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U.S. audit raised ‘significant questions’ about Canadian meat inspections

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Updated: 10:10 GMT, Aug 9, 2017 | Published: 10:08 GMT, Aug 9, 2017 |
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The U.S. Agriculture Department has found “systemic” inspection and sanitation problems during its most recent audit of Canada’s meat, poultry and egg inspection systems, issues American officials say “raise significant questions about the Canadian system.”

The most “significant” concern, U.S. auditors said, was that Canadian government plant inspectors were not checking for residual feces and digestive waste materials on each carcass in slaughterhouses prior to export.

“Auditors noted that government inspectors appear to not be conducting carcass-by-carcass post-mortem inspection to ensure freedom from contamination,” noted the audit. Conducted in 2016, it was released this spring but garnered little attention.

“This could be a significant finding for the [U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service] and could be inconsistent with [U.S.] requirements.”

“Post-mortem inspection procedures that do not ensure carcass-by-carcass inspection . . . raise significant questions about the Canadian system,” American officials wrote in the audit.

The audits were conducted in September 2016 in slaughterhouses in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec and shared with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in April.