CFIA suspends Edmonton meat packing plant

EDMONTON — Canada’s food safety regulator says it suspended an Alberta meat packer’s operating licence because the company gave wrong information about a product that could contain potentially dangerous bacteria.

EDMONTON — Canada’s food safety regulator says it suspended an Alberta meat packer’s operating licence because the company gave wrong information about a product that could contain potentially dangerous bacteria.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency shut down Edmonton-based Capital Packers on Thursday and announced the company was recalling two brands of ham sausages.

The agency said when a test for Lysteria on a worker’s clothing came back positive on Monday, the company said none of the sausages had been distributed to retailers.

But Paul Mayers, a CFIA vice-president, said inspectors found that some of the suspect meat had left the plant.

“The information provided indicated that all related product was under control,” he said Friday from Ottawa.

“Our investigation, which immediately was initiated on receipt of the notification of the result, uncovered that indeed some product had been distributed.”

None of the sausages has tested positive for Lysteria. He said the recall is a precaution to ensure that none of the potentially tainted meat ends up on dinner plates.

The company will not be allowed to resume operations until it addresses the problems and the CFIA is fully confident that the plant is managing food safety risks.

The bacteria can lead to an infection called listeriosis which can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea.

In 2008, 22 people died and dozens of others became sick after eating Lysteria-contaminated deli meats from a Maple Leaf Foods (TSX:MFI) plant in Toronto.

There have been no reports of people becoming ill from eating the Capital Packer’s sausages that were being sold at Loblaws and Sobeys stores in Western Canada under the Compliments and Capital brands.

Mayers also cited other but unrelated food safety issues at Capital Packers that date back to September of last year. The CFIA said some of the problems have been corrected and some are still being dealt with.

Capital Packers president Brent Komarnicki said the voluntary recall involves 378 cases of sausages. Each case contains 10 packages of meat.

He admitted the company’s paperwork related to the recall was not satisfactory and pledged to work with the CFIA.

“We have an ineffective recall program that we need to resolve and improve on, so the documentation is readily available for the inspectors when they request it,” Komarnicki said. “That is where our failure was.”

Komarnicki was adamant that the licence suspension had nothing to do with food hygiene at the plant.

“We were not able to properly provide them the documentation around this recall program and that is what threw us into suspension,” he said.

“It is not to do with the quality of the product or the plant cleanliness or sanitation or anything like that.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP. (Black Press File Photo)
Calgary man dies in two-vehicle collision near Sylvan Lake

A semi truck collided with a SUV just east of Hwy. 781 on Hwy 11.

FILE - A Tim Hortons employee hands out coffee from a drive-through window to a customer in Mississauga, Ont., on March 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Tim Hortons to test deposit program for returnable coffee cups and packaging

Test program to start at select Toronto restaurants

FILE - U.S. President Donald Trump, center left, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chat before a round table meeting of NATO leaders in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Evan Vucci
US NATO allies still short on defence spending aims

None of the 30 allies owes NATO or its members money

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.	Kenney is isolating at home after one of his ministers tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Alberta premier isolating after minister tests positive for COVID-19

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is isolating at home

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Temporary COVID-19 testing sites coming to Wetaskiwin and Ponoka

The Wetaskiwin location will open Oct. 23, 2020 and the Ponoka location will open Oct. 29.

ACC President and CEO Ken Kolby spoke to Ponoka Chamber of Commerce members over Zoom on Oct. 20. (Image: screenshot)
Alberta chambers are ‘411’ to members, government: ACC president

Changes to government supports, second wave and snap election

world affairs
British brinkmanship leaves little hope of a Brexit trade deal

The British pantomime is a traditional Christmas entertainment in which stock characters… Continue reading

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

Red Deer city council will hold a public hearing on Oct. 28 about whether to take the future expansion of Molly Banister Drive off the table. (Photo by MAMTA LULLA/Advocate staff).
Opinion: Molly Banister extension isn’t as important as quality of life

Citizen opposition to the Molly Banister Drive extension has grown since the… Continue reading

Email letters to editor@interior-news.com
I ask myself: ‘What the hell’ has happened to Red Deer?

I moved to Red Deer on Nov. 1, 2001, and I fell… Continue reading

Canada goalkeeper Erin McLeod wipes tears from her eyes after losing 2-1 to England during a FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal soccer game in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday June 27, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canadian ‘keeper Erin McLeod happy in Iceland, looks to help others stay positive

Orlando loaned McLeod to Iceland’s Ungmennafelag Stjarnan in August

Most Read