The Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) would like to reassure consumers that all beef processed in Canada meets the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) strict food safety standards. Canada has one of the best food safety systems in the world and we are confident in the procedures CFIA applies to ensure the safety of beef produced for both the domestic and export markets.
A CTV news item broadcast on November 28 may have left viewers with an incorrect impression. The memo issued by CFIA, which was referenced in the story, related to an inspection station which is dedicated to monitoring the requirements of the Japanese market. It is important to note that this is not a food safety inspection station in the traditional sense - these activities are addressed at additional points in the process. The CFIA personnel at this location performed activities such as confirming Japan's requirement that the animal is under twenty one months of age. The CFIA memo essentially conveyed that personnel at this station should focus on Japan's export requirement while inspection activities related to Canada's food safety requirement would be addressed by additional personnel dedicated to this purpose. It is also important to note that there are multiple food safety interventions after this inspection station including carcass pasteurization, multiple antimicrobial sprays, monitoring by plant employees and in addition CFIA personnel that verify contamination has been addressed. The statements in the CTV report were incorrect to imply that this station was the last opportunity to address any visible contamination which may have been missed at earlier points in the system.