License suspended at Edmonton meat-processing plant over safety concerns
Published Friday, November 23, 2012 10:05AM MST
Last Updated Friday, November 23, 2012 7:10PM MST
A family-owned meat-processing plant has had its license suspended, over food safety concerns.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency suspended the license of Capital Packers Inc. on Thursday; the agency said adequate controls for food safety “are not being reliably implemented in the facility on a consistent basis.”
“The paperwork that was supposed to be provided to the CFIA, we did not do that in a timely manner, so it went behind the timeframe that was set out,” President of Capital Packers Brent Komarnicki said. “So our record-keeping was not up to snuff.”
The CFIA also said the company hadn’t corrected deficiencies that were previously identified following other CFIA inspections.
All products at the plant in northeast Edmonton have been placed under detention and control.
Officials with the agency are investigating if products from that plant could pose risks to consumers – particularly related to listeriosis, a foodborne illness that can cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea.
Two products have already been recalled from the plant due to fears over listeria:
- Capital Ham Sausage – 300 g with the UPC code 0 64946 51100 6
- Compliments Ham Sausage – 375 g with the UPC code 0 68820 10061 4
Both of the products are also marked with the code 2012 DE 26 – both products may have been sold nationally.
“Initially the company advised the CFIA that the products produced on the day of the positive finding were under the company’s control,” Paul Mayers, Associate VP of Programs with the CFIA said. “However, validation activities conducted by the CFIA determined products produced on the affected line may have been distributed to several provinces.”
Komarnicki told CTV News the current recall is not directly related to the suspension – the product is being pulled from store shelves because test results for listeria came back positive in the workplace, adn the recall is a precautionary measure.
“The test results came back and they had found that there was a positive for listeria on the sleeve of one of the ladies that was working in the packaging room,” Komarnicki said.
The CFIA said the warning could be updated if additional food products are found to potentially be a health risk – right now, no illnesses have been reported in connection with eating those products.
This is not the first time the company has been on the CFIA’s radar.
“The company also had its license temporarily suspended in September 2011 for issues related to ventilation and condensation,” Mayers said.
That suspension lasted about a week, and it’s not clear how long the current one will last.
“We are working closely with the CFIA to get these matters resolved, and to get our people back and working,” Komarnicki said.
Capital Packers is a family-owned business, and has been operating in Edmonton for 83 years.
Due to the suspension, between 60 and 70 employees will be affected – the company told CTV News the employees have not been laid off.
With files from Veronica Jubinville and The Canadian Press