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Canada’s Meat Processing Industry Backs E.coli Safeguards

23 May 2013

CANADA - Canada’s meat processing industry is backing new safeguards for E. coli in beef.

The measures were announced by Agriculture and Agri?Food Minister Gerry Ritz as one component of the “Safe Food For Canadians Action Plan.”

“Canada’s meat processors work cooperatively with Health Canada and the

Canadian Food Inspection Agency to improve food safety standards in Canada”

said Canadian Meat Council President Ray Price.

“We commit to work pro?actively with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on the timely implementation of the new monitoring and control measures for E. coli that Minister Ritz has announced,” Mr Price added.

E. coli enters beef processing plants on the hides or in the intestines of cattle.

Federally registered establishments maintain stringent food safety management systems incorporating a series of hurdles designed to reduce the possibility that E.coli may be present in processed meat products. In?plant interventions include hide?on carcass washes, thermal pasteurization with hot water and/or steam, and antibacterial organic acid rinses. In addition, steam vacuuming is an effective tool for spot decontamination.

Although rare, when food safety incidents do occur, the industry cooperates with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to gain insight into causes and to identify and implement measures to prevent a recurrence.

“That is why meat processors created an E. coli Working Group and that is why the industry supports the new measures for the control and monitoring of E. coli and for the labelling of mechanically tenderized beef cuts,” said Canadian Meat Council Executive Director Jim Laws.

“We also welcome Health Canada’s proposal for mandatory labelling of all mechanically tenderised beef sold at retail outlets like supermarkets. This will provide consumers with better safe food handling and cooking information,” added Mr Laws.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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