork.

Agriculture minister Gerry Ritz has not addressed the shortage on front line inspectors.OTTAWA, June 11, 2009 — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has hired 57 new inspectors but none are dedicated to front-line meat inspection despite 22 deaths resulting from Canada's listeriosis crisis and promises made by federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

In information prepared for parliamentarians probing the state of food safety in Canada, the CFIA says some of the new inspectors are working on the implementation of Product of Canada labelling guidelines while others are conducting border blitzes for "high-risk commodities."

Still others hired under the federal government's Food Safety Action Plan are sampling and testing high-risk foods, completing laboratory method validation studies for high-risk commodities or designing an enhanced identification system for food manufacturers.

"Of these 57 full-time resources, none are dedicated to meat inspection," says the briefing note, tabled this week in Parliament...

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  New food inspectors not assigned to meat plants, by NUPGE, June 11, 2009

Posted: June 15, 2009

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